The people of Park City were not really happy when the Chinese moved in. The Chinese men were the best at handling explosives and had vast experience laying the railroad across America. With their railroad skills and with the Chinese laundry services the Chinese carved out their little China town right where the entrance of Lower Deer Valley is today. When you left Main Street, crossed Swede Alley, you would cross Poison Creek. The bridge across Poison Creek, came to be called 'China Bridge.' Which is the name of our largest parking structure in Park City in honor of our Chinese pioneers.
Now back to our story. It was July 19, 1898 about 3 o'clock in the morning when a Chinese man walked out on Main Street and noticed smoke. He ran to the sheriff who fired his pistol thee times alerting the residents of Park City that their town was on fire. The great fire of 1898 burned Main Street virtually to the ground and cost more than $1 million dollars in damages. To this day it still holds the title as the worst fire in Utah's history.
History tells us the fire was finally put out by blowing it up. So, the irony...the people that the towns people didn't really like basically saved the town and untold lives. First, by alerting the sheriff and second by being experts in explosives.
I love the history of Park City and hope you enjoy these little history lessons.