A modern wing adds sunlight and square feet to the Park City Museum in Utah.
Anyone who skied Park City, Utah, in the late 1960s remembers the Skier Subway, an underground lift that lumbered uphill through an old mine tunnel for three dank miles. Its novelty wore off quickly as skiers snived and shivered through the hour-long journey, and in 1969 the subway hauled its last passenger.
Now history buffs can relive the lift's inglorious past at the Park City Museum, reopened in mid-October following a $9 million renovation. In an exhibit space more than twice its previous size, visitors can tush test the wood-slat seats in the last existing Skier Subway car, feel the vibration of a miner's drill, and plunge a T handle to set off a faux explosive charge.
A video about bad boy Patrick "Patsy" Coughlin, executed for shooting dead two sheriff 's deputies, is a popular draw. Visitors may even feel a twinge of pity when they hear the sorry tale told by the young Coughlin, hunted by the deputies after he was seen swiping strawberries off a vendor's cart. "Ma visited me in prison," says the actor who portrays the hapless thief, "and said, ‘Patsy, die like a man.' " (435) 649-7457, parkcityhistory.org.
Photography courtesy Park City Museum
This article was first published in November 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.