The Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex located in Park City, Utah

Started by Raymond Aschheim on Saturday, January 2, 2010

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  • Solon
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1/2/2010 at 6:08 PM

Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex, presented by Cory Jensen
The Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex located in Park City, Utah, is significant under Criterion A for its association with the historical development of Park City. Though Park City has numerous residences and commercial buildings from the early twentieth-century heyday of the Park City Mining District, only a handful of industrial buildings and structures remain. With the exception of the Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex, the surviving resources directly related to the mining process are small in scale and are in isolation from one another. The Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex is the only remaining complex with multiple extant historic resources that date from the most productive period of the Park City Mining District. The historical events associated with the mining complex represent the fortunes of competing mining claims, in particular Solon Spiro, general manager of Silver King Consolidated Mining Company, and his ongoing struggles against the Park City powerhouse, the Silver King Coalition Mines Company. The complex is also significant as a source of excellent examples of the engineering and construction technologies used by the mining industry in Utah in the early twentieth century. The complex includes the Spiro Tunnel, a mine and drainage tunnel built between 1916 and the 1920s. The Spiro Tunnel was heralded as an engineering marvel in its day. It remains a working structure and provides much of Park City’s culinary water today. The buildings have been rehabilitated using the extant historic materials on the exterior, while retains the industrial feel of the interior. The Spiro Tunnel Mining Complex has two periods of significance. The first begins with the construction of the tunnel in 1916 and ends with the complete closure of the mine in 1953. The second period of significance occurred between 1964 and 1967, when the Spiro Tunnel was refurbished for use as the world’s first and only underground ski lift. This period of exceptional significance represents the ski industry in Park City at the beginning of its transformation from a locals’ winter playground to a world-class resort destination.
(source: http://history.utah.gov/about_us/board/documents/Minutes%20June%201... )

1/2/2010 at 6:21 PM

The account of Solon Spiro, after which the trail was named, is
perhaps the most heart-breaking of all rags-to-riches-to-rags stories. The nephew of a pioneer merchant, Solon labored away in his uncle’s store, saving his meager wages and buying stock in other mines. By the early 1900s, he amassed respectable wealth,
bought claims bordering the goliath Silver King Mine, and
incorporated his own company-- Silver King Consolidated. But his
workings produced little ore and the mine’s main shaft was constantly flooded with icy waters. Pumping the water out was too expensive, so Spiro drove a tunnel nearly 3 miles long, and so
straight you could see daylight from its end, to drain the water.
He continued burrowing his mine until it was 5 miles into the
mountain. But with little ore to show for his effort and with funds
depleted, Spiro succumbed to defeat and sold his claim to his
competitor, the Silver King, at a bargain price. Adding the greatest
insult to injury, the Silver King tunneled just 40 feet farther in
Spiro’s old mine and struck a giant body of ore, one that Solon predicted was there all along.
(source: http://www.cyclingutah.com/august/August2004Issue.pdf )

1/3/2010 at 12:57 AM

Raymond Greetings,
wonderful wonderful I have a copy of an old newspaper clipping an obituary that refers to a M.S. Aschheim born in sept 22 1827 who came to park city utah in1847 because of the gold rush he died in 1907 of throat cancer in a Berlin hospital he never married nor fathered children and was the uncle of solon spiro and julius franfel. it would seem that he is Meyer the brother of Ernestine, Solon's mother. what do you think?
the frankel family lives in California and we have been in touch with them over the years

Michael

1/3/2010 at 2:11 PM

Yes, sure, this M.S. Aschheim is Mayer S, the brother of Ernetine, so we can updates his birth/death dates. This is confirmed by this book: http://www.archive.org/stream/pressreferenceli01interich/pressrefer...
Ray

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