Here stood the huge 40-stamp Ontario mill, completed in 1877 at a cost of $325,000. At the time it was considered the largest and most modern mill in the country. It was located on the side of the mountain so that ore could be moved more easily through the mill using gravity. The forty 900-pound stamps made a deafening noise, sometimes operating 24 hours a day, pounding and crushing the ore. Three tall brick chimneys, spewing smoke, could be seen from as far away as Kimball Junction. The Great Depression of the 1920’s and 1930’s brought an end to the mill and it was demolished. The last to go was the largest smokestack, dynamited one dark night in 1949.
Judge Loading Station
At the turn of the century, a Union Pacific spur, called the High Line, was completed to this location. Processed ore from the Ontario and Daly milling operations could then be carried by rail to smelting facilities. In 1926, the Judge Mining and Smelting Co. completed an aerial tramway to carry processed ore from the Judge (Daly-Judge) mill in Empire Canyon to the rail spur. The four-story building in the photograph was constructed as a loading station for the aerial tramway. This building was demolished for safety reasons in 1976, after sitting idle for some 25 years. The tramway towers can still be seen on the hillsides between here and the remains of the Judge Mill in Empire Canyon.
Ontario Drain Tunnel No. 1
Completed in 1881, this is the first of several tunnels that were built to drain the tremendous flow of ground water from Park City’s mines. Early attempts to drain the mines with pumps were ineffective, but drain tunnels proved highly successful.
This tunnel drained the Ontario No. 3 Shaft workings at the 600-foot level, as well as several other nearby mines. It also provided transport for ore and equipment and allowed miners to live in town and travel to work through the tunnel. Later, as mines went deeper than their drain tunnels, great pumps, such as the famous Cornish pump at the Ontario No. 3 shaft, would be employed to drain their lower workings.
- Park City, Utah