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Kimball Stage Stop

The Kimball Hotel Stage Stop and Barns remain as one of the few remaining original stations of the Overland Stage. It later served also as a station for both the Holladay Stage Line and the Wells Fargo Express Company. Finally, the condition, particularly the exterior, of the stage stop and hotel is excellent, as are the log portions of each of the barns, and the setting retains much of its isolated flavor.

Located at 318 Bitner Road in Park City, Utah and added to the National Historic Register (#71000855) on April 16, 1971.

The area of Parley’s Park was first explored in 1848 by Parley P. Pratt for whom it was named. Pratt built a road through Parley’s Canyon the Golden Pass Toll Road in 1849-1850, By the 1860’s traffic through the area was quite extensive. Consequently, William H. Kimball, eldest son of Heber C. Kimball, counsellor and confidant of Brigham Young, built the Hotel and Stage Stop in 1862. He also constructed a bridge across Kimball Creek a few hundred yards west of the station. In 1865 Kimball was given a permit to collect a toll of 25¢ on all freighters, but this was revoked about nine months later.

The hotel was famous for its dinners of trout, wild duck, sage hen, beef, or mutton prepared by Mrs. Melissa Coray Kimball. When she moved into Salt Lake City a second wife, Martha Vance, took her place. Guests of note included Horace Greeley, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.

Kimball finally received patent to the land in 1873. From him and his family the property passed to Brigham Sellers in 1902. Sellers sold it to Milton O. Bitner in 1908. The Bitner family have used it in their livestock operations since that time. Much of the integrity of this historic district remains. Plans for its restoration and development are being made.

The Kimball Hotel, Stage Stop and Barns set next to Kimball Creek in beautiful Parley’s Park, The two-story hotel was built of red and buff sandstone in a modified T form. It served primarily as a hotel, Mr. Kimball had bedroom facilities on the main floor, on the second floor, and probably in the attic as well. The main dining room on the east side, downstairs, boasted a bar to “slack the thirst of tired travelers, “apparently a profitable side benefit to the station. In addition, the store was operated in the east room entered only from the outside. It also housed a post office for a time.

The main structure remains in good condition, modifications have been made on the interior, enlarging the back room into a kitchen, making a living room out of two bedrooms downstairs, and enlarging the bedrooms on the second floor. Fortunately the doors and windows, except for glass panes that have been replaced, are original. The lock on the front door is reported to have cost $11.20 originally. The total price for the station has been given as about $10,000 when it was built. Apparently culinary water was supplied from a well located at the southwest corner of the hotel.

Across the road to the north sets one of two remaining log barns. The basic frame of logs rising to the first story are original. The roof is new and has been modified from a gabled to a gambrel or “Barn” roof. A second log barn, also built in the early 1860’s, sets to the northwest. It has a gabled roof of more recent vintage, resting on the still-standing log frame.

Corrals have been built around these structures for use by the Bitner Land and Livestock Company. However, in general, the flavor of the old Station in this beautiful setting remains.