Did you know that it was considered bad luck for a woman to work underground in the mines?
This is Hope Woodside with your weekly Park City History Bit. It wasn’t until 1974 that the first woman worked in a Park City mine, and the one who led the way was Shelley Christiansen, hired to operate a hoist 1,500 feet below the surface. As a divorced mother of two young boys, she needed a better paying job than being a nurse’s aide at a rest home in Heber. Shelley came from a mining family – her grandfather, father and brother all worked underground, so following the family business was a logical solution to her. A year later, the mines hired two more women, Rita Smith and Doris LaFay. Unfortunately, their careers in mining were short-lived – as well as those of their 350 male coworkers – when they were all laid off in 1978. This Park City History Bit is brought to you by the Park City Museum, where you can explore Park City history every day on Main Street, and sponsored by Julie Hopkins of Keller Williams Real Estate.