Park City Museum's Wobblie Graffiti is on Shaky Ground

Jan 4, 2017

Park City Museum Director Sandra Morrison received a call just before 8 a.m.  on Dec. 20 to inform her the museum’s housing for the water heater on the second floor had cracked. The water flowed freely onto the main floor, pooling in the basement where the historic jail is located. The cell where the Wobblies, the Industrial Workers of the World, were housed after being arrested.

“That was the big union that was active around the turn of the last century," Morrison said. "They came to Park City in 1916 and obviously got arrested and put graffiti on our wall in the jail and I’m pretty sure it’s the only piece of Wobblie's graffiti left in the U.S. and possibly in the world. And some of the plaster got waterlogged near that and so we’re working with the Historic Restoration Masons.”

One famous Wobblie in Park City was Joe Hill.

“He worked in Park City’s mines for a short time but actually arrested in Salt Lake and executed by a firing squad," Morrison said. "He got convicted of a murder that pretty much every historian agrees he did not commit.”

Morrison said the drying out will take a few more weeks but the museum remains open which she says is due to the quick response and actions of the fire department that prevented further damage.