Park City's mining boom started in the 1860s with the discovery of silver, gold, and lead and the opening of the town’s first silver mine. Mining settlements soon followed as large crowds of prospectors set up camps around the mountain terrain.
Although it wasn’t the first silver find, the Ontario silver mine, established by Herman Buden in 1872, became the first significant producer after George Hearst purchased it through his business partner R.C. Chambers. In 1880 as the boom continued, the First Transcontinental Railroad established a spur line to the Echo station, providing even greater access.
By 1892, the Silver King Mine became one of the most famous silver mines in the world. As an influx of workers filled mining encampments, the town flourished with newfound wealth. But steadily declining silver and metal prices during and following World War I, the Great Depression and World War 2 would end Park City’s mining heyday. By the 1950s, Park City had almost become a ghost town.