Crescent Mining Company (1882-1900)

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This page was last updated on June 24, 2015.

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(Based in part on research done by George Pitchard.)


(First published on the blog on May 2, 2011)

The Crescent Mining Company's tramway in Park City, Utah, was the home of the first Shay locomotive in the Mountain West, beating the second Shay in the West by more than two years.

In September 1882 the Crescent Mining Company was created by the settlement of several lawsuits between the Pinyon, Climax, and Rebellion mining companies on Pinyon Hill in the Park City District. Within six months the mining company advertised for bids for the construction of rail tramway to move ores from the mine down to its mill in Park City.

Work began on the new tramway in July 1884 and was completed in November. At first, the tramway used gravity to move ores from the mine to the concentrator mill in Park City, and horses to pull the empty cars and loads of supplies back to the mine. The tramway's owner, Frank Dyer (later a U. S. Marshall) had contracted with the Crescent Mining Company to construct and operate the line. In April 1885, while the concentrator mill was shutdown for repairs and upgrades, Dyer traveled to New Orleans for the Louisiana Cotton Exhibit, a kind of trade show for all-things mechanical. Lima Locomotive Company of Lima, Ohio had an exhibit at the show that included a Shay-patent locomotive. A Shay locomotive was a type of steam locomotive that was operated with gears rather than side rods, and allowed operations over rail lines that were steep, and which used lots of curves, a description that matched the newly completed Crescent Tramway.

(Read about Lima Locomotive Works on Wikipedia)

(Read about Shay Locomotives on Wikipedia)

According to The Park Record of April 4, 1885, after seeing the Shay locomotive at the New Orleans exhibit, Dyer traveled to Lima and selected a locomotive for use on the Crescent Tramway. The new locomotive arrived in Park City on May 25, 1885 and was the first Shay to be used in the Mountain West, or in any of the western states. (The second Shay locomotive in the West, arrived on the Gilpin Tram in Colorado in August 1887.)

The new Shay for the Crescent Tramway carried Lima construction number 130, meaning it was 130th locomotive built by them, and was in fact the 99th Shay locomotive built, following Lima's first Shay, completed in 1880.

The Crescent Mining Shay arrived in May 1885 and was delivered by Ephraim Shay, the locomotive's designer and patent holder. However, Mr. Shay was of the opinion that the mining company's railroad was too steep and the the curves were "too abrupt." Throughout the following four months, Dyer's crews worked to get the Shay to perform its duties, including rebuilding several curves and laying heavier rail, replacing the original 16-pound rail with heavier 30-pound rail. There were several derailments and the engine tipped over at least once. The tramway returned to successful operation the next season, following a winter's long shutdown, and continued for the next five years. In April 1891 the first Shay was joined by a larger Shay Locomotive, giving the line two unique locomotives.

Operations continued until the Crescent mine was closed, and remained closed throughout 1894 and 1895, following the Silver Panic of 1893, with the Shay-powered tramway being shut as well. The mine returned to production on a limited basis in 1896, but the Shays sat idle. Any ore brought down was moved with horses powering the movement. Limited operations continued through 1898, but all during 1899 the mine and tramway were both idle. The Crescent Mining Company went into bankruptcy, and while the mine was sold and reopened, the tramway was torn up during the summer of 1900. The two Shay locomotives were loaded on flat cars and shipped to their new owner, a used equipment dealer in Palestine, Texas.

(Read about the Silver Panic of 1893 on Wikipedia)

The following comes from Utah Ghost Rails:

One of Utah Territory's mining notables, Colonel E.P. Ferry, founded the Crescent Mining Co. in 1882 by consolidating the Pinion Ridge ore claims situated high in Thayne's Canyon above Park City. Ferry contracted with F.H. Dyer to construct a mining system to handle 60 tons of ore daily to the Mackintosh Sampler, a mill built at the north end of town. Dyer conceived the idea of a very narrow-gauged rail line, and after three years of operation would sell it to the mining company.

Begun in 1883, the five miles of 30 inch gauge track were completed the next year and initially used mules to pull the empty ore cars up the steep grades, which in some places were between 10% and 12%. In 1885, the tram road acquired a miniature Shay engine which necessitated the replacement of the original 16 lb. rail with 30 lb. rail in order to support the new engine. Winter snows forced the Shay into the enginehouse for several months, during which horses pulled ore-laden sleds down the grade to the mill. (Utah Ghost Rails, by Stephen L. Carr and Robert W. Edwards, Western Epics, 1989, page 104)

Engineering News of April 26, 1890 wrote the following:

The Crescent mine tramway, in Utah, built in 1884 by Brown & Brooks, engineers, of Salt Lake City, for Mr. Frank H. Dyer, of that city, is 4.793 miles long, with 0.6.mile of sidings. The grades are 222.8 ft., 276.3 ft., 322 ft., 368 ft., 414.5 ft., 400 ft., and 549 ft. per mile. The latter is 1,900 ft. long on a branch. On one of the grades of 460 ft. per mile are four curves of 50 ft. radius; the whole line is very curved. The track consists of 16-lb. rails, spliced with fish plates and two bolts, and laid on wooden ties 30 ins. apart center to center. The engine for this line has cylinders 9 ins. diameter by 8 ins. stroke, and is geared 3 to 1 on 24-in. wheels; its weight in working order is about 15 tons. It will haul 10 to 15 empty 4-wheel mining cars, weighing about 1,300 lbs. each, over the road, which rises about 2,000 ft. in 4-1/2 miles.


September 30, 1882
"Consolidated" which has reference to the several mining companies that have been feuding, which are now merging, as the Crescent Mining Company, which filed its articles of incorporation on 27 Sept. 1882; the president of the new company is Edward P. Ferry, and V.P. is Robert N. Baskin. Among others on the Board is C. H. Withey. (Park Mining Record, September 30, 1882)

April 21, 1883
"Crescent Tramway" "The Crescent advertises for bids for a tramway from the mine to Mackintosh's Sampling Works, near the lower depot. The tramway is to be constructed on the east side of Thayne's Canyon." The company also advertises for hauling ore over the tramway for a period not exceeding three years: "With this tramway in operation there will be no more delays on account of bad roads, as it can be kept open the year round." (Note: ad referred to is not found.) (Park Mining Record, April 21, 1883)

June 2, 1883
"The contract for hauling Crescent ore has been let to Frank Dyer who has for some time been engaged as a contractor hauling ores at Bingham. The terms are $1.25 per ton for sixty tons a day to be hauled from the ore house in Thayne's Canyon to Mackintosh's Sampling Works. The contract to go into effect June 1st. Mr. Dyer furnishes bonds in the sum of $10,000." (Park Mining Record, June 2, 1883)

July 21, 1883
"Mining Notes." "The tramway from the lower tunnel of the Crescent Mine to the ore house in Thayne's Canyon is completed and ore can now be taken direct from the mine and lowered to the ore house without being unloaded from the cars." (Park Mining Record, July 21, 1883)

January 12, 1884
"Crescent Improvements" item lifted from the Salt Lake Tribune; in which E. P. Ferry, president of the company, says that ground is being prepared for the building of a T-rail tramway, some 3 and 1/2 miles long, this coming spring. Horses and gravity are the intended forms of propulsion over the tramway. (Park Mining Record, January 12, 1884)

January 19, 1884
A. M. Grant is noticed as the Chief Engineer at the Ontario mill. (Park Mining Record, January 19, 1884)

April 12, 1884
"Work will be commenced on the proposed Crescent concentrator early next month, but the construction of the tramway will not be commenced until the snow is gone and the frost is well out of the ground." (Park Mining Record, April 12, 1884)

April 15, 1884
The Crescent Mining Company held their usual quarterly directors' meeting yesterday; building of a tram railroad was discussed, etc. (Salt Lake Evening Chronicle, April 15, 1884)

June 21, 1884
"Parties have been at work the greater part of this week surveying a route for the Crescent tramway, and work on the construction of the same will no doubt begin shortly." (Park Mining Record, June 21, 1884)

June 28, 1884
"Mining Notes." "The contract for supplying ties for the new tramway, and for lagging for the Crescent, has been let to H. O. Young. Mr. Young has set quite a force of men at work, and will begin filling the contract immediately." (Park Mining Record, June 28, 1884)

July 26, 1884
"Work on the tramway and the starting of the smelter has given work to a great many men who have been out of employment." "Work was commenced on the Crescent tramway on Wednesday and it will be rapidly pushed along to completion. Mr. F. H. Dyer has taken the contract for the work and has sub-leased part of the work to other parties. The route of the tramway is to be along the hill back of Judge Snyder's house, thence up Nigger Gulch, thence in a westerly direction across the hill to Thayne's Canyon, thence along the side hill to the mouth of the Aetna Tunnel. The route across from the hill back of Snyder's to the smelter has not been fully decided on as yet. On the completion of the tramway the Crescent Company will have a way of getting their ore down from the mines that they can rely upon, and the route that has been chosen is one that is comparatively free from snow in the winter, and the grade is the lowest that could be found after a number of surveys, being about 400 feet to the mile." (Park Mining Record, July 26, 1884)

August 16, 1884
"Work on the tramway is still progressing and by the looks of things it will be completed by the time snow flies. Men and teams were at work this week placing the ties and rails along the grade so that they would be handy for laying." "The Marsac blacksmith and carpenter shops are temporarily turned into car shops. They are busy at present constructing cars for the tramway." "Track laying was begun on the tramway ... to-day." (Park Mining Record, August 16, 1884)

August 23, 1884
"Track is laid on the tramway to within a short distance of the top of the mountain on the northwest side of Nigger Gulch." (Park Mining Record, August 23, 1884)

6 September 1884
"Mining Notes." "Rails have been distributed along the entire length of the Crescent Tramway and it is expected that the track will be laid its entire length by this (Saturday) evening." (Park Mining Record, 6 September 1884)

1 November 1884
"The Crescent made the largest shipment of its history on Thursday last, both teams and tramway being run to their greatest capacity."...meaning that the Crescent Tramway is in operation prior to this date. (Park Mining Record, 1 November 1884)

January 1, 1885
Article on the Crescent mine shows the tramway to have been built to a gauge of 30 inches. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1885)

March 14, 1885
"Preparations are being made to open up the Crescent Tramway, providing the weather holds but good until the 20th of the month. This will give the shovel brigade a chance to coin some wealth." (Park Record, March 14, 1885)

April 4, 1885
A longish item on "Frank H. Dyer, Esq." "While in Lima, Ohio, he selected an engine for the Crescent Tramway which is expected to reach here about the first of next month." "The [Crescent] concentrator for the past two days has been undergoing a few needed repairs, getting ready for operations when the ore comes dawn over the tramway. When that engine gets here it will do some tall 'puffing' to climb some of the grades, but Mr. Dyer says that it is warranted to pull its own weight - eleven tons - up a grade 500 feet to the mile." (Park Record, April 4, 1885)

April 11, 1885
"The Tramway Opened" finally, as snow removal proved more difficult than expected; the track is in excellent condition. (Park Record, April 11, 1885)

April 18, 1885
"The Crescent Company have just completed an excursion car of four seats." "The Crescent concentrator is running night and day, being supplied with ore over the tramway. The road-bed is in a good condition and when the new engine gets here business will be lively over this road through the summer." (Park Record, April 18, 1885)

May 9, 1885
"The new engine for the Crescent tramway ought to be here before long. It was thought it would reach here by the first of the month, but it has not put in its appearance yet." (Park Record, May 9, 1885)

May 23, 1885
"The engine which is to be used on the Crescent tramway is on the road and is expected here to-day or tomorrow. The mule motive power will then be dispensed with ... as the little iron horse climbs the winding trail to the Crescent mines." (Park Record, May 23, 1885)

May 30, 1885
"The new engine for the Crescent Tramway arrived on Monday evening. It was unloaded Tuesday and on Wednesday was put together. Two trial trips were made on Thursday, but were unsuccessful. A new engineer will be here tomorrow evening, as the one who came first to put it in working order, seems to be rather too timid to attempt to go far on a mountain railroad track. He thinks the rails are not heavy enough for an engine." "Mr. Shay, the gentleman who came from Lima, Ohio, to put the Crescent engine in working order, called yesterday. He says he likes the country very well, but cannot say that he is in love with the railroads. It is his opinion that the curves are too abrupt and the rails too light to successfully operate the engine over the line. He will remain only until his successor arrives and will then shake the dust of a mining town off of his feet forever." (Park Record, May 30, 1885)

June 6, 1885
"The engineer, Mr. Burke, who came out on a dispatch to test the Crescent tramway engine, made the first attempt Tuesday afternoon with it and got up as far as the trestlework in Nigger Canyon. As he reached that point and examined the bridge he concluded it was strong enough to hold him up and wanted to cross over, but Mr. F. H. Dyer thought it best not to try it until the bridge had been strengthened and he at once put men to work with that purpose in view. Another trial trip will be made tomorrow and Mr. Burke says he will reach the Crescent mines if the track will hold him. He says the engine was built for this purpose and he knows he can make it do the work." "Mr. Burke, of Lima, Ohio, arrived in the Park on Monday evening. Our high railroads do not affect his nerves in the least as he has been on the D.& R.G. R.R., and knows what it is to run an engine up into the clouds. He says the rails of the Crescent tramway are rather light but is satisfied the engine can be made to do the work over them with perfect safety." (Park Record, June 6, 1885)

June 13, 1885
"The Crescent engine has not yet succeeded in reaching the dump at the Rebellion. It has rounded rocky point and came within about 1,000 feet or more and returned. The engineer, Mr. Burke, is confident of making a success of it, notwithstanding the highness of the rails." Caterpillars, as they were crushed on the tracks, made the tracks very slippery. One wreck of downbound cars being blamed on that cause; cars were equipped with small brooms attached to sweep the rails. (Park Record, June 13, 1885)

June 20, 1885
The Crescent engine presently sitting on a side track opposite the Dexter stables. It appears that the rail is, in fact, too light; "the engine will work if it is turned loose on a heavy track." (Park Record, June 20, 1885)

July 2, 1885
E. P. Ferry, president of the Crescent Mining Company, says that hauling on the tramway will be done by mules once again, the engine having proven too heavy. He says: "There seems to be an impression in town that the company has suffered the loss of buying an engine for which it had no use. The Company had all its hauling done by contract, Mr. F. H. Dyer doing the work. It was his idea that he could save considerable to himself by getting an engine instead of using mules. He ordered a ten-ton engine, and they sent him a seventeen-ton one, so that he has nothing to do but return it. The Company does not figure in the transaction one way or the other." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, July 2, 1885)

August 1, 1885
"There is some talk of the Crescent Company tearing up the rails now being used on their tramway and replacing them with heavier ones. With this improvement the company will be able to run the engine which they bought for the purpose of hauling up the empty cars. The cars are now drawn by mules." (Park Record, August 1, 1885)

August 22, 1885
"A force of men are at work improving the grade of the Crescent tramway between the concentrator and the mine. The curves are being eased and widened, preparatory to laying heavier rails, so that the engine bought for the purpose can be used to haul the cars up to the mine. The first carload of rails for the new track arrived last night." (Park Record, August 22, 1885)

August 29, 1885
"Mr. Frank Dyer is now having the heavy rails distributed along the tramway between the Crescent mine and concentrator and will commence laying them very soon." (Park Record, August 29, 1885)

September 26, 1885
"The engine on the Crescent tramway is now running regularly. The heavy rail was laid over halfway to the mine last week, and the engine was started to take rail up for the remainder of the distance. The new track is now nearly completed to the mine. The engine works like a charm." (Park Record, September 26, 1885)

September 26, 1885
"Tramway Accident." "Yesterday morning the engine on the Crescent tramway was tipped over on the switch, half way between here and the mine, and the cab badly broken. It seems the main line at the switch was obstructed and the engineer endeavored to pass around on the side track, which had never been intended for anything but empty cars. When he had reached the part of the track nearest the edge of the grade, the rails spread out and the soft ground gave way, causing the engine to fall over on its side. If the ground had been hard and rocky where the accident occurred, the result would have been much more disastrous, for the engine would surely have rolled down the mountainside. It will probably be Monday [28th] before the engine is got back on the track again, but as there is nothing injured except the cab, there will be no other delay." (Park Record, September 26, 1885)

October 3, 1885
Tramway engine to be repaired and back in service on Monday (5th). "Mr. Burke, the engineer who had charge of the tramway engine when the accident occurred last week, requests us to state that he was in no way to blame. He was ordered onto the side-track, or he should not have gone." (Park Record, October 3, 1885)

October 10, 1885
L. H. Withey and others are here from Grand Rapids, Mich., on account of the Crescent annual meeting, at Salt Lake City next Wednesday. (Park Record, October 10, 1885)

October 15, 1885
Annual report of the Crescent Mining Company, for the year ended 30 September 1885; receipts totaled $232,210.95, of which $199,413.15 is from 'Ore Sold.' Disbursements totaled $93,740.24, of which the amount of $9,360.37 is described as "Balance Construction Tramway." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, October 15, 1885)

October 17, 1885
E. P. Ferry desiring to retire as president of the Crescent Mining Company, he is replaced by L. H. Withey. No dividend declared, and no comment on the tramway. (Park Record, October 17, 1885)

October 31, 1885
"The heavy rails on the Crescent tramway have been laid within about a mile of the mine." (Park Record, October 31, 1885)

January 1, 1886
Notes from a lengthy article about the Crescent property, which of course includes the tramway. The tramway was originally laid with 16-pound iron rail, which proved to be too light for the Shay, so the track was taken up and relaid with second-hand 30-pound rail from the Utah & Northern. This then made of it "...a first-class 30 inch gauge road,..." The engine for the line is also a novelty, being No. 130, and built under E. Shay's patent by the Lima Machine Works. The engine weighs 20 tons in working order, is 27 feet long and will pass a curve of 50 feet radius. It will take 15 cars of 1,300 pounds each up the maximum grade of 460 feet per mile, at a speed of 6 or 7 miles per hour. The engine operates at a boiler pressure of 140 pounds, and has two 8" by 8" cylinders. The little Shay is capable of running through one foot of snow without a plow. On the tramway line itself, the maximum grade of 460 feet per mile runs for one-full mile; the average grade is 400 feet per mile for the entire five miles of the line. Outside of town, no grade on the line-is less than 240 feet per mile! (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1886)

January 2, 1886
In discussing the Crescent, paper says "The engine has been laid up for the winter and ore will be sent down by sleigh until the snow again leaves the track open." (Park Record, January 2, 1886)

April 17, 1886
"Marshal Frank H. Dyer" returned from Washington on Thursday, and news of his appointment [as a U. S. Marshal] reached Park City on Monday, while Dyer was in Chicago. Most of the article is an interview, in which Dyer says that he is a native of Mississippi, and came to Utah from there about ten years ago; located at Bingham for a year, and then vent to Cottonwood for about four years, and will have been in Park City three years in June. When asked if he "... will still have same interests at stake in Park City, ..." he answered "Certainly. I have several thousand dollars sunk in that tramway. My contract for hauling the Crescent ores will not expire for two and a half years yet. This and my other business interests will be managed by my brother, A. G. Dyer." (Park Record, April 17, 1886)

May 1, 1886
"The Crescent tramway will be opened for the transit of ores Sunday night, all the snow having been cleared off and repairs made to the track." Chester H. Withey, secretary of the Crescent company, received a telegram on Monday notifying him that his father, Judge S. L. Withey, had died at San Jose, California. Chester has gone to San Jose and will take his father home to Grand Rapids, Mich., for burial. Chester's return to Park City is noted in the paper of 15 May 1886. (Park Record, May 1, 1886)

May 29, 1886
"The Crescent tramway engine has been laid off this week for repairs, New cylinders have been put in, and the locomotive will be ready for active work tomorrow." (Park Record, May 29, 1886)

June 12, 1886
"U. S. Marshal F. H. Dyer arrived from Washington, D. C., Monday evening with his commission. He will go to Salt Lake tomorrow to assume the duties of his office." (Park Record, June 12, 1886)

July 16, 1886
"Among the Pines" "Marshal Dyer's Tramway" and so forth; extracts from a letter: "Parley's Park, July 15, 1886." "Few trips can be more pleasant than that from Park City over the hills to Cottonwood at this season of the year. There are several roads and footpaths, but the most novel route by far is that which runs past the Crescent, provided you can wheedle Frank Dyer's brother into allowing you to ride on the tramway operated by the Marshal. Mr. Dyer has a good thing on his Crescent ore hauling contract, it is said, but after taking the beautiful ride over the tramway, we think he could make it much better by booming his line "into the clouds" a la the Little Giant people, and charging a certain rate per head to passengers for the ride. It is a little Marshall Pass, all in itself. The sensation of creeping up the hillside behind the Maud Withey, taking a lunch in the clouds at the mine with the hospitable Cooke (the clerk, not the cuisine man), finishing your trip to Cottonwood in a buggy or on horseback and returning to be whirled down the five miles of track in an empty car minus every means of motive power except the impetuous slant of the rails - is something every toiler ought to try. No one would begrudge a dollar for the trip up and down the tramway, and a dollar thus spent would be advantageously invested." (Item continues...) (Salt Lake Daily Herald, July 16, 1886)

October 16, 1886
"Mining Matters." The annual meeting of the Crescent company was held at Salt Lake City on Wednesday the 13th; President Withey made report for the year ending October 1, 1886 -- total receipts were $222,813.55; among the disbursements: Transportation, sampling, etc. $16,263.23 Purchase of right-of-way for tramway, and other improvements $25,836.00 (no other mention of the tramway). (Park Record, October 16, 1886)

November 6, 1886
Chester Henry Withey married Mary Elizabeth Kelso on Wednesday evening this week, by Rev. Father Galligan, at the Park City residence of Dr. C. Mantor. (Park Record, November 6, 1886)

April 23, 1887
"The Crescent tramway is being cleared, cars repaired and other preparations [made] to resume ore hauling within a short time." (Park Record, April 23, 1887)

April 30, 1887
"The Crescent Tramway engine is having a new coat of paint and some repairs made to it." (Park Record, April 30, 1887)

May 7, 1887
"The Crescent Tramway engine and cars have been thoroughly repaired and artistically repainted." (Park Record, May 7, 1887)

May 28, 1887
"Two cars loaded with engines and boilers for the Crescent mine arrived yesterday on Utah & Northern cars, wide gauge. It was the first load they have hauled." "Four car loads of hoisting machinery arrived this week for the Crescent and were taken up to the mine over the tramway." (Park Record, May 28, 1887)

June 18, 1887
"The Crescent Tramway is taxed to it's fullest capacity to bring down 150 tons of ore a day to the concentrator." (Park Record, June 18, 1887)

October 22, 1887
"A new engine house is being built over the Crescent Tramway." C. H. Withey is fire chief in Park City. (Park Record, October 22, 1887)

November 5, 1887
"F. H. Dyer has sold the Crescent tramway and its equipment to the company. This, it is understood, is in accordance with the original contract, just expired, and the purchase price is sub rosa." (Park Record, November 5, 1887)

December 3, 1887
"The Crescent tramway has been closed down for the winter." (Park Record, December 3, 1887)

December 31, 1887
In discussing "The Crescent's Exhibit" during 1887, it is noted that "Much of this year's revenue has been used to pay for the machinery and purchase the tramway from F. H. Dyer, according to contract." (Park Record, December 31, 1887)

August 11, 1888
"On Wednesday as the Crescent tramway engine, with a train of empty cars, was making the trip up to the mine, the shaft broke, through crystallization. Fortunately no great damage was done, but the broken piece had to be sent back to Ohio for repairs, and as a consequence traffic over the tramway was abandoned." (Park Record, August 11, 1888)

August 18, 1888
"The Crescent tramway's crank shaft has arrived and probably the train will be started up this afternoon and ore shipments resumed." (Park Record, August 18, 1888)

October 13, 1888
"Crescent Meeting" which was held at the office of Judge Sprague in Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning, 10 October. Of the total of 600,000 shares, 488,717 were represented. In the report of Pres. L. H. Withey (for year ended 1 October 1888), he said: "Since the last report, the directors purchased the interest of the contractor in the narrow gauge railroad between Park City and the mine, and have operated it during the past season successfully." (Park Record, October 13, 1888

December 15, 1888
"Ore hauling over the Crescent tramway ceased yesterday for the season on account of the bad weather. The tramway has done good work this-season. The concentrator will run till about the end of the year." (Park Record, December 15, 1888)

April 6, 1889
"The Crescent tramway engine and cars are being repaired preparatory to use the coming season." (Park Record, April 6, 1889)

April 20, 1889
"A trial trip over the Crescent tramway was made today and on Monday ore hauling will be commenced. The concentrator is doing good work." (Park Record, April 20, 1889)

May 18, 1889
"A terrific collision occurred on the Crescent tramway Wednesday morning, shortly after 9 o'clock. When the engine was taking coal the head ore train bunted into it and sent 'Maud Withey' flying down the track, through the scale house and into a train of empties. Engineer Bell and his fireman barely had time to jump, but Mr. Sanders, who had charge of the ore train, bravely stuck to his car. The damage done was considerable and delayed ore transportation until yesterday morning. The wet and slippery condition of the rails was the fault, and the brakes of course failed to prevent the ore train from sliding. Fortunately none of the tramway employees were hurt." (Park Record, May 18, 1889)

September 14, 1889
"The crank shaft of the Crescent engine is broken and ore hauling will be prevented until the coming week." (Park Record, September 14, 1889)

January 3, 1890
"The Crescent tramway closed down on the 30th, after the longest and most successful run it has ever enjoyed. The engine has been housed and everything made snug for the winter." (Park Record, January 3, 1890)

March 29, 1890
"The Crescent tramway engine is being overhauled and repaired preparatory to opening the tramway for ore hauling this season." (Park Record, March 29, 1890)

April 5, 1890
"The Crescent company has sent a lot of tramway trucks to Salt Lake to be re-cast at the Eagle foundry." (Park Record, April 5, 1890)

May 10, 1890
"The Crescent tramway is now open for traffic and the coming week ore hauling will be commenced,..." (Park Record, May 10, 1890)

August 2, 1890
L. H. Withey is the president of Crescent Mining Co. (Park Record, August 2, 1890)

September 27, 1890
James McGregor, a director of the Crescent Mining Company, has become secretary pro tem, account C. H. Withey having resigned. "The Crescent tramway was closed down this week while necessary repairs are being made to the engine by J. D. and D. A. Camomile of the Eagle Foundry, Salt Lake. An extra engine would not be amiss, for then ore hauling could be kept up while the good weather lasted." (Park Record, September 27, 1890)

October 18, 1890
The annual meeting of the Crescent Mining Company was held on Wednesday the 15th at Salt Lake; James McGregor, who has been superintendent of the company for the past year, is now elected also to the Executive Committee. (Park Record, October 18, 1890)

December 13, 1890
"The Crescent tramway is still running in full blast and ore is coming down in large quantities. This season has proven the longest and most profitable run the tramway has ever made." (Park Record, December 13, 1890)

December 20, 1890
"The tramway engine came near making a wreck of a ranchman's wagon Wednesday last - so close, in fact, that the hind wheels of the vehicle were touched. The man was driving down Park Avenue and the engine was behind Mr. Harwood's residence. The bell was rung as usual, but the teamster paid no attention to it, and attempted to get across; the engineer was on the wrong side to see the wagon and the fireman was busy putting in a fire, hence the close call. It is safe to say the ranchman will not try the feat again soon, judging from the manner in which his eyes bulged out at the critical moment." (Park Record, Park City, December 20, 1890)

December 27, 1890
In speaking of the Crescent, past, present and future, an item says that "In the spring a much heavier Shea engine will be put on the tramway, besides other improvements, all looking to a greatly increased output." (Park Record, December 27, 1890)

January 24, 1891
"Among the Ledges." "The Crescent Tramway in Operation,..." "It is quite an innovation on past customs and makes an epoch in the history of the Crescent mine to see the tramway in operation during the latter part of January. Wednesday last 'Maud Withey, No. 130' was brought from her quarters, where she had been stored supposedly until next summer's sun had melted the accumulated snows, and after a careful grooming was fired up and made a trip to the mine, bringing down ore. Engineer Gleason, from the mine, handled the throttle and Ed Pegan was at his old post in front of the firebox. To date regular trips have been made and will continue to be made until deep snows interfere. Very little shoveling was necessary to open the road ... as there is not snow enough for heavy sleighing the tramway had to be opened." (Park Record, January 24, 1891)

January 27, 1891
"Park City Pickings" by C. A. S.; "The Crescent tramway was put in operation again this week. The engine was put away for the winter some time ago, but the continued pleasant weather left little snow on the track and it was taken out." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, January 27, 1891)

January 31, 1891
"The Crescent tramway is still running..." (Park Record, January 31, 1891)

March 22, 1891
An item which notices that James McGregor is the managing director of the Crescent Mining Company. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, March 22, 1891)

April 4, 1891
"The Crescent company is expecting its new Shea engine to arrive about the 15th of this month. The work of shoveling out the tramway will commence as soon as the weather settles beyond cavil. There is considerable snow in places on the road, and it will take same time to clear it. The road-bed and track were in excellent condition last fall and no apprehension is entertained as to the successful use of the new and heavier machine." (Park Record, April 4, 1891)

April 18, 1891
"The Crescent company has a force of mechanics at work constructing new tramway cars. They are being constructed on the same general plan of the new ones in use last summer with one or two slight alterations. It is expected that a sufficient number of new cars will be ready for use by the time the road is open to start ore hauling in first-class shape. Times will be lively on the tramway this summer." (Park Record, April 18, 1891)

April 25, 1891
"Camp Crosscuts." "The Crescent's new Shea engine arrived Sunday evening and on Monday was moved off the cars and placed on the tramway track. Foreman Larsen made a good job of the transfer and got the machine over without a mishap. It is a fine engine, has three cylinders and weighs twenty tons when cooled and watered and ready for action. It is calculated that it will haul twenty-one cars up to the mine with ease, and twenty-five with a little crowding. W. A. Langford will handle the throttle." "A force of forty-one men are engaged in shoveling out the tramway. Work is being prosecuted from both ends and all possible dispatch will be used in getting the road in shape. The old engine has been repaired and will be used until the road gets in good working order, when the new one will be placed on the run." (Park Record, April 25, 1891)

April 26, 1891
"Utah's Great Camp," by C. A. S.; "The Crescent tramway is being relieved of its snow by a force of thirty men, preparatory to active operations. The new engine has arrived and is a beauty. It is being put in condition for running." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, April 26, 1891)

May 2, 1891
"New switches have been laid in the Crescent yards and over at the mill, the tramway has been cleared of snow and the old engine is being repaired for use until the roadbed is in first-class shape, when the new one will be placed on the run. It is expected that operations will be commenced about the 5th of May." (Park Record, May 2, 1891)

May 9, 1891
"The Crescent company received a large consignment of wheels this week to be used under its tram-cars. The wheels are of a different pattern to those in use heretofore, being two inches larger and have openings in the body instead of being solid. The Crescent is making extensive preparations to increase its output and will undoubtedly make a fine shaving by the close of the season." "The Crescent tramway began hauling ore on the 5th,..." (Park Record, May 9, 1891)

May 16, 1891
"Monday last Engineer Langford tried the new tramway engine, after devoting a few hours to getting her in shape. The machine works like a charm and climbs the hill without an effort, barring the fact that on one or two of the shortest curves she binds a little on her trucks. That feature can be easily remedied and was one of the defects of the old engine. A few hours' careful labor will place the new engine in first-class shape and capable of doing all that is expected of it." "The Crescent company has adopted some new rules in reference to the tramway which it will be well for the public to examine before attempting to ride up the hill. No one will be carried without a written order from the secretary and the company warns all that it will not be responsible for any damage that may be done to life or property, as the tramway is not a common carrier. These rules will be strictly enforced during the season, and parties desiring to make a trip-to the mine should first go to headquarters." (Park Record, Park City, May 16, 1891)

May 17, 1891
"The Week at Park City." "The Crescent." "The Crescent Company are repairing and strengthening their trestle and bridge and when completed the new engine will commence making regular trips. At present the 'Maud Withey' is doing the work and considerable ore is being brought down daily to the concentrator." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 17, 1891)

June 6, 1891
"The work of lengthening the big curve on the Crescent tramway at the first trestle is rapidly approaching completion. The work being performed lengthens the road several hundred feet and somewhat lessens the grade to the white walls curve. It includes one large cut and two extensive fills and will enable the new engine to make the turn without trouble. As soon as this change in the road is completed the new machine will be placed on the run." (Park Record, June 6, 1891)

June 12, 1891
A long letter, from Park City and dated 10th, about the Crescent property, and a ride over the Crescent tramway - "The thirty-inch track is laid with thirty-pound steel rails,..." the train being hauled " a Shea locomotive, which is arranged with two cylinders on one side,..." "A new Shea locomotive, double the capacity of the old,..., will be at work soon." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 12, 1891)

July 11, 1891
"Prospector,' the Crescent's new large engine, was placed on the road Monday last, though up to date regular trips have not been made, awing to several changes in the roadbed. It was found necessary to alter one or two curves so that the machine could get around them with greater ease. She can go to the mine now but the changes are being made to facilitate matters and give the machine a better opportunity. It is calculated that the new engine will be able to handle twelve loads or twenty-five empties and will prove of great service in getting supplies to the mine this fall, when the up trains will be heavily ladened." (Park Record, July 11, 1891)

October 15, 1891
Annual meeting of the Crescent Mining Company yesterday; Lewis H. Withey is president of the company; gives details of income and expense, some of which is:

To Tramway operating, near cars, supplies & repairs, ...$16,483.67

To New Locomotive, and freight on same, ...$4,574.48

To Repairs on old Locomotive, ...$151.33

Statement of Assets, October 1, 1891: Tramway and Equipment, ...$49,704.41 (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 15, 1891)

November 14, 1891
"The Crescent tramway was closed down permanently yesterday. The engine is housed, cars put away and everything made snug for the winter." "There are several new features about the Crescent this week. A shed has been built over the old engine to protect it from the storms of winter. The tramway has been closed down until spring notwithstanding the assertion made that it was the company's intention to run all winter." (Park Record, November 14, 1891)

January 1, 1892
Crescent Tramway is laid with 30-pound rail to a gauge of 30 inches. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1892)

May 21, 1892
"Snow shoveling on the Crescent tramway is nearly completed, the shovelers now being in sight of the mine. Much more snow was encountered than anticipated, there being same drifts twenty feet in depth. The work of repairing and placing the track in thorough condition will commence as soon as possible and trains will begin running as soon as the road is pronounced safe." (Park Record, May 21, 1892)

May 28, 1892
"Active preparations are going forward and the Crescent tramway will soon be hauling ore. The cars and the engine have been overhauled and the track is being ballasted as rapidly as men can do the work. The season with the Crescent will be rather short but it will be a lively one." (Park Record, May 28, 1892)

June 4, 1892
"The Crescent tramway commenced operations Monday last and ore is now coming down ... " (Park Record, June 4, 1892)

June 11, 1892
"The crankshaft which operates the rear trucks on the Crescent tramway engine broke yesterday and the road will be closed down for three days, as it will require that length of time to repair the damages." (Park Record, June 11, 1892)

June 18, 1892
"Fourth of July Notes." "The Crescent tramway will be for the use of visitors to the town on that day, and not for people who have been over it many times and know all about it." (Park Record, June 18, 1892)

July 9, 1892
"Saturday afternoon the crank shaft on the tramway engine was broken. It was sent down to the Eagle Foundry on the 4 o'clock Utah Central train and Mr. Withey, superintendent of the works, put a force of men to work at once. The result was the new shaft was sent back the next morning, was placed in position and the engine was ready for active service on the Fourth. The Eagle Foundry placed a feather in its cap by its remarkable promptness in furnishing the new shaft." (Park Record, July 9, 1892)

July 16, 1892
"Considerable trouble has recently been experienced with the crankshaft of the new tramway engine, and it has been shopped for a thorough examination as to the cause of the trouble and for repairs. The old machine, which was placed in perfect order this spring, is now being used, and the management realizes what it means to have an extra machine. In the hands of its present crew the old engine is doing splendid work." (Park Record, July 16, 1892)

August 13, 1892
"The Crescent company is building an enginehouse a short distance above the site of the old one, which has been torn down. The new building will be capable of holding both machines and one will be kept therein all the time and both during the winter months."

September 17, 1892
The Crescent tramway shut down on Thursday. "The tramway has been shut down the last trip Thursday likely being the last until spring. The Crescent company does not want to sell silver at the present low price, and will pile it up, pending a rise in the price." (Park Record, September 17, 1892)

April 15, 1893
"The Crescent Tramway is being cleared...", which work began on Wednesday. "The engine will be overhauled by James Langford in a few days and placed in readiness for steady business." (Park Record, April 15, 1893)

April 29, 1893
"The Crescent has all its cars on the side tracks near the blacksmith shop and they are being thoroughly overhauled and placed in readiness for active service. The smaller engine will be taken from winter quarters Monday next and placed in thorough working order for the summer's campaign." (Park Record, April 29, 1893)

May 6, 1893
"The Crescent tramway engine was taken from its winter quarters Thursday and is now being thoroughly overhauled. The old scales have been taken out and will be thoroughly cleaned and repaired and a new floor placed. The tramway has been cleared of snow to the mine, but the weather has been so beastly and so much new snow has fallen that more shoveling will have to be done,..." (Park Record, May 6, 1893)

May 20, 1893
The Crescent tramway began bringing down ore on Monday, four down trips per day being made. "The smaller engine is being used..." (Park Record, May 20, 1893)

May 21, 1893
"The Crescent Tramway Reopened" "The Crescent tramway was reopened for the season Monday last and now regular trains are running. The old engine, 'Maud Withey', is being used until the track is in condition to stand the heavier engine, 'The Prospector'. Mr. James McGregor, the manager of the Crescent Company, was in the Park during the early part of the week, attending to the opening of the season's work." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 21, 1893)

June 30, 1893
The Crescent shut down yesterday, mine, tramway and mill altogether. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 30, 1893)

July 1, 1893
Crescent and most other mines are not operating, owing to the crashing silver prices. (Park Record, July 1, 1893)

October 28, 1893
The Crescent is shut down; no supplies are to be taken up to the mine this year, so the tramway will remain shut down at least until the spring of 1894. (Park Record, October 28, 1893)

December 9, 1893
Earlier reports in error, the Crescent will resume some work, and open the tramway. Shoveling completed Wednesday, but ice has now to be removed from the track in places. (Park Record, December 9, 1893)

December 16, 1893
"The Crescent, after a hard struggle, succeeded in opening the tramway through to the mine and commenced hauling coal. Trouble was encountered every morning,..., only about 60 tons of coal ... were gotten up." Storm again Wednesday, which blocked the tramway, and Thursday the attempt to re-open was abandoned. "The new tramway engine broke an axle Monday morning and added greatly to the difficulty encountered in opening the road. The break showed one of the worst flaws imaginable in a piece of machinery supposed to be strong and solid, and the wonder is how the engine ever ran so long as it did without the break occurring. The company will have a new shaft turned in Salt Lake. The engine was repaired with a pair of wheels taken from the old engine, and though so low that the gearing had to be left disconnected on the wheels put in, the engine is serviceable and can be used until the broken shaft is repaired." (Park Record, December 16, 1893)

January 1, 1894
Crescent tramway was operated for about one month in the summer of 1893. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1894)

February 8, 1894
James McGregor (receiver and general manager of Utah Central) is also superintendent of the Crescent Mining Co. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 8, 1894)

September 29, 1894
Report on the Crescent, and why it has done nothing whatever in 1894 -- silver is too cheap at present, and the property will remain shut down until the price rises. (Park Record, September 29, 1894)

January 1, 1895
Park City mines -- the Crescent -- has not resumed work since it gave up in mid-1893. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1895)

September 30, 1895
"It looks like old times to see the ore trains coming down the Crescent tramway and to hear the whistle of the mill. About 80 tons per day are being handled and shipped to Salt Lake over the Utah Central." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 30, 1895)

January 1, 1896
In Park City, the Crescent is still shut down, but the tramway is still in existence. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1896)

June 13, 1896
"The Crescent tramway is again opened and ore is being brought down, but not for the company. The rock now in transit belongs to Owen Greenan..." "The cars, are taken up by horsepower as the engine could not be used without expensive repairs being made on the track." (Park Record, June 13, 1896)

November 14, 1896
"A force of men are now at work shoveling out the Crescent tramway, and if it can be opened some 150 tons of ore belonging to the company and to M. L. Houston will be brought dawn and shipped." Mine and tramway otherwise idle. (Park Record, November 14, 1896)

November 28, 1896
Efforts to open the Crescent tramway have been abandoned. (Park Record, November 28, 1896)

August 21, 1897
Persons leasing parts of the Crescent are shipping ore; "Two trains are now running between the mine and the Crescent concentrator over the tramway and about 35 tons of ore a day are being hauled." (Park Record, August 21, 1897)

September 4, 1897
"The Crescent Sold." to the Wasatch Mining Company, for $75,000.00; Crescent has not been worked this year except for parts leased. (Park Record, September 4, 1897)

April 30, 1898
"The repairing and building of cars for the Crescent tramway goes steadily and merrily on. By the time the road is clear of snow everything will be in readiness to commence hauling down the winter's accumulation of leaser's ore." (Park Record, April 30, 1898)

May 14, 1898
"Camp Crosscuts." "It is expected to begin repairing the roadbed of the Crescent tramway some time next week, unless storms intervene to prevent. How long his work will take Mr. Loofborrow says it is impossible to tell before an examination is made, but it is thought it will take quite a while, as many many of the ties are very old and will require replacing before trains can be run with safety." (Park Record, May 14, 1898)

May 16, 1898
Item from the Park Record: "It is expected to begin repairing the roadbed of the Crescent tramway some time next week, unless storms intervene to prevent. How long this work will take, ..., it is thought it will take quite a while, as many of the ties are very old and will require replacing before trains can be run with safety." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 16, 1898)

June 18, 1898
"Camp Crosscuts." "Ore hauling from the Crescent over the tramway was temporarily discontinued Saturday last, pending the sampling and marketing of the ore brought down to that time." (Park Record, June 18, 1898)

June 21, 1898
The Crescent tramway blacksmith shop burned in the great fire, as also the Crescent mill. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 21, 1898)

September 24, 1898
The Crescent tramway is operating, from the mine to the U. P. depot, piling up ore to be shipped. (Park Record, September 24, 1898)

September 26, 1898
Ore is coming down from the Crescent over the tramway. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 26, 1898)

October 8, 1898
"Camp Crosscuts." "There is now between 2500 and 3000 tons of Crescent ore on the platform at the U. P. depot and trains are still running steadily over the tramway to the mine." etcetera of no value. (Park Record, October 8, 1898)

October 10, 1898
There is now 2500 to 3000 tons of Crescent ore piled up at the U.P. depot, "...and trains are still running steadily over the tramway to the mine." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, October 10, 1898)

October 15, 1898
"Mining Notes" "James Farrell finished hauling ore over the Crescent tramway Monday and on Thursday the road was closed for the winter. Mr. Farrell says before the road can be used again it will need new ties clear through." (Park Record, October 15, 1898)

January 1, 1899
Review of 1898: Park City mines - the Crescent: "One year ago we told of the foreclosure and sale of this old property, and its being bid in by the Wasatch company." Since then, has been leased to a number of different operators. "The property is comparatively idle, it being worked to so small an extent under the new management." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1899)

March 31, 1900
The Crescent property still exists, and so also, apparently, the tramway, but not operated for some time. Attempts to start up mining again may be made soon. (Park Record, March 31, 1900)

May 19, 1900
"Camp Crosscuts" "The two tram engines of the Crescent company were on Thursday loaded on Union Pacific cars by T. M. Stringer and started on their journey to Palestine, Texas, where they are to be used in the lumber camps of that district." "J. G. Bywater and Bart Smoot were in the Park Thursday on business connected with the shipping of the Crescent engines." (Note that Thursday was May 17, 1900.) (Park Record, May 19, 1900)

May 26, 1900
"Camp Crosscuts" "Men are engaged in taking up the rails of the old Crescent tramway. James Farrell has the contract for the work." (Park Record, May 26, 1900)

July 7, 1900
"Workmen have completed the work of taking up the rails on the old Crescent tram,..." (Park Record, July 7, 1900)

July 9, 1900
"Crescent to Resume" "Mr. McGregor has so Decided - A Tunnel to be Run" from Nigger Hollow into the old Crescent workings, which need draining. No railroad in the plans. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 9, 1900)

October 30, 1905
Silver King Consolidated in Woodside Gulch was moving its winter supplies from Park City into their mines. One was by way of the Silver King Coalition's tunnels, and the other was by way of the old Crescent tram, which although was winding and crooked, was an easy grade for the wagons and teams. (Salt Lake Mining Review, October 30, 1905)


Google Map of the Crescent Tramway, traced from 1903 USGS Park City Special map.

1901 USGS Park City Special Map -- Link to the University of Texas at Austin map collection.


Crescent Mining Locomotives