1. Why does the student go to see the professor?
A. To find out why the mining industry in the western United States declined in the 1800s
B. To find out how to improve the first draft of a paper she is writing
C. To ask the professor to recommend sources of information for a research paper
D. To get advice about a possible topic for a research paper
2. What aspect of the history of Park City, Utah, interests the student?
A. The reasons Park City went through periods of economic hardship and success
B. The reasons Park City became a destination popular among skiers
C. How Park City became the main source of silver in the United States
D. Why Park City recovered from a national recession more quickly than other towns did
3. What does the professor say were two important factors in the decline in silver mining in Park City, Utah?
Click on 2 answers.
A. The increasing cost of extracting silver
B. A decline in the price being paid for silver
C. The higher wages being paid to miners in other places
D. A national downturn in economic activity
4. Why does the professor mention the town of Bodie, California?
A. To emphasize the economic problems in the mining industry during the early 1900s
B. To illustrate the wide appeal of skiing in the United States in the early 1900s
C. To give an example of a former mining town that survived without becoming a ski resort
D. To give an example of a town that remained a mining town well into the 1900s
5. What do the student and professor agree that the student should do as part of her research?
Click on 3 answers.
A. Try to find firsthand accounts of life in mining towns
B. Investigate in detail the events in a few specific towns
C. Consider the role of flooding in the decline of Bodie, California
D. Determine why most failed mining towns did not recover economically
E. Look at the history of mining towns in the context of the history of the United States as a whole
Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student, and an American History professor.
Karen: Professor Farrington? I have a quick question. Uh- about something you said in class yesterday?
Professor: Sure, Karen.
Karen: You mentioned that um, about how Park City in Utah went from a Boom Town in the 1800s to a Ghost town, and then became prosperous again. I was - Well, that’s an interesting cycle, and well, maybe for my research paper, I…
Professor: Yeah, that might make a good topic! Since similar things happened in other mining towns.
Karen: So, comparing them might be interesting?
Professor: Yup. Absolutely.
Karen: So what triggered the downward turn in Park City?
Professor: Well, in 1870, there were fewer than few hundred people living in the Park City Area. After silver was discovered there, the population grew very quickly! I think it reached about..10,000? By 1900s. But, soon after that, the silver that was close to the surface had all been mined. So they had to dig deeper and deeper. Which reduced the profit margin, not-not just because it’s time consuming, but going deeper led to problems of flooding. It’s time consuming and expensive to pump water out mud. So, that was the big thing! I think. I mean, there are other factors that contributed, too. Like, the recession and a stock market panic in 1907, if you do write about this, you have to get into that.
Karen: Okay! And it was… what, tourism that brought it back up again?
Professor: Basically, yes. The ski industry kind of stopped and started about the same time. In the 1920s. At first it was only a few folks hiking up to the top of the mountain and then skiing down, as the sport became popular, so did the mountains around Park City. By the 1960s, it was a major ski resort, with thousands of skiers.
Karen: And the same with the other abandoned mining towns?
Professor: Well, some. But some became tourist attractions not because of skiing, but because people were interested in their history. Um, one old mining town in the middle of the Californian desert, it’s called Bodie. That’s now State park. It’s popular because the buildings have been preserved as they were in the 1940s.
Karen: Wow. So maybe I could choose a couple of towns that went through that whole cycle and talk about them in some depth, as a way of illustrating the general boom and bust phenomenon? Maybe find some firsthand accounts?
Professor: Well, for this, yes - it’d better to go into some depth about specific towns. Rather than talking about a lot of them in broad terms. And yeah! Definitely, give it a shot! But, you probably won’t be able to find many diaries or personal accounts. Not many people who lived in mining towns could read or write. Oh, and also, remember the impact of National Events.
Karen: Right. The local AND the national. Okay. Thanks!
1. D 2. A 3. AD 4. C 5. ABE