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Orson Pratt Brown's Life and Times

CLICK HERE: Bea Kummer's Efforts on Behalf of Snyder Cemetery

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Berneil "Bea" Carter Kummer
"The Second Silver Queen"

Born : July 9, 1923 at Porterville, Morgan County, Utah

May 30, 1994 was Bea Kummer Day in Park City, Summit County, Utah

Bea was born on July 9, 1923 in Porterville, Morgan County, Utah. Bea came to Park City with her parents Gilbert Justin Carter and Lillian Adderley Carter around 1930 when she was about seven years old. She was one of Park City's most active "natives" and a well remembered local historian.

Bea and her husband, Kenneth William Kummer, are the parents of eleven daughters and one son. She devoted much time to 4-H Clubs, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, leading tours of Park City since 1969 dressed in 1898 style attire, and serving on the board of the Chamber of Commerce as a director. Bea was active in identifying and documenting the history of Park City landmarks, and in the protection and preservations of the Snyder Cemetery. Bea wrote a weekly column in the Park Record titled "Chit Chat which reported on items of history, Park society, and made requests for preservation help.

Bea kept faithful scrapbooks of the happenings in Park City, and her love for the "the Park" prompted her to co-write with Noal C. Newbold, "Silver and Snow: The Story of Park City", published by Parliament Publishers in 1968. Through her diligent research several errors in previously published histories have been authenticated in her book. Bea was a beneficent contributor to the Kamas Utah Stake 1986 publication, "Mountain Memories: A Book of Remembrance 1848-1986".

Bea & Ken Kummer were the owners and operators of the twenty-room Bea's Canyon Lodge located at 167 Daly Avenue. The large sprawling home they purchased in 1956 that had been built around 1923. They remodeled the upstairs into 12 sleeping rooms with two large bathrooms to accommodate the many skiers arriving in Park City and housed and fed many miners. Her search of ownership records indicates that her first home built in 1914 at 721 Woodside Avenue, where she had her first five children, was once owned by Susanna B. Emery, the first famous Silver Queen.

While working with Thelma Davies at the Kimball Junction Cafe, Bea could remove tires from the wheels faster than the new machine that Thelma had purchased. Bea was also a regular winner of the mucking and drilling contest during Park City's Miner's Day celebrations. It is said the men made her quit competeing because she made them look bad.

Bea's Canyon Lodge was like stepping into the early mining days of Park City. Her livingroom held mining artifacts, memorabilia, scrapbooks, and much history. Bea was generous with her findings and stories. I myself was the recipient of many books, histories, and her enthusiam for preserving the past and sharing it with all the new migrants to Park City.

Kenneth worked at the Silver King Mine, the Ontario Mine and the Judge mines for 43 years while Bea worked at the Kimball Junction Cafe for 26 years. Ken died on October 17, 1991 at their home on Daly Avenue. Bea persevered and continued to run the Lodge with the assistance of her children.

In 1994 Mayor Hal Taylor of Park City, Utah, proclaimed May 30th "Bea Kummer Day". The Proclamation honors Bea for her "untiring service to the citizens of her home" through her leadership in local organizations like the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, the Park City  Athenaeum, Girl Scouts, for The Park Record column "Chit Chat", and for her work on the two books named above.

Bea may not have had silver and wealth, but no one had more riches, more friends, or more love for "the Park" than our Second Silver Queen!

Park Record, Front Page on Wednesday May 8, 2002

Park Record Article printed on front page on November 23, 2005:

Berneil "Bea" Kummer sits in front of her Daley Canyon Lodge in 1992.
Photo by Nan Chalat-Noaker/Park Record
Bea in front of her Daly Canyon Lodge, 1992

Berneil "Bea" Carter Kummer

Bea, Park City's "Second Silver Queen," returns:
Town historian, and Renaissance woman,
is back on Daly Avenue

by Anna Bloom

After convalescing in Salt Lake for more than a decade, Park City authority Berneil "Bea" Kummer is back in her lodge on Daly Avenue. Kay Grange, affectionately known as child No. 12, looks after her mother and lives in an upstairs apartment. Kummer raised 11 girls and one boy in her grand old home, called "Bea's Canyon Lodge." Before there was a historical society and museum, it seems, there was Bea. A curious Parkite for 65 years, Kummer pasted Park City treasures, stories and photographs in a personal scrapbook. The hobby became a passion, and Kummer became a living source for local preservation efforts. While the Grange family lives upstairs, Kummer prefers the view from the living room. Grange and her husband, Gordon Grange, have only recently moved-in furniture, but there is no question which direction the decoration of the first-floor front hall is going: the room belongs to Kummer. On the back wall hangs a handmade quilt printed with old images of Kummer in earlier years, when she strolled the streets wearing a turn-of-the century costume and shared the secrets of old miners and pioneers. Beginning in 1969 for Park City's Centennial celebration, she lead historical tours in a broad-brimmed straw hat with feathers, and a long striped dress, which, she now confesses, she sewed herself.

The freshly painted room has one shelf with a few photos and a frame of The Bea Kummer Proclamation, a 1994 announcement made by City Hall designating May 30th "Bea Kummer Day." The document honors Kummer's "untiring service to the citizens of her home" through her leadership in local organizations like the Daughters of The Utah Pioneers, the Park City Athenaeum, Girl Scouts, for The Park Record column "Chit Chat," and for her work on two books on Park City's history "Silver and Snow: The Story of Park City," and "Mountain Memories: A Book of Remembrance 1848-1986."

The feeling between Kummer and Park City is mutual. Ask Kummer what it means to her to be back and she takes a moment to dry her tears to say, "I had been here for so long I missed it very much."

Kummer was born in Porterville, Utah in 1923. Her family moved to Park City when she was seven so that her father could work in the mines. Kummer, by all accounts, was tough. According to legend, men asked her to stop entering the Miners Day Mucking Contest, because she continually out-shoveled her challengers.

"I used to be a daredevil," she confirms. "What ever the boys could do, I could do better and I used to win."

In the late 30s, Kummer married miner Ken Kummer. They lived in a one-bedroom house, with seven of their children, until friends offered the family the miners' lodge on Daly Ave. for $1,500.

The 20-room house was built in 1914 and was once the home of Susanna B. Emery, the famous Silver Queen. Though Kummer family members occupied many of the rooms, miners and others looking for a temporary home, could still find a room to rent.

Kummer kept a scrapbook, and began to fill the pages with old papers she could buy at the low price of three for a nickel. Her keepsakes evolved into "Silver and Snow," the book she wrote with Noal C. Newbold in 1968.

Later Kummer became active in identifying and documenting the history of Park City landmarks, and was instrumental in restoring the Snyderville Cemetery. Her weekly newspaper column, "Chit Chat" reported on history, preservation efforts, and sometimes herkids, she says.

"All my neighbors are gone now," Kummer observes from her window, but she continues to keep in touch with old friends long distance. As she speaks from in her living room chair, a pile of letters sits on the stand beside her.

"There is one from Illinois who always asks me what Park City is like now. I gave her a place when she had no place to go, and she always tells me, 'I'm so thankful for you. You helped me start again,'" she remembered.

She reports the old mining camp is doing well. She says she likes to see her home thrive --so many small towns disappear.

Grange says her mother was able to make the move because of new medicine. Initially, doctors said she didn't have long to live. "Enjoy your mother," Grange remembers the doctor saying in 1994, "she doesn't have much longer to live." But now, it appears, Kummer's fought for a second chance to live.

But Kummer's strength doesn't surprise No. 12. "Mom always told us, 'by god, you better not start a fight, but if you start a fight, you better well finish it,'" she said.

Bea Kummer Day May 30 ProclamationRight Click mouse on image to view enlarged photo

Bea Kummer Miner's Day September 4, 2006
Bea Kummer Miner's Day September 4, 2006



Park Record Article printed on front page on November 23, 2005

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