Around Town: Shorty’s Stairs

PARK CITY, Utah – If you’ve ever lived on Ontario Avenue or Rossie Hill Drive, then you are probably very well acquainted with Shorty’s Stairs. The 23-steps off of Marsac, just above the top of China Bridge, lead right down to Main Street. They may feel more like 46 steps to low-altitude folk and never seem to get easier no matter how many times a day you climb them (coming from personal experience after living up the hill for over four years and working on Main Street all that time).

George “Shorty” Sorensen in 1934. The Park City Historical Society & Museum, Ella Sorensen Collection.

According to the Park City Museum, Shorty’s Stairs were named after George Elden Sorensen. Shorty moved to Utah in the 1920s and shortly after met his wife Ella Ione Prudence at the Swede’s Hall.

Prudence’s family were some of the first Snyderville settlers, and she was a third-generation Parkite.

Ella and Shorty were very involved in the community, including building the Park City Senior Center in the 60s, where Shorty was the bus driver and Ella the cook. The couple never had kids and lived in the same home for 58 years.

Shorty walked the stairs from Ontario to Main Street every day. One year before his passing at 91, the town dedicated the stairs in his honor.

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