Gunsmiths Set Sights On Former Winchester

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A new piece of the Main Street puzzle a three-story log structure that will house a gun shop will soon be put into place on the site of the old Winchester Saloon.

Local Realtor Bob McQueen, who brokered the sale of the parcel on the west side of the Ox Bow Saloon, said Mike and Marta Pollick plan to move their gunsmith business to Payson from St. John's, Ariz.

"Plans call for a three-story log structure with a shop in the basement, retail at ground level, and living quarters above," McQueen said.

The Pollicks also intend to move a considerable part of their family to Payson, all of whom are involved in the business.

"We're called PCW Guns, and basically what we do is sell retail guns, build custom firearms, and do general gun repairs," said Jason Pollick, a son who plans to live in the apartment above the shop.

"My father does stocks for rifles, my brother-in-law does pistols, my sister does engraving, and I do all the metal work on rifles," Pollick said.

The reason the family is relocating its business from St. John's to Payson is fundamental, Pollick says. "There's nobody here.

"St. John's has 3,000 people, and that's just not enough to support a gun shop. We've been looking at going to Payson for the last two years," he said.

The Pollicks have retained Karik Construction Company, a local builder of log structures, to design and build their building and two others on adjoining lots within the site.

"The parcel is actually subdivided into three lots," said Karyn Nelsen, co-owner along with husband Rick of Karik Construction. "The Pollicks will build on the lot next to the Ox Bow and will sell the other two," she said.

The plan is for Karik Construction to build complementary log structures on those two lots to house retail establishments.

"What's really neat is that we can put cafables in front, and do a lot of things like that," Nelsen said. "We plan to have a cowboy-type covered wooden sidewalk running along the front of all the buildings."

The parcel is included in the Green Valley Redevelopment District, and Nelsen has discussed her plans with Main Street Coordinator Karen Greenspoon.

"We've talked on the phone a lot, and plan to get together soon to talk about parking issues and some other things," Nelsen said.

"Everybody's goal is to have something cohesive on Main Street," Greenspoon said. "But we don't have everything mapped out and it's very much up to the individual property owners if they want to participate.

"Gunsmithing is something that will fit into the theme of Main Street, and the building will be very attractive," she said. "I also understand the family might let people watch them work, which would add another dimension."

The Pollicks are also considering picking up on the Winchester name, McQueen said. "There's a lot of history on that site," he said.

According to town historian and Rim Review columnist Stan Brown, "This spot of earth ... has been the social center of the community for over 100 years.

"In the 1890s, Guy Barkdoll built an adobe house, a dance hall on the site...."

Brown said the dance hall burned down twice and was rebuilt, eventually becoming the site for the community Christmas tree.

The structure was converted into a feed store in 1995 and burned to the ground in 1997.

If all goes well, Pollick said the family hopes to have its new structure built and ready for occupancy by September.

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