Town Clock Goes Up

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With the installation of a cast-iron clock at the Deming Pioneer Park, the town of Payson has an official timepiece once again.

Workers installed the clock Friday afternoon in the 5,434-square-foot park at the northwest corner of Main Street and McLane Road. Donated by the town's two Rotary clubs, the timepiece is located on the same site as the town's first official clock inside J. W. Boardman's Mercantile Store.

The new clock will be turned so its faces are visible traveling west on Main Street and from the park.

Built in 1898, Boardman's was the first non-wood building in Payson and it also was the town's first bank and post office. The rock came from a quarry where the Tonto Apache Reservation is now located.

The Boardman building burned down in 1938 during August Doin's when a lady operating a barbecue stand caught it on fire. Rodeo event winners had to wait a week for their prize money, until the vault inside the store cooled down enough for officials to open it.

The nearly-completed park is framed by a facade re-creation of Boardman's store with display cases progressively depicting the history of the area. Other features include a 100-seat amphitheater for history and other presentations, garden areas featuring native flora, a western sculpture, and benches.

It was recently named in honor of local matriarch Anna Mae Deming.

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