Pioneer Park Dedication Set For April 3


Anna Mae Deming remembers her late husband driving the "official" town ambulance -- "our own car" -- to Globe and Cottonwood before Payson had a hospital of its own.

Deming and members of her family will attend the dedication ceremony at Deming Pioneer Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 3. The park is named for the pioneer couple.

While only six of the display cases that will eventually depict the history of the Rim country will be ready for the dedication, all other work on the park is expected to be completed. Artificial turf was installed Wednesday in preparation for the park's official unveiling.

The 5,434-square-foot park, at the northwest corner of Main Street and McLane, is located on the same site as J.W. Boardman's Mercantile Store

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 and was home to the town's official clock. 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.

The nearly completed park is framed by a facade re-creation of Boardman's store, on which the 23 display cases are mounted. Other features include a 100-seat amphitheater for history and other presentations, a cast iron clock donated by the town's two Rotary clubs, garden areas featuring native flora, a western sculpture, and benches.

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