I noted with great interest the recent article suggesting the erection of a statue of a bronze elk in the new roundabout on the highway just north of Payson. Such a statue would be very attractive; however, elk are not really unique to Payson. Elk are common in Pine, Strawberry, Prescott, Heber, Pinetop, Flagstaff and numerous other Arizona cities and towns.
Is Payson ready for an alternate and less-expensive suggestion?
The Zane Grey Cabin Foundation has nearly completed something that no other city or town in the entire world has: the replication of the Zane Grey cabin. When completed later this year, the cabin is expected to draw thousands of visitors from all over the world to Payson. Before the "killer" Dude Fire of 1990 destroyed the cabin, it was visited by some 20,000 visitors annually.
Payson is indeed fortunate that many of its residents have proudly contributed labor, materials and money to replicate this historic building. Monetary contributions have also been received from all over the nation.
It would seem to me that erecting a sign, proclaiming Payson as "The Home of the Zane Grey Cabin" would be an exciting greeting to southbound Beeline Highway travelers.
As a matter of fact, comparable signs could, and should, be erected on the Beeline south of Payson and on 260 east of Payson.
With proper promotion, the time might not be too far in the future when "flat-landers" would visit "Payson, The Home of the Zane Grey Cabin" (rather than "the town with a pretty bronze statue of an elk" in the middle of the highway).
Besides, wouldn't three signs cost less than a $65,000 elk?
Bill Close, Honorary co-chairman, The Zane Grey Cabin Foundation