Among 39 nominations, Payson's Zane Grey Cabin Foundation earned one of seven awards for its preservation of the aesthetic legacy of the Rim Country at the Governor's Conference of Tourism.
On July 11, Gov. Janet Napolitano, in front of 500 tourist-industry professionals, presented Dick Wolfe, president of the Zane Grey Cabin Foundation, and his wife, Marilyn, with the 2006 Arizona Preservation Award, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.
"(Grey's) name still has some magic," said Dick Wolfe. "We wanted to keep his legacy alive. It's a wonderful tourist attraction and it's part of our ongoing effort to make Payson a landmark."
Grant writer Beth Counseller, who assembled the nomination packet, said Payson's triumph provides the cabin with more nationwide celebrity and fund-raising appeal.
"I'm looking into some education-based grants because they are working on getting Zane Grey curriculum in the schools for history and Western literature," Counseller said.
Local history buffs had been planning a cabin replica since the original burned in the 1990 Dude Fire, added Counseller.
Grey's admirers feared the thought of allowing the author's cabin under the Rim to die in the past.
In 2003, fund-raising efforts began in earnest, and over the next two years the foundation raised more than $200,000, half of it coming from local residents.
Grey, who died in 1939, wrote 60 novels during his time in the Rim Country.
The cabin opened to the public in October 2005 and now boasts 350 foundation members.
The Rim Country landmark has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world.
"We're just very, very proud to have the cabin," Wolfe said.
The Zane Grey Cabin Foundation shares the preservation spotlight with some of the most well-known destinations in Arizona, including past winners La Posada in Winslow; Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee; and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
For more information about the cabin, visit: www.zanegreycabin.org.
-- To reach Felicia Megdal call 474-5251 ext. 116 or e-mail email@example.com.