Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Payson Race Track--Photo of the Day

     In 1928,  Dr. L. D. Stewart was elected Mayor of Payson.  It was under his guidance that the first Homecoming celebration was held.  Dr. Stewart, at the time was interested in breeding and racing horses.  A meeting was held to discuss the organization of the celebration.  The plan for a celebration was accepted and the group decided to make improvements to the Done Athletic field on the area south of the high school, They decided to construct a grandstand, track and horse stables  and feature horse races to attract people to the celebration.
     In 1929, state officials suggested to help the general economy, each community should promote one of its best crops through its celebration.  Payson selected the onion.
    The track served the community and area very well for many years.  At one point, the races were such a large draw not only for the celebration but for many other times during the year when race meets were held.  It was one of the most outstanding tracks in the state for many years.
     Several years ago, the Payson City Council decided to tear down the grandstand, horse barns and remove the track.  Eighth South was extended from Main Street to the Canyon Road.  It cut right through the center of the old track.  A new ball field, Hillman Field was constructed to the south of the street and the portion from 700 South to 800 South has never been redeveloped and today remains a weed patch that has become an eyesore to the community.
     It was sad to see the old track removed in the way of "so-called" progress.

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