Monday, December 26, 2016


Thursday, December 25, 2008
Kenna Holm - Nebo Reporter


MERRY CHRISTMAS! What a beautiful time of year. I just wish we could keep this wonderful
feeling all year long. It seems Christmas brings out the best in most of us. (I think there are probably still some Scrooges). I Love Christmas. I love the music, the lights, the merriment it brings and of course the
parties and food.
Since this issue falls on Christmas, I wanted to title it "Merry Christmas' Past". I remember when
you didn't start really thinking of Christmas until Thanksgiving was over. And then the stores would start decorating the windows and the gifts got displayed and of course Santa.
    When I was little, I remember we would get so excited for Santa to come to town. He would come in on the old Fire Engine with the lights and sirens going. There would be hundreds of people crowded around to see him. I remember my dad putting me up on his shoulders so I could see Santa.
They always had a big tree right in the street on Utah Avenue and Main street. It set back to the
East of Main between the old Library and City Drug on the corner. We loved the lights and ornaments on
the tree. I don't remember any lights and decoration on the streets but who needed them--we had the tree.
    It seemed each year someone in town had a big old pine tree that they donated to the city for the Christmas Tree. (what an honor to have YOUR tree used)
Santa would give out littlebrown papersacks with goodies in it to each child. In those days, I don't  remember seeing a Santa in every store and on every corner.
    A few days ago, I even saw a Santa on a Harley. I just wished I could have gotten my camera out
sooner and got a picture of him.
    As bad as I hate snow, it is pretty to have it for Christmas. We used to love the snow when we
were kids. (I guess we were normal) We'd go out and build snowmen and play fox and geese and other
games in the snow and come in half frozen but we didn't seem to mind it a bit.. Now I'd rather watch it
from the warm house than be out in it.
Remember when we had the ski lift and a fun hill to ski down up the canyon? The ski lift was run
by an old Ferguson tractor motor with a shed built over it. The rope was fixed someway around the wheel
and had little T bars so many feet apart that you could grab on to and be pulled to the top of the hill. They
also had a little snack shack that the Jr. Chamber of Commerce built you could buy coffee or cocoa at. I'm not sure how long it was there but it was fun while it lasted. The trees that they cleared off that hill was hauled down to Dr. L.D. Pfouts and he built his barn with it. His son Jim also told me they had
competitions at the slopes and even Alf Engen, the skier,  had a hand in it. Now I didn't know who that was
but apparently he has quite a name with skiing. He's the one that got Alta Ski Resort started.
I'm sure that shocks a lot of people to know we had a ski area up Payson canyon but we did. The
cement base the lift motor sat on is still up there but the ski run has filled in with foliage. They even put
a little park in at the bottom of the hill. Dale Barnett, Dix Grace and a few others helped put the picnic
tables in. That was in the early 50's. They were part of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce.
    We all  loved Forsey's Variety Store because at Christmas time they had all the Christmas mix candy in a big display as you came in the door. It had chocolates, ribbon hard tack, gum drops, filled hard tack and a lot of different kinds all in together.  You can't find that mix anymore.  I loved that store to.
Isn't it fun to see all the excitement with the little kids. The Christmas I remember best was when
I was just about 4 or 5 and my two older brothers, DeLynn and LaVell gave me a little white fur coat and muff. Boy did I think I was something. That was so special to me and I had that coat for a long time. (I have some great brothers). They always spoiled me because I was the babyand the onlygirland theywere
10 and 12 years older than me.
Years ago Bill Williams wrote a song that our trio sang a lot at Christmas time. It always brought
a tear to my eye. I wanted to close my column today (and actually the last column for this year) with the
words to that song. It goes:
I remember Christmas' past around a Christmas tree. Funny how those memories last
--they come back to me. Old familiar carols, snowy Christmas Eve. I can still hear Santa's
reindeer when we all believed.

    Wish I could return once more where the stockings hung.
    Got a Christmas yearning for days when we were young.
    Why do little children have to grow so fast.
    ‘Cause come December, I remember Christmas past.
    Never can return somehow, memories have to do.
    Younger hearts are learning now, Christmas joys we knew.
    All the little children seem to grow so fast.
    But come December, they'll remember, Merry Christmas Past.

Doesn't it touch your heart to remember when....

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


REMEMBER WHEN Thursday, January 15, 2009 Kenna Holm MEMORIES OF YESTERYEAR I've been thinking back of all the fun we used to have snow sledding, swimming, ice and roller skating and dances. I'm sure kids now days still have those things but have better facilities . When we were young, we used to swim at Spring Lake. I remember my brothers taking me as a little girl and they would toss me back and forth and me giggling all the time, but one day one of them tossed me to the other one and he caught me by my legs and my head went down in the water. It about scared the heck out of me. I guess I can now blame them for me not liking water. No--I knew they would always save me but I can remember it frightened me. I hated the feel of the slime and vines down on the bottom of the pond. It was eerie. We also swam at Salem Pond. After the old Orem train system was shut down, they rerouted the highway and straightened it out over the Salem Pond. There is now a bit of pond on the North side of the highway. When we were in highschool, I remember one kid from Spanish Fork by the name of Butch Clayson that dove off the side and hit one of the pilings that was just under the water (that had been part of the railroad track) and broke his neck. He was lucky to survive that. There was always places to swim. There was Warm Springs out in Genola that was fun to go to. The water was so nice and warm but I think that has been closed off now and no one can go there because of gang problems or some kind of trouble. It was fun though. We also had Arrowhead Swimming Pool in Benjamin and Park RoShae in Springville that we could go to. They were both inside pools and they kept open longer than Payson Park Swimming Pool. Park RoShae also had a roller skating rink in a building by the swimming pool. We loved to roller skate. We would take parties over there. We could choose to skate, swim or just picnic. I never was any good ad either one but it was fun to go anyway. My husband excelled in all sports so it made me look like an amateur dummy when I went with him. He could do all kinds of fancy dives in swimming and at skating he was great. Me, I just blundered along. We roller skated a lot onthe sidewalks.Remember the old clip onroller skateswe would have to undo a screw to lengthen themout to fit our shoes and tighten that screw and then we had a skate key that we could tighten the clamps on to our soles of our shoes and then off we would go. We loved to skate on the roads or sidewalks. When we went to Park RoShae, they had shoe skates and they were easier to skate it. But then I still fell a lot. I never was any good at any sport but it was fun to go anyway. My husband excelled in all sports so it made me look like an amateur dummy when I went with him. He could do all kinds of fancy dives in swimming and at skating he was great. Me, I just blundered along. In the winter, we loved to ice skate and go sledding. We had Peteetneet hill that has always been and still is the best to sleigh ride on. We would also sled at the old Payson Jr. High. (that they just tore down). We would get a piece of plastic and slide down the hill, laughing all the way. We also would go out to Tote Gote Hill out on the West Mountain. We loved to tube out there. One time, (which my kids will never let me forget) there was two or three families of us all with tubes and things to slide down the hill on, went out there for an outing. My hair hadn't been done so I put on my wig so I would look at least somewhat presentable. We climbed to the top of the hill and each got on our tubes to take turns sliding down and as I got about half way down, my wig flew off one way while I was going the other and we all cracked up laughing and like I say, my kids will never let me forget it. It was fun though even if I was the butt of all jokes. We would take wieners to roast or just hot chocolate to drink and totally enjoy the outing. I'm not sure some would even know what tote gotes are now. They are a thing of the past but we would even sometimes pull the kids on their sleds or tubes behind the tote gote and have a ball. Whenwe were first married, we had anold 1938 Chevy car that we used to go up the canyon in. There were 3 couples ofusnewlyweds, Jerryand Lorraine JonesMortensen (Jim's brother), Cliff and Beth Cartwright (Dona Cartwrights's brother) and Frank and I. We would get our sleds and line them all up behind that old car and be pulled everywhere. The end one would swing back and forth across the road. We couldn't do that now days. To much traffic. We would go down through the fields or up in the river bottoms in Spanish Fork. It's a wonder we didn't get hurt but you know, at that age you're invincible. Remember when we had the irrigation ditches and each home had an alloted time to water their yards. We loved to put our swimming suits on and wade in the water and sit in the ditch so it damed the water up. Sprinklers were fun to. Oh the water fights we had. When we went ice skating, it wasn't always the smoothest places but as kids we didn't care. The city flooded an area down on 8th West just off Utah Ave. (the Freeway is across it now). We would skate there and we would go out to Spring Lake. That always frightened me because I was afraid the Ice would crack and we would drop in . And as I remember there were a few ponds down in the fields we even skated on. At one time the American Legion sponsored dances for the teens and we could go there on one night (I think it was Thursdays) and we could dance or play games. They had ping pong tables and they would have bottles soft drinks and goodies we could buy. I remember Andy Andress was always there to over see it. He was a fun guy. That was always so fun to go to those. We could play tennis in the summer at the Payson Park Tennis Court. They also had Horseshoe Pits to play at also. And of course there were always the night games. We had no TV's so we made our own fun. We played hide and seek, run sheepy run, red rover, and I could go on and on. We always had so much fun and it didn't cost money, just our imaginations. Isn't it fun to remember back when......

Monday, December 5, 2016


Thursday, December 13, 2007
Kenna Holm 

    First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have taken the time to call and comment
on my "Remember When" stories. It's been so fun to think back and put my memories down on
paper. Glad you have enjoyed them.

    This week I was thinking about Christmas and how fast it is creeping (more like running)
up on us and I remember when I was in Jr. High School, the season kind of got kicked off with
the "Annual Candle Services"  Oh I looked forward to those services.
    The Payson Jr. High School at that time was in the building across the street west of the park. (Where the new church stands now).   The seventh, eighth, and ninth grades went there to school. The week before Christmas was when these Candle Services were held.  (Those were the days that they didn't start so early (like before Halloween) to get ready for Christmas.
    We would practice for weeks before and then the night of the "Candle Services" we
would meet up in the home economics room and when it was time to start, we would each be
given a white candle and then form two lines and go down the stairs toward the gym. Just before
we entered the gym, two of the teachers would be standing on each side of the door and would
light out candles. We would then march in and sit on risers there in the gymnasium. The audience would set up in the balcony and look down to watch the show. The lights were off and there were just the candles lit as we walked in. It was a beautiful sight and very touching. We would then snuff out our candles and the lights would come on for us to sing.
    I remember how we were warned to be EXTREMELY careful not to get to close to the one in front of us so as to not catch their hair on fire. (or anything else)  The must was always so beautiful and really got you in the Christmas spirit.    When I was there Rees Olson was the music director and his sister Crista was the accompanist.
    As I did a little research, I found out that the candle services were started in 1932 with
Carl O. Nelson and Al Payne being the music people. The Candle Services continued until the
Christmas of 1966.


    During the first few years (Until 1945) an outstanding citizen was honored at the candle
services. They would be presented with a large 2-3 foot candle and a poem was read that went
like this:

“These candles are a symbol true
Of life, and truth, and love Of Him
who shed His shining light On earth
 from heaven above.
Brightly they burn in steady flame
That you may catch their glow,
And give to others of their light That love like His may grow.”

    I was talking to Carl Nelson Jr. and he told me his dad had received one of these candles as the outstanding citizen. He brought it home and placed it in a corner and one night Jr. and his sister Joyce were rough housing and knocked the candle over and broke it. Needless to say his father was not happy with them.

Al Payne and Christa Amos

    Another story that was given to me was one year when Reed Jones was principal, Crista Amos who was the accompanist for the choir, got sick and could not come to the services so Mr. Jones had to hurry and find someone who could step in and play for them. He call Juliene Harding, a high school student, and she did a beautiful job of accompanying the students.
     Crista had an old pump organ she kept in her room at school and they would lug that thing into the gym and she would accompany on that and the piano.  In 1960,  when Stan Wilson was principal, they decided that the candles might be to dangerous (after 28 years), so he had Vernon Finch who was the shop teacher make some wooden candles. Vernon said he took wooden dowels and drilled them out and placed a battery and bulb in them. So now they would not worry about catching something on fire, but they were never as effective and beautiful as the real candles and the flickering light they made.
    I had memories of Huish Moore making big batches of caramels in a large copper kettle in the home economics room when we were rehearsing. I couldn't find anyone who remembered that so I was beginning to think I was pipe dreaming but when I talked to Vernon Finch (who also makes delicious caramels to) he verified that I was right. Huish did make caramels and would treat the faculty with them (he never offered any to the students)
     Kevin Kay’s mom told me he always felt bad because the one year he couldn't sing in the services and had practiced long and hard, he had to miss them because of emergency surgery.
     Vernon Finch went in as principal of the Jr. High for one year and then moved up to the high school and Richard LaMar Wilson came in as principal. Wilson didn't want to do the candle services any more so 1966 was the end of the long tradition of the Candle Services.
Isn't fun to remember when.................

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



    The Peteetneet Historical Society is presently showing a “Barbie Doll Exhibit.”  The exhibit is a part of a collection of this famous doll that belongs to former Payson Resident, Larraine Smth Braithwaite.  She is the sister of our former Historical Society, the late Gloria Smith Barnett.
    Mrs. Braithwaite has collected a large number of these dolls over the last many years.  We have three cases and others in a wall display for visitors to enjoy.  The dolls on exhibit are just a small portion of her vast collection.  We would like to thank her for giving us the opportunity to showcase these dolls.
    The exhibit has been on display during October and will be available  through November and December.  Take a few minutes and enjoy this great exhibit.  The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.   Be sure and take the time to see our other 12 exhibit areas located throughout the beautiful and historic Peteetneet Musuem.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Thursday, June 25, 2009
Kenna Holm


 J. D. Christensen--Mr. Music Man
 This week  I  want to spotlight 'Mr. Music  Man', J.D. Christensen. J.D. did so much with music here in town for many years.  He not only taught and led the band at the Payson High School,
he conducted the Band Concerts in the park and then when he retired from leading and Lewis Huff took over, he played in the band. He was the oldest member of the band and many of those in the band had been involved for many years with the City Band.
    He was conductor for many choruses, Stake, Ward, he took over the La Nesta Ladies Choir when Carl Nelson Sr. passed away ,and he organized the Kiwanis Choraliers, a mens group.  Both of these groups were the very popular groups years ago. I had the privilege of   singing under his direction in the La Nesta Chorus. (La Nesta stood for Ladies of Nebo Stake).

    He was a  fun person to be around.  He taught me algebra in high school. He always laughed at me telling me I did all the algebra problems the hard way but it was the easiest for me and as long as I got them right I guess it didn't matter which way I did them. But I loved that class..

Some of J. D.’s students: l-r Don Lee Worthington, Glen Dixon, Ken Christensen (J. D.’s son) Reece Jones (Phil’s brother, and Dennis Dixon 

   Chris(as the students lovingly called J.D.) made the classes fun.  I never remember him getting mad or upset at any of the students.  Let's go back and tell a little bit of history about  J.D, (which stood for Jensen Dunn)   He was born in 1900.  He came to Payson in 1937  to take  over  as band director and led the band to many titles over the next 25 years he was at Payson
High School.  He  took  his high school band every year to the Days of'47 Parade in S.L. Helen Walker (Harmer) and I had the privilege ( I guess you'd call it a privilege to march in that blistering sun) of twirling the baton for the band for a couple of years and went to that parade.  I'll never forget how long and hot that parade route was.

J. D. and Dorothy Christensen

  He did great things for Payson High School. He taught himself how to play many of the
instruments. He thought if he was going to teach band, he needed to know how to play most of the instruments. But besides the band, he directed the Messiah each year for 25 years at the old Nebo Tabernacle.  He directed operettas, stake chorus, band concerts in the park, the high school band and on and on. He not only loved music, he was church and civic minded also. He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club and even served as Lt. Governor of Division One of Kiwanis International.  He served as Kiwanis President in 1952 and also served in all the chairs of the Utah-Idaho District of Kiwanis International.

Kenna Holm and Pauline Nelson presenting J. D. a 70th birthday cake and a book of “This Is Your Life” which the LaNesta Chorus had reenacted.

   He was County Justice of the Peace for 3 terms. In those days that was a position that had to be voted in and he did an outstanding job and was well liked and respected.  I loved his ad
for the election 'RE-ELECT J.D. FOR J.P. '  Clever. He  performed  many marriages, solved ticket problems and many other  things as the  judge.  His office was in the basement of his home. He never showed any favoritism for anyone. If you got a ticket and were guilty, you paid the fine. He even fined one young fellow for speeding who later turned out to marry his granddaughter. (I'll bet that fellow never looked at Grandpa J.D. without thinking of that later)

Christensen Home

   J.D. asked to resignin1985 because of health problems. He had had 2 major surgeries within a month and he felt he could not continue on in that position.
    I remember in 1954, he was crossing the street in front of where Taco Time is now and was hit by a car. The accident broke both legs and he was in serious condition for quite a while.  I saw his bill from the Dr. who did  the  surgeries and  it was so different than things are now. The Dr. charged, $50. for the emergency and  shock  care,  $350. for  one leg surgery, $225.for the other leg's surgery (maybe that was a discount for having 2 legs operated on) and 15 days in the hospital at (now read this closely) $4. per day  for at total of $60. for the hospital room. But then wages then were pretty low compared to now. I saw some of his Notice  of Appointments in the Nebo School District and in1945 his salary was a whopping $2874. a year and it raised by 1962 to $6375.   Boy, doesn't it make you wonder how we got along back then but then everything was cheaper.
    J.D. had many honors over the years. I don't know how many remember the journalist Dan Valentine, but he wrote a "Valentine" about J.D. in his column 'Nothing Serious" in the Salt Lake Tribune. In it he described all of J.D,'s attributes and at the end he said, "A fine man, wonderful teacher, faithful friend to all...and an extras special Valentine to you sir".
    J.D. helped so manyalong the way.He lost his dear wife, Dorothy, in1991 who was 90 years of age and J.D. passed away in 1992 at the age of 92.  They left behind 5 children to carry on his legacy.
    This is reallya Salute to 'Mr. Music Man' J.D. and the great man he was and I love to sit back and remember when....

This week  I  want to spotlight 'Mr. Music  Man', J.D. Christensen. J.D. did so much with music here in town for many years.  He not only taught and led the band at the Payson High School,

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Thursday, October 8, 2009
Kenna Holm


 The original Crouch’s OK Service on 100 North and 200 East

    This week  I  want to write about a business that has been in town for some 66 years and run by one family and that is Crouch's. I remember going up to Crouch's when it was up on 2nd East and 1st North. It Is where  Payson Auto Care  is located now. It was run by Roy Crouch and his two sons, Bud and Lon.

   I can remember thinking what good looking men they all were. They had a small station and also some cabins they rented out. It was a small place but did a big business. At the same time they bought another small station where they are today. The first Crouch's Ok Junior was actually on the property closest to Fat Jack's Pizza where the office of the old motel still stands at 80 South 100 West.
    This was all in 1943. They ran both businesses and in the early 1950's they built the current Crouch's along with the motel. The eight cabin motelwas stillrunning in the late 1960's but with the completion of the I-15 freeway, tourists by-passed Payson so the focus was then put on the automotive service and the motels were shut down.

Crouch's Service about 1956

    Bud and Lon ran the businesses and Roy and his wife Leona were still a big part of it even years later taking care of the motel and keeping the books. Lon left the business several years later and moved to Wyoming.
    They sold the old business on 100 North to Royce Hermansen and it then became known as Royce's. They lived in the house there on the property for a number of years and then moved to a new home a couple of blocks away.

 Pictured left to right:  Roy Crouch, Blake Ryan, Gary Crouch and Joel Crouch

   In1981 Bud turned the business over to his three sons: Gary, Joel, Roy and son-in--law Blake Ryan. Roy left in `1985 to run Fat Jack's Pizza, now Roy's Pizza and Social Hall in Ephraim.
    I always loved to go to Crouch's. They gave such good service. Those were the days they would run out and pump your gas for you, check you oil, wash your windows and check your tires. FULL SERVICE. I miss that. I often think of Duane Hiatt (of the 3 D's) saying in one of his talks that the most excitement kids got in Payson was to go to Crouch's and jump on the rubber line to make it ding. The way the workers knew someone was at the pumps was when cars would run over the line and it would ring.
    In 1989 after over 40 years of pumping gas the decision was made to pull out the gas pumps because of new regulations and the high cost of upgrading and just concentrate on car repair. The service station was opened 7 days a week from6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and only closed on Christmas Day. They began closing on Sunday in the early 70's and then Saturdays around the year 2000.
    This has truly been a family business. All of their sons have been employed there at one time or another and all the bookkeeping has always been done by members of the family.
I miss the days of the full service stations but it surely is fun to think back and remember when....

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Thursday, September 3, 2009
Kenna Holm



    This last week has been so hectic. I lost one of my two brothers to a heart attack and I realize how fragile life is. All week I've been remembering things about how everything used to be--you know--having my mom and dad and 2 brothers around and suddenly everything  changes. I guess that is why I  like  to reminisce and go down Memory Lane so much. Back to a time that was slower and we had more time to REALLY enjoy life.
     Now everything is so fast paced and everyone wants everything easy or else done for them. No one seems to want to take the time to volunteer and help others like they used to. Since our Annual Onion Days starts this week, I wanted to reminisce about it.
     To go back, way back, I was reading a souvenir program of the Golden Onion Days Homecoming that wasback inthe late 30s.It wasso interesting to look at the adsand the enthusiasm that people had for our celebration. In the program, it said that the Golden Onion Days was born of a spirit of FRIENDLINESS and GOODWILL. It was developed into one of the most outstanding celebrations in the inter-mountain country.
     In those days, the Mayor was the general chairman of the celebration with different ones from the City Council that were the 2 vice presidents and secretary. They called together all civic leaders about 3 months before the celebration and they delegated jobs out to each. They were known as the executive committee. They met in regular sessions to work out details and plans for the annual fete. The committee chairmen in turn selected what help they needed to do the work of their respective committees. Hundreds of local citizens took turns working on the different committees. Each year some new attractions would be suggested and added and some new ideas worked in that helped make the celebration grow.

   The big feature then was the horse races conducted with all the pomp and ceremony of the big time tracks. Those races attracted state-wide attentions.

In those days we  had  Arrowhead  Resort in Benjamin that was really a big part of Payson's activities also. They had abig dance hall and all the dances were held there with big name bands and that was a big part of the celebration. What happened to the dances? (besides Arrowhead being torn down).  No one  seems to dance  any more.
We used to also have the Firemen Balls, Gold and Green Balls and others. Now it seems dancing has gone away.

    It was years ago that our  Onion Days Parade was HUGE.  Every ward  and  every civic organization and  every store  had a  float in the parade.  Some were small and some were huge and always beautiful. It is to  bad that things got so expensive that some of the businesses and wards just couldn't afford to make them.
     They even had boxing and wrestling matchesback then. Sounds fun. Theyhad moviesat the old Star Theater continuallyduring the celebration. The programwould change each day. Theyhad picnic lunches from12-2 in the park on Sundays. That was in the days when we had Sunday School in morning and Sacrament meeting in the evening.
     The program I read was so fun. The ads were simple and many of the stores were in town for many years. Like Wilson's Style Shoppe (Sue Brown's grandmother and mother ran it) Don's Cafe, remember Don Cloward and his great cafe with such good food.  It was where Bob's Cafe that went to MiRancerito Cafe to The Mexican Market and now has beentorn down for Walgreens.  They had Farmer's Mercantile store ad, Chase Lumber (their phone number was 127--remember those fun old phone numbers where you picked up the receiver and the live operator would say, "Number Please" and you would give it and theywould ring it for you--loved it) There was Page Furniture Co. (where Morris Quilting is now) theyadvertised G.E. and Norge Refrigerators and R.C.A radios. No TVs in those days)Snow's Modern Cabins. (those are the few you see by Crouch's. They were nice cabins theyrented out) UtahPoultryAss'n(east ofthe One ManBand where the parking lot is behind Wells Fargo and the Getaway Furniture store) Some of those old stores bring back memories.
     Not only picnics in the Park on Sundays but they had baseball games on Sundays. They always had a big homecoming program at the Tabernacle (where Central Bank is now) on Sunday evening.
Inclosing I would like to sayto you the public ingeneral, the successofeveryonesendeavors will be measured by the good time we expect everyone to have at our celebration and isn't it fun to look back and remember when....

Saturday, September 3, 2016






            May 20, 1916, saw the last day of rail laying on the main line of the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad, also known as the Orem Line.  The last spike was driven in the streets of Payson on May 26 and 27.  The two days were set aside for celebrating both the arrival of the SL&U and the government's large Strawberry Reclamation Project. Immediately 24 trains a day made the complete run from Salt Lake to Payson, a distance of 66.6 miles. By July, service had increased to 26 trains a day, which was the largest number ever operated to Payson. From then until final abandonment, service was gradually cut back.  During the Twenties, an average of 16 to 18 trains were run daily. The lowest point was reached in 1937 when only ten daily trains were scheduled.

            The location of the SL&U's shops was a bone of contention all along the route of the Orem Road.  Provo, being the largest of city in Utah County and centrally located, made a very strong bid, with its various newspapers carrying front page editorials on the subject. Lehi also wanted the SL&U shop payroll, as did American Fork. Mr. Orem refused to commit himself, however, until the road was completed to Payson. Then he made the announcement: the SL&U's shops would be built in Payson. Considerable resentment arose, especially in Provo.  Provo felt put out, for certainly it was the main reason for SL&U's existence and would provide the lion's share of SL&U's business.  Mr. Orem perhaps reasoned that the SL&U in future years would build on, to Nephi and perhaps much farther. Such an event would make Payson a central point for  the construction of shops for repair of the trains used in the system. Virtually every city on the line clamored for the SL&U's shops, but it was Payson which got them -- a questionable choice.  Ground for the Payson Shops was broken in June 1916.  The location selected was located between 100 North and Utah Avenue and from 400 East to 500 East. When the shops were completed later that year, the SL&U was in possession of one of the finest interurban car maintenance centers in the west

            The SL&U line came  from the east through a deep cut just north of the Peteetneet School.  It then entered the street for the run to the center of town. Just as the single track hit pavement, there were the repair shops, on the south side of the street. An entire city block was purchased by Orem, with the shop and car house buildings located slightly off-center to the southeast. Five tracks entered buildings, while three storage tracks ran alongside the car house on the southern edge of the block. To the rear of the buildings was an open area for the storage of poles, rails, etc. On the north frontage of the block were three more tracks, also used for car storage.

            Orem built his shops on a somewhat less pretentious scale.  The framework was of light steel and siding was of corrugated iron. He did not skimp on the necessary machinery, however, as witness the very good rebuilding some jobs performed wrecks by the employees of the shops.

            The passing years laid a heavy hand on Payson Shops. Not being built of permanent material, the buildings became rusted and weather-beaten. Their woe-be-gone air indicated all too clearly the fact that SL&U had fallen on evil days. After the road was abandoned, the shops were sold to Payson City.  The city used the shops for the City Shops for many years.  Payson City later built new city shops just north of the Payson Sewer Plant.  The property was then sold to Intermountain Farmers Inc.  They demolished to old shops and constructed a new building to hours their business.  They later relocated to Spanish Fork and Best Deal Spring Service is now found in the location.

            The final closing of the interurban in 1946 brought to a close a thirty year run.  It served the population of Utah County for many years.  Today, we find few remainders of the old line or the roadbed it once traveled over.

                                       OREM RAILROAD REPAIR SHOP WORKERS        

Sunday, August 21, 2016



     After the division of the Payson Ward into the First and Second Wards, the  First Ward met in the Charlie Long Hall on 100 North between 300 and 400 East (in today’s address system.)  In 1910, a new cream-colored brick church was constructed just west of the Charlie Long Hall.  In about 1924, after the creation of the Fourth Ward, the First Ward began attending meetings in the old Assembly Hall located on 400 East and 200 South.
     The Assembly Hall  had originally been built as a school house in the 1870's.  It was later used for the storage of  grain and other products.  The building was razed and a new building for the First Ward was constructed on the site  in 1930.  Otto B. Erlandson was the Bishop.  He was one of the owners of Central Lumber.  The building was enlarged in 1965 with the addition of a cultural hall, kitchen, and classrooms.  The older section of the church that once contained a cultural hall and kitchen was also remodeled.  The Cultural Hall was converted into classrooms and office space.  It later housed both the Payson First and Fifth Wards for almost sixty years

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Thursday, August 27, 2009 
Kenna Holm


   This week has been tough thinking  of what I wanted to write about. I just felt really dull or brain dead but my oldest daughter told me I was just operating on 40 watts and soon I would brighten up. 
    Well--I guess that got me to thinking  about the  fireworks we have every year at Onion
Days. (I'm not to a 75 watt yet).   Since it is nearing Onion Days, I wanted to keep in tune with the celebration in my column.


    Everyone loves the fireworks. Things are different now than they were many years ago when my husband  Frank  joined  the  Fire Department. They used to have 2 or 3 plywood barricades that they stood up between T posts.  They dug holes in the ground to put tubes down in and then they would go along and put the  Department in 1944 fireworks in the tube. There were holes drilled in the plywood that they would put the fuse up through. Then the Fireman would go along and light the fuse for the fireworks to go off.
    The barricades were there to protect the firemen because there were times when one of the fireworks would explode before it went in the air. I've seen many a fireman duck and run when that happened. I don't recall anyone ever getting hurt but it was a little scary.

 The fireworks was always held at the race track and people would park all the way around the track and up the canyon road.  And of course they had the big grandstand you could sit in. Our favorite place  was across the street on the old high school gym lawn. We would take blankets and  goodies and set out there with the kids and watch the beautiful display. When the kids were really little, the loud ones always scared them. (and I suppose they still do).
    Another placewe liked to go to see the display was at Donand  Cleo Burdick's (Brad's folks).  They lived across the street from the old gym (which is now our new swimming pool).
We could sit out on their lawn and watch and my folks always loved to visit with the Burdicks. They  had lived next door to us for a lot of years before they built that home.
    Back then, the firemen would work in teams. Some would drop the fireworks in the tubes and  set them up ready to be lit , another crew would go along and light the fuses and then another crew  would  come along after they had discharged and clean out the tubes to make ready for the next round. It was a lot of work.
    The Lady Firemen Auxiliary would always see that food was made and brought up so the
firemen could  eat before the display. (actually they still do). 
    Now the whole display has to be in compliance with the new laws. The fireworks come in the tubes all ready now.   A truck comes in with all the equipment that is needed and the firemen start about noon setting everything up. This is much safer for the men and our woman firefighters.
    The fireworks have always been held on Friday evening about 9 p.m. I remember as a little girl, my folks would always take us to the fireworks. They were exciting and still are. Now instead  of the race track (which is no longer there) they have them at the Payson Jr.  High Fields and it's nice.


    The amount that Payson City alots has been about $8,000.  (That's a lot of money to go up in smoke) They have  paid the same amount for at 15 to 20 years which is unusual because everything else has gone sky high in price.
    Years and years ago, they had one of the firemen that was over buying the fireworks each year and I remember the year my husband was over it and boy was I shocked at how much they cost even then.
    Another  thing that is different now than it was back then, and that is everyone  of  those firemen that you see out there on the field lighting those fireworks has to go through a training every year and pass the test to be certified to set them off. (my how things change.)   Things are so different now than they were back many years ago.
    There is really a lot of work that goes into bringing the entertainment of the of  the fireworks display to the citizens who come to watch and get excited over the beautiful and loud fireworks.
    I miss the old race track that we sat around to watch the fireworks but it is just a lot of fun
to look back and remember when....

Tuesday, August 16, 2016



   The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veteran’s organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s  largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.
    The American Legion Post 48 was established in Payson on October 1, 1920.  Dr. L. D. Stewart  was the first Commander, Harry Tipton was the Vice-Commander and Rex Peery was the Adjutant.  The first meetings were held on the upper floor of a building located on North Main Street.
    In May of 1940,  plans sponsored by the local American Legion,  were underway for a great civic development in Payson.  For sometime the plans were under consideration of solving the problem to find the Legion a home.  As a result they took an option on the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company boarding house at the old sugar factory that was located west of  town.   On May 11, 1940  they began to tear down the building and salvage the 40,00 bricks and other building materials.
    They had two plans under consideration at the time.   The first plan was to construct a 40 foot by 70 foot memorial home at the south end of the lawn area by the original swimming pool that was constructed in 1937.  A second plan that was favored by most was to build a large civic hall 60 feet by 120 feet on West Utah Avenue just west of the Chronicle Publishing Company.  This contemplated building would have an up-to-date ballroom, a full basement with a banquet room, kitchen assembly room and a billiard hall for men and ladies.
    Neither of these two plans ever came into being  due to many problems encountered by the American Legions members that had been working so hard to get a home for the organization.
     On June 21, 1950 a new American Legion Hall was dedicated.  The building was located next to the alleyway west of the Safeway Building on 100 South.  There was an open house reception that was arranged by Commander Bill Snyder and Auxiliary President, Mrs. L. D. Stewart.  Glen Cowan, an American Legion member and a bishop of the LDS Payson Third Ward offered the dedicatory prayer.

    The building at one time had been the body shop for the Shuler Motor that was located to the east and it had later been part of the old Payson City Shops.  It had undergone extensive alterations to make it suitable for all civic and social occasions.  The remodeling of the building exceeded $17,000.  The building, owned by Payson City,  was leased to the American Legion and was available to all civic groups for club meetings, banquets, and dances.
    Upon entering the building, there was a large game room on one side of the hall and a meeting room on the other side.  At the rear of the building was a large room that could be used for dances or banquets.  The room could comfortably seat about 160 people.  There was also a large modern, well-equipped kitchen available in the building.
    The American Legion Post 48 called the building on 100 South home for the next 32 years.  In 1982, Payson City Council voted to tear down the Legion Hall which was city owned.  In August of that year,  Mayor Gary Tassainer gave the Legion officials notice that the lease for the building would not be renewed.  The city was planning on placing a parking lot on the location of the Legion Hall and the old Wilson Feed building located just to the west of the Legion Hall.  Since the Legion Hall’s demise, the Post has held meetings in various locations in the city.

   The American Legion Auxiliary was organized about 1924.  The ladies in this organization were the wives of the veterans of the American Legion.
    Over the years, the local organization has been involved in many youth projects such as sponsoring young men to attend the Utah Boys State and young women to attend the Utah Girls State programs each year. 
    The legion members have been  involved in many patriotic events for many years.  Many members of the local legion post serve as members of the Honor Guard that honors veterans at  grave side services.  They perform the 21 gun salute, complete the flag ceremony and present the folded American flag to the veteran’s survivors.  They also arrange for TAPS to be played as a part of the program honoring the veteran.

Sunday, August 14, 2016



    May 20, 1916, saw the last day of rail laying on the main line of the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad, also known as the Orem Line.  When the line was constructed as far as Provo, new, especially built cars began running. They were dark red, thirty six-passenger capacity cars, each divided into a freight compartment and two passenger compartments, smoking and non-smoking. Each car was heated, lighted and powered by four 110 horsepower Westinghouse motors, which drew electricity from overhead cables.
    The last spike was driven in the streets of Payson on May 26 and 27.  The two days were set aside for celebrating both the arrival of the SL&U and the government's large Strawberry Reclamation Project. Immediately 24 trains a day made the complete run from Salt Lake to Payson, a distance of 66.6 miles. By July, service had increased to 26 trains a day, which was the largest number ever operated to Payson. From then until final abandonment, service was gradually cut back.  During the Twenties, an average of 16 to 18 trains were run daily. The lowest point was reached in 1937 when only ten daily trains were scheduled.
    The “Orem Line” as it was called eventually ran 67 miles from downtown Salt Lake City to Payson.  The first leg of the line was completed to Amrican Fork on March 23, 1913 and reached Provo in July 1914.  The Provo Station was located on Center Street and 100 West where we find the NuSkin Building today.  The line reached Springville in July 1915 and Spanish Fork in November 1915.  The Spanish Fork station was located on Main Street where we find Central Bank today.  An as we noted, the line was completed to Payson in May 1916.

 Laying track 1/2 mile east of present day Mountain View Hospital
 Laying of track just west of the current Payson Post Office.
Excavating the cut just about 700 East and 100 North.
The cut excavation just north of Peteetneet School.
Laying final section of track where it turned into the Orem Station where we find the Crest Parking lot today

 Orem train entering the Orem Station
Orem train heading east at about today's 700 East

Sunday, August 7, 2016



           May 2016 marked the 100th Anniversary of the completion of the Ă–rem Railroad” and the Strawberry Highline Canal.  These two events help to change the history of Payson and the surrounding area.

            The citizens of Payson had promises of an electrically operated railroad to run from Salt Lake City to Payson.    On February 24, 1903, Walter C. Orem was granted a permit to build and operate an inter-urban railroad between Salt Lake City and Payson.   The train was financed by A. J. Orem and Company of Portland, Maine and Simon Bamberger's Inter-urban Construction Company.  Mr. Bamburger had opened his own line in 1896 when the section running between Salt Lake City northward to Ogden was completed. Steam Locomotives pulled the train until May 28, 1910 when it was converted to use electricity.
            Mr. Orem, a rail construction veteran, was able to obtain $2 million from Boston and Portland backers, matched by local funds. In less than a year Orem had selected a route, bought and surveyed the rights-of-way, prepared the grade, and strung an overhead catenary to carry 1500 volts. In another year he had built the roadbed, installed track, and erected costly overpasses. Four UP&L substations powered the interurban plus streetcars that connected Provo and the Brigham Young University campus. The plan was to extend the line to Nephi, meaning that the entire Wasatch Front would be spanned by electric mass transit. By 1913 four gas-and-electric trains per day were running from Salt Lake to American Fork. By the next year 800 passengers rode daily between Salt Lake and Provo. Each subsequent year brought expansion: 1915 to Springville, 1916 to Payson.

  The "Orem Line" going through the cut north of the Peteetneet School

          The new line south from Salt Lake City was known locally as the "Orem Road" for A. J. Orem & Company, whose handling of the financing and construction of the line under the direction of W. C. Orem, the active head of the company, has been marked by high efficiency throughout. The Orem interests took hold of the project late in 1912 and would have the line in actual operation in little more than a year from the time they assumed control. The work accomplished in the period included the making of all surveys and plans, the securing of rights of way, the purchase of large quantities of material and equipment, and the actual construction of the railroad.
            The Salt Lake & Utah Railroad "The Orem Line", ran 67 miles from Salt Lake City to Payson. The train ran straight through Provo. The Provo depot was located where the NuSkin building stands now on the south side of Center Street.
            The "Orem" line was completed from Salt Lake City southward to American Fork on March 23, 1913 and reached Provo in July of 1914.  The line extended further to Springville by July 1915, Spanish Fork in November 1915, and Payson on March 24th, 1916.  The plans to extend the line 25 miles to Nephi were never completed due in part of the United States entering World War I, although the surveying was completed in 1917. 
A car on the Orem line just passed the Car Barn heading toward the station.  Passing by the old LDS 4th Ward Church.

         May 20, 1916, saw the last day of rail laying on the main line. The last spike was driven in the streets of Payson. May 26 and 27 were set aside for celebrating both the arrival of the SL&U and the government's large Strawberry Reclamation Project.  The first train arrived in Payson about 9:30 A.M.  Mr. Orem and his daughter were met at the station by the Payson Silver Band.  At 10:00 A.M. the last spike was driven by Mrs. George Done, the Carnival Queen and Miss Gladys Orem.
            After leaving Spanish Fork, the line went south to Salem and then turned west toward Payson. A large cut or roadbed excavation was necessary just north of the Peteetneet School.  The dirt removed from the cut was used to build an elevated roadbed going east toward Salem.  As the line moved eastward toward Salem the roadbed eventually became almost level with the  state highway that ran adjacent to it. 

The Orem Station was located just west of today's Daley Freeze where we find the parking lot of the Crest Convenience Store.
         George A. Cheever Sr. was one of the employees of the Orem Line almost from the beginning of service.  He continued for nearly thirty years until the train service was ended.  He originally came to Payson as store keeper working with supplies in the north building of the shops that were located on 400 East and 100 North.  He later also took over in 1932 as the station agent as well as retaining his previous position.
            Immediately, 24 trains a day made the complete run from Salt Lake to Payson, a distance of 66.6 miles. By July, service had increased to 26 trains a day, which was the largest number ever operated to Payson. From then until final abandonment, service was gradually cut back. During the Twenties, an average of 16 to 18 trains were run daily. The lowest point was reached in 1937 when only ten daily trains were scheduled.
            The line ended in Payson at the Interurban Depot that was located just east of Main Street on 100 North where we find the parking lot of the Crest Convenience Store today.
            What happened to Utah's inter-urbans? At first they were able to compete with automobiles--despite low petroleum prices and government highway subsidies--through superior service. But eventually equipment and rail beds needed costly maintenance. As early as 1925 the Orem line had cut back scheduling by one-third.
            The Great Depression sent the Bamberger and Orem lines into receivership. Their demise was helped by an active campaign by oil and auto conglomerates to buy up interurbans only to shut them down. World War II brought a temporary boom to the line. But after the war, Utah railroads lost money, while their petitions to the Public Service Commission to shrink services and thus costs were rejected. In 1947 the last line ceased operation.  The rails were removed and the large cut north of Peteetneet was filled in.
            The Orem Inter-urban provided a great service to Payson and the communities of Utah County for more than thirty years.  Today, we are seeing the planning and completion of a new interurban railroad line known as Frontrunner that is part of the Utah Transit Authority.  This second inter-urban line will also benefit the communities and populace of Utah County.  The new Frontrunner line is scheduled to arrive in Payson in the next few years.