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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Thursday, April 16, 2009
Kenna Holm

I've been sitting here being very nostalgic today thinking of a million things that 'used to be'.  See if you can remember all these things:

    Remember back before the internet,semi-automatics and crack? Before play-station,SEGA,
    Super Nintendo, even before Atari... and what did we do before cell phones? That seems to be the way we keep track of everyone whether it be in the store or where ever. Remember before CD's, DVD's, Voice mail and e-mail and texting.

    Think way back to playing hide and seek at dusk, or red rover, red rover, playing kickball and dodge-ball until it was too dark to see any longer. And we didn't have street lights then, we played ring around the rosie, London Bridges Falling Down, One potato, two potato, three potato four, Hop scotch, Jump rope, You're It!.
    Parents used to stand on the porch and yell or whistle for their children to come home. I remember Helen Walker's mom, Louise Harmer, could yell from their home on Utah Avenue and Helen could hear here down to my home on 400 West and 200 North. There were no pagers or cell phones then to keep track of your kids. Now your see even the little school kids with their own cell phone.
    Remember when we used to play Mother May I?  If the one that was IT called for you to take one giant step, You had to answer "Mother May I?" before you took the step and if you didn't you were out.

   I remember laying on the lawn and watching the clouds roll by and making out all kinds of shapes out of them. (No one takes time to do that now)
    We never had air conditioning then. And believe it or not--we survived. Now we can't ride in a car without AC. The windows down causes to much havoc with your hair.
Remember when we used to love the sound of crickets and running through the sprinklers?
    Remember the cereal boxes that had wonderful prizes  inthe bottom and also the Cracker Jacks with prizes.  My husband always used to tease me and tell me my engagement ring came from a box of Cracker Jack. We used to buy popsicles that had two sticks and you could break them into and share with a friend.

    Saturday's when we had children they spent Saturday mornings watching cartoons like Tom and Jerry(none of these violent screwy ones they have now.  There were the serial adventures like Cisco Kid, The Lone Ranger or Boston Blackie and remember 'The Shadow'? No TV's then. It was all radio and we could stay glued to them for hours with all the programs they had on.

     Remember  The Lone Ranger, Blondie and Dagwood and Fibber McGee and Molly? I mention my closet looks like Fibber McGee's and my kids just look at me and say, 'Huh?'.
    Remember the first day of school was always so special.  We could wear the new clothes we had bought and the new shoes. Oh yes. Those were the days.
    We used to climb trees, swing in the old tire swings and the swings that hung from a big branch in the tree. We would see how high we could pump our selves up and reach the sky. We thought it was great fun to jump down the steps, and we actually got tired from playing.
    Work was just taking the garbage out or cutting the grass with the old push lawn mowers and washing the car on the lawn with the hose and then end up having a water fight. FUN.
    Rainy days meant the smell of damp concrete and chalk erasers and usually staying in at recess. But on good days we played hop scotch, and all kinds of fun games outside.
    Kool-aid was the drink of the summer. None of these Energy drinks and soft drinks that everyone has now days. We also would take a big drink of water out of the hose. That's a no no now because it is not clean water.
    We loved to ride bikes and a lot of the times if we all didn't have a bike right then, we would hop on the handle bars of someone elses bike and have a ride. And remember how we put a playing card or piece of cardboard on wheel so it would make a cool noise as the wheel went around. We would clip them on with an old wooden clothes pin.
    In those days, nearly everyone's mom was home when they got home from school. I can still remember the hot bread Mom would make and we would always take one loaf and just break it in pieces and eat it with butter and jam or honey. Yum!
     In those days we maybe got a dime for allowance or if we were lucky, a quarter. Then it was off to Mendenhall's Market to buy some penny candy. Rex always put it in a little brown paper sack for each of us.
    Those were the days when ANY parent could discipline ANY kid, or feed them, or ask them to help with a task around the house and nobody, not even the kid, thought anything about it. Now you don't dare even correct your own children for fear that someone will turn you in for child abuse.  I think sometimes a little laying on of the hands would help some of these kids now days.
    Going out to eat was a REAL treat.Now it's an everyday occurrence. Nothing special. There wasn't McDonald's and Wendy's and all those fast food places. We actually ate at home.
    Did you ever get called into the principal's office? That wasn't anything compared to what we got when we got home from our parents if we were guilty of doing something wrong or naughty. They didn't try to make us out angels. (even though some of were, ha ha) We didn't want our parents mad at us.
    Those days there was no fear of drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, etc. I don't remember hearing of those things
    Remember when we use to use "eeny-meeny-miney-mo" to chose someone or mistakes were corrected by simply by saying "do it over".  Those days 'Race Issues' meant arguing about who ran the fastest. It wasn't odd to have several 'best' friends. The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. No one was prettier than Mom and scrapes and bruises were always made better by a kiss from mom.
    Remember when we used to spin around until we got dizzy and fell downand giggled forever about it. (Now I'd probable throw up) Remember when the worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team. Oh No!
    Water balloons were the ultimate weapon. They were fun to catch someone with a balloon full of water and then run like mad so they couldn't catch you.
In those days, it was a more pleasant simpler times. Those of you who remember most of these things lived in an era that no one else will ever experience. The era has passed and slowly those of us who lived it are passing also. If you do not remember, then ask your parents, grand parents or great grandparents about them. We went from am radio to the stars.
    Make your era a worthwhile time for future generations to build on because it is so much fun to look back and remember when.....