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