Tryon discussing Payne Park

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

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Resident, town plans to forever remember James Payne

TRYON—Tryon resident John Vining proposed an idea to town officials this week to forever remember the late James Payne. 

Payne was a local historian who passed away on Dec. 12, 2019 at the age of 91. 

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Tryon Town Council met Tuesday and heard from Vining during citizen comments. 

Vining said he has been racking his brain to find a way to memorialize the contributions of Payne. 

He proposed creating a park in Payne’s name on property the town currently owns between Payne and Pine Streets. The 6 acres is a ravine, but Vining said with some vision, Rogers Park was also a ravine. 

There are also six other parcels around the 6 acres that are either owned by Tryon or Polk County. One is 0.17 acres owned by Tryon; one is 0.32 acres owned by Polk County; another is 0.43 acres owned by Polk County; one is 0.21 acres owned by Tryon; another 0.19-acre parcel owned by Polk County and another 0.35 acres owned by Tryon. 

Vining suggested the parcels could be incorporated to make into Payne Park. Vining said the town has owned the large parcel since the 1920s. 

“James was really an avid plant person,” Vining said. “My idea is to have the Payne Botanical Garden.” 

Vining, who is a member of the Tryon Parks Committee but was representing himself on Tuesday, said if the town does not think these are suitable to honor Payne to let him know other suggestions. 

Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis said at one point council members wanted that parcel to be reserved for the town cemetery. 

Vining encouraged elected officials to ride to the property to look at it. 

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said it is definitely not a bad idea at all and he wants a park in Payne’s honor.