Allen Parker in front of the Hitchin' Post shop on Blair Street.
He came here in 1958 with his dad, famed artist Vern Parker
After some 55 years in Silverton, Allen Parker, proprietor of Vern Parker’s Hitchin’ Post shop on Blair Street, has sold the building and is moving to Prescott, Ariz.
Allen said he and his family came to Silverton in 1958, from Benson, Ariz. They first stayed at The Arcade building. The following year the family bought two buildings here.
His father, Vern, was an artist who painted postcards, and was noted for his paintings of horses and scenery. He died on July 4, 1978 in Tucson, Ariz.
Allen studied chemistry in college but became a gifted sculptor in glass.
Allen says he has seen a lot of people come and go over the years, recalling when the train would run three times a week in the early 1960s.
“Back then most of the business district was on Blair Street,” Allen said. “The business was best when the district was about a third of its size.”
Allen figures the tourism-related businesses on Blair Street probably peaked in 1970s, but “it stayed strong until after the 1990s, then it dropped more.”
The Hitchin’ Post building at 1234 Blair was built in 1906 and was originally the Monte Carlo Saloon and boarding house. It later was a gambling hall, part of a livery and a chili parlor.
In 1953, the building played a role in the movie “Run for Cover,” when it was “blown up” in a bank robbery.
The building has now been sold to Brian Luther.
The wooden sign in front of the building, Allen said, was carved with a knife by his dad.
Vern Parker was born in May 1889, to James Madison Parker, wagonmaster and blacksmith, and Anna Bills, in Hanford, California. He and his twin sister were the last of seven children. Little is known of his early years. He became best-known as a painter and woodcarver in the 40s and 50s when he carved gates and signs for the wealthy ranchers and landowners in Santa Ynez, California.