By Naomi Hatch
“Dean Porter has been good to our community,” said Snowflake Mayor Kelly Willis at a small ceremony held on June 15 during which Dean and Sandra Porter and their family presented the deed for Heritage Park to the town.
“Probably very few people I know of have done so much for our community,” said Mayor Willis. “He put downtown Snowflake on the map.”
Years ago while serving on the Snowflake Heritage Foundation Board of Directors, Porter suggested decorative street lights. He not only got the project going, he picked up the lights and transported them from Mexico to Snowflake, and then, with the help of the town, organized volunteers to paint and put the lights up. Plaques were sold that honored someone special to help with the cost of putting up the lights and running electricity.
You could feel the excitement on June 1, 2000, as people walked up and down Main Street reading the plaques and waiting for the decorative lights to be turned on. At dusk they lit up Main Street, and people cheered, car horns honked. That was the beginning of beautifying downtown Snowflake.
Porter envisioned flowers on each light and not imitation ones, and was so determined to have live flowers that for several years he watered them himself.
The Porters moved to Snowflake in the 1990s.
“I got here and bought a historic store,” said Porter, pointing to Heritage Antiques. He said his wife Sandra made the decision to make it an antique store.
“That home next door,” Porter said, pointing to Heritage Bed & Breakfast, “kept saying, ‘I want to be a bed and breakfast.’” He thought there should be a nice place for people to stay, so he went to work putting in bathrooms and remodeling the home to make a beautiful bed and breakfast that is decorated with antiques.
He also thought there should be public restrooms available and on a small parcel of land next to Heritage Antiques he built Heritage Park, which is a peaceful little park where people can relax.
After spending a great amount of time and money, much of that the Porters’, Snowflake’s downtown is one of the most beautiful in the state.
The cover was taken off the sign, which names the park Porter Heritage Park.
“We’ll do our very best to take care of it,” said the mayor.
By Naomi Hatch