While children caroused in the playground, a park dedication ceremony was held on Sept. 3, honoring former Ely Police Chief Jack Caylor, who served the city and its residents from 1953 to 1981. The park is located in front of the freight barn at the railroad on 10th Street and Avenue A.
Caylor passed away in 2010 at age 91, having served as chief of police in Ely for 28 years, a time when Ely had its own police department.
Ely Mayor Melody Van Camp emceed the ceremony, thanking all who had been involved in the many years of planning and promoting the park’s being named in Caylor’s honor. Many family members lined up behind Van Camp, who spoke about Caylor and his contribution to the city.
“When the city council designated this lot as Jack Caylor Park six years ago, there was nothing here but three foot high sagebrush,” Van Camp said. “It has taken the efforts of many people in the city to plan Caylor Park and make it a reality.”
Van Camp thanked the city parks department and other city crews, former mayor John Hickman, the county and city staff. She also noted how a prior city council “listened” to citizens, installing some of the antique toys from Broadbent Park to the new location.
Van Camp said the current city council has been very supportive of finishing Caylor Park and sponsoring the day’s festivities.
“As wonderful as Caylor Park is today, we at the city are hoping to have enough funds and donations to finish it out next year with horseshoe pits, additional barbecue pits, more playground items and landscaping,” Van Camp told the audience, which numbered near 100.
Van Camp said Caylor, as a public servant, touched many lives.
“Whenever Caylor Park comes up in conversation, someone has an experience to share about how Jack Caylor helped them,” she said.
Van Camp recounted the many hours of community service Caylor gave to the town, including his holding a seat on the regional planning commission and his membership in the Elks Club.
“Chief Caylor’s outstanding service as the city’s police chief for 28 years is a matter of record,” she said. “But his influence for good was even greater because of how he interacted with people.”
Caylor spoke of how Caylor, at 91, had lost in life in a tragic car accident on May 3, 2010.
“A month later, on June 10, the Ely City Council voted unanimously to name its new north Ely park after him,” Van Camp said. “Today would have been his 97th birthday.”
Van Camp then presented a replica of the park’s future sign to Caylor’s son, Mark. She then cut a ribbon at the park’s entrance, representing the opening of the park. Blue and pink balloons were given to the family members, who released them in Jack Caylor’s honor.