As Canyon City’s ’62 Days Celebration turns 100 years old this week, the event organizers tapped longtime Grant County resident Jack Young to be the parade’s grand marshal.
Heading up a parade will not be Young’s first rodeo. He and his late wife, Merilee, served as the grand marshals of the Grant County Fair parade in 1999.
Young and his late wife’s influence on the county is far-reaching.
He and former partner Doug McDaniel founded Grant County-based Iron Triangle in 1982. McDaniel, Young said, left the company a short time later, and he went on to run the business for over two decades. His youngest son, Russ Young, now runs the business.
He said Russ had done more with the company than he ever did during his tenure. Iron Triangle started as a lumber and road construction business, Jack said. He said Russ expanded the company’s reach into oil, restaurants, convenience stores and several properties across the county. Moreover, Jack said Russ carried on the spirit of giving back to the community.
“I was very generous in the community,” he said. “If it were not for the people who live here, we would not have made a living here.”
Young said Merilee was the president of the Grant Union school board when the school district acquired the land that would later become the Seventh Street Complex. He said at the time some residents were vocal in their opposition, but she and the board were steadfast in developing the land.
“She got cussed out by everybody in town for spending all that money,” he said. “It’s been the best investment they’ve made.”
Young said events like ’62 Days preserve the region’s way of life. Beginning with the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area, followed by the miners, the cattlemen and the loggers, the event showcases the “continuity of history.”
Jack said he hopes more young people get involved in ’62 Days and continue to carry on the tradition and maintain that continuity. He said, otherwise, young people would miss out on a lot of camaraderie with people in the community.