People living on Wright’s Mesa may or may not know that the Town of Norwood incorporated in 1905. The first building in town was established by a Mr. Harry Copp more than a century ago, and since then Norwood has continued to evolve. The town celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005, right around the Pioneer Day festivities. Looking back, Town Administrator Patti Grafmyer said she has seen Norwood grow — especially in the last several years. And, the town, she said, wants local businesses to be successful.
Town officials, in their respective departments, work to make sure businesses have the utilities they need to stay open and serve the public. That includes things like clean running water, trash removal, sewer — and now the new raw water system that is under construction, a project that will make having lawns and gardens possible in town.
Many people see Grafmyer, along with Town Clerk Gretchen Wells, running local parades, organizing the behind-the-scenes work it takes to pull off town festivities. Grafmyer, who has worked for the town for the last 26 years, said it takes all of the town’s offices working together.
“We all have to work well together to make everything happen, like a parade,” Grafmyer said. “It starts out with Gretchen getting the permit, then Public Works shuts the roads and barricades, the Town Marshall is closing the highway — We all work together along with the entities that produce the event.”
For new business that first open, it’s not uncommon for Grafmyer and Wells to deliver a plant or flowers as a congratulatory gift. Grafmyer, who owns Hi-Country Motor Sports with her husband Mike Grafmyer, said without businesses, the town would not thrive.
“When you talk about ‘it takes a village,’ it takes everyone to make a successful town, and business — and to make the chamber be successful also,” she said. “My husband and I have a business, and we can’t be successful if our town is not. We all need each other, and that’s why it takes all of us.”
At the town’s monthly meetings (that happen the second Wednesday of each month), town officials also work to approve liquor licenses and permits for special events. Officials want to support business and other activity taking place in Norwood.
Grafmyer said the last census put Norwood at about 550 people in the incorporated area. She said what’s unique about the town, however, is that people consider the whole mesa their community.
Right now, about 30 businesses have licenses. Any business that operates in the town must have one.
Grafmyer said she has seen Norwood grow in the nearly 30 years she’s been helping to run the town.
“Since I have been here, we’ve added the new forest service, the clinic, the build-on at the school, we’ve added Cottonwood Creek, and added Homestead,” she said. “So, yes. I believe it may not look like it’s expanding a lot, but it has grown.”
Grafmyer said while the population and local business slowly grow, she’s impressed with how diverse the town is. She said the diversity that exists in Norwood is something to be proud of.
“It gives anyone who wants to move here a niche that will make them happy here,” she said.