Tour Stop 9: Wingfield Store/Boler’s Bar, c. 1933
325 S. Main Street, Camp Verde, AZ 86322
The Boler’s Bar building is associated with commercial development along Camp Verde’s Main Street during the 1930s. It was originally built by twin brothers Claude and Ralph Wingfield as a grocery store in 1933. Constructed of 1″ x 12″ exterior boards with no supporting studs over a foundation of limestone taken and repurposed from Fort Verde’s abandoned buildings, the original structure was hastily constructed by the Wingfield twins over the course of three days. Despite its hurried construction, the building remains a good example of twentieth century western vernacular commercial architecture.
The Wingfield brothers hoped to compete against their uncle, Robert W. Wingfield, who owned the large mercantile at the other end of Main Street. Finding the competition too tough, the twins gave up after less than a year and used their new building to store animal feed. After a series of short sales, Otto Boler, a “short fat Dutchman,” purchased the building in 1935 and turned it into the bar that would eventually become a Camp Verde institution. Never much interested in catering to his customers’ needs, Boler did not even include stools until patrons threatened to take their business elsewhere.
When the bar closed in 2010, it was the town’s longest continuously operating business.