The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

Today marks the 100th birthday of the Rotary Club in Idaho Falls. The installation of the club on Feb. 11, 1918, featured delegations from Salt Lake City and Boise, which came in on the morning train. “They were entertained during morning and at noon a luncheon was served and the club installed at the Eleanore Hotel,” the Idaho Register reported. “George M. Scott was elected president; T.H. Kelley, Vice President; John E. Pike, secretary; and C.W. Sammis, treasurer. These officers, together with C.E. Dinwoodey, Eugene Wright and Clency St. Clair form the board of directors.” The highlight of the entertainment was a rendition of the Barcarolle from “Tales of Hoffmann” by Lucille Pike, who received a standing ovation and an invitation to give a special recital at the Bonneville Rotary Club in Salt Lake City in April.

75 years ago

Marion Orr, head librarian of the Idaho Falls Public Library, was named state head of the national Victory Book drive to obtain all kinds of books for the U.S.O. “We want any books of general interest published since 1930 and technical books published since 1935,” she said. “All fiction books are good. Joke books are desired, too. However, we don’t want books that are badly in need of repair because in transporting them from one camp to another they may fall apart.” Anyone wishing to donate could bring them to the library or call the librarian, who was having Girl Scouts collect them.

50 years ago

In response to objections from some city residents, the Idaho Falls City Council voted this week in 1968 to restrict snowmobiles in city limits to specific park areas. “Following a lengthy discussion by the council and spectators at the regular council session, users of the vehicles are confined to Eagle Rock Park, Sand Hill Park and a stretch of land at Fanning Field,” the Post-Register reported. Snowmobiles on city streets were to be banned, particularly around schools and hospitals. The council voted 4-2 against a resolution that would allow snowmobiles in Tautphaus Park. Mel Erickson and Jim R. Freeman voted in favor, while the measure was opposed by Lyn Smith, Dale D. Parish, Gordon L. Nelson and Jack Wood, Jr.

25 years ago

City of Idaho Falls officials were warning this week in 1993 that the winter might rank among the most costly ever for snow removal and street maintenance. Four months into its budget year, the city was already dipping into its emergency funds to cover snow removal costs that had exceeded expectations by $150,000. “We’re treating this like an emergency,” Mayor Tom Campbell said. “We anticipate it’s probably going to be the worst year we’ve ever had.” No one cared to comment on what costs might be on the way with asphalt breaking up in the spring.


Paul Menser is the author of “Legendary Locals of Idaho Falls.”


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