The week in eastern Idaho history

100 years ago

W.J. Coleman of Idaho Falls announced at a meeting of labor interests this week in 1917 that plans were in motion for a labor temple. The proposed building was to be two stories tall, with an estimated cost of $25,000. No definite site had been chosen, although an announcement was expected shortly. “At the meeting Tuesday night a considerable sum was pledged to the building fund,” the Idaho Register reported.

75 years ago

Gas ration books were issued this week in Idaho Falls totaling 2,760, while another 1,500 motorists outside the city received gasoline certificates. A healthy percentage of city car owners had applied for the supplemental ration books, according to the Bonneville County Ration Board, and applications in the rural districts was also reported to be heavy. Residents who registered late would be able to obtain ration books at the board office after Dec. 1.

50 years ago

Representatives from seven Idaho Falls motels met this week in 1967 in the Skylark Cafe to hear from Blaine Anderson of Twin Falls, president of the Idaho Motel Association. The main subject of discussion at the meeting was a telephone survey undertaken by the association detailing the costs — physical and financial — of providing telephone services to guests. “It is hoped by the association that the survey will help motels receive reduced rates from the telephone company,” the Post-Register reported. “Included in the survey are the number of calls handled by the motel; the number of local calls; the number of credit card calls; the time and charges of calls handled by motels; and the amount of money spent over and above the phone bill for the operation of the switchboard.”

25 years ago

After nearly four decades, the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant was looking at its last days as a defense-related facility. In early December 1992, ICPP was to be taken under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Energy’s waste management and cleanup division. Opened by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1953, the Chem Plant had been put on a list of “surplus facilities” that also included several facilities at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver. “Recent changes in defense production requirements have resulted in a significant number of facilities that are no longer required for defense purposes,” the DOE said in a memo.


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


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