Looking back: Massive fire in Leadore, Rigby holds 'Turkey Drawing' event and mayor proclaims 'Family Week' - East Idaho News

Looking back: Massive fire in Leadore, Rigby holds ‘Turkey Drawing’ event and mayor proclaims ‘Family Week’

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IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of Nov. 20 to Nov. 26 in east Idaho history.


RIGBY — Local high school students were reportedly using their school campus as a stable for their horses, The Rigby Star reported on Nov. 23, 1916.

The article said a number of students who drove to school in buggies or rode horseback were also using the trees as hitching posts. The paper said “this should be stopped” and that “horses, no doubt, as any other animal need shelter from the rain, wind and snow.”

“Humanity demands better treatment at the hands of our dumb brutes and the school authorities should take this matter in hand,” The Rigby Star wrote.


LEADORE — A massive fire destroyed nearly a third of the business section in Leadore, the Idaho State Journal reported on Nov. 21, 1949.

The fire burned down the barber shop, post office, Silver Dollar club, Miller Brothers warehouse, a dance hall, and the residence of Wm. McRae.

“Only one structure, a vacant building, was left in the block square area,” the paper mentioned.

The blaze was believed to have started in the barber shop. Residents used pick-up trucks and jeeps, loaded with 10-gallon milk cans to haul water from the Lemhi River to the fire.

The damage was estimated between $30,000 to $50,000.


RIGBY — Rigby’s annual Turkey Drawing event was quickly approaching, The Rigby Star reported on Nov. 21, 1968.

The event consisted of merchants and business people giving away several hundred pounds of dressed turkeys for Thanksgiving family dinners.

“There are never any gimmicks attached,” The Rigby Star wrote. “You register at the stores or places of business, without the necessity of a purchase.”

The article said merchants must bring the turkeys to a specific location on Nov. 22, along with their “containers of registered names.”

“A drawing will be made from each box for that businesses’s turkey and there will be no turkeys given except to adult winners, unless a business has otherwise specified,” the article states.

It’s not clear when the Turkey Day tradition started, only that its “carried on for several years” and is Rigby’s way of saying “thanks” to customers and patrons.


SODA SPRINGS — A former Soda Springs mayor proclaimed a specific week in November be known as “Family Week” in the city, the Caribou County Sun reported on Nov. 25, 1976.

Mayor Milton B. Gambles said family week would take place the week of November 22 to November 29.

“This proclamation is to encourage families to participate together and make this week special,” the proclamation explains. “That as the family is strengthened, the city and county will be strengthened and a better place in which to live.”