Cottonwood to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
Welcome back to memory lane. Talk of the past brings back many memories. This past Sunday the twin Geis girls, Grace Remacle and Francis Nuttman, celebrated their 90th birthday. Talk about history and these girls and their families have made their mark across the whole area. They both have contributed much over the past 90 years. The family and their many friends wish them the very best in the years yet to come. Once time, not realizing that they were twins, I asked Francis how much difference there was in age, and she very smartly said “about 30 minutes.” Let’s get on with some other things that went on about 1964 or so.
In January that year, our then president Lyndon Johnson, in his State of the Union address declared a War on Poverty. I think the people of the United States have been in on this since day one. It’s just that some make more fuss over it than others who have been involved in the fighting.
Also at this time the trouble in the Panama Canal Zone is heating up. John Glenn gives up his seat on a rocket and goes into politics. The Winter Olympics are held in Innsbruck, Austria.
Here at home more and more of the kids are going in for longer hair and singing the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” There seems to be a generation gap in the preferred music. I remember a group of us went down to Lewiston to see Ali fight Liston on RV in February. Richard Burton married Liz Taylor the first time. There seems to be less “stickum” in a lot of things. This year there was a helluva earthquake in Alaska on Good Friday-9.2 on the Richter scale! I guess there never will be what they used to call “getting back to normal.” Here the talk of atomic war with Russia goes center stage. Some of the people laid aside provisions and, at least, called the old cellar “our safe spot.”
People were not only burning their draft cards but, some, where running to foreign countries and hiding. Politics is warming up. Both Rockefeller and Goldwater think they have the answer. The Republicans chose Goldwater. 5,000 more advisors are sent to Viet Nam and with these we had 25,000 over there.
The unrest in the world keeps farm and lumber prices up and local home and business building keeps up a steady pace. The new hospital here is finished in 1965. Many local and area people gave generously to this and they and many in time to come will benefit! Where were you born? In the new or old hospital? 47 years ago? By golly, I didn’t think you were that old!
The Dept. of Defense announces the closing of many bases and facilities throughout the United States. This is going to trickle down to Cottonwood and the Radar Site was closed in 1965. Later the same year the Job Corps, under the O.E.O. was located in the facility. Later this same property would come under control of the State to be used as a prison facility.
A lot more protest is going on concerning Viet Nam. 25,000 people stage a protest in D.C. This was a time of increase in worldwide unrest. I personally think it became quite common for leaders of problem-laden countries to cause this unrest and then the Good Ole USA would throw a bunch of money at the leaders to try and settle their problems. Kind of a forced welfare which still goes on today.
One thing that did have quite an effect on us all was the work being done in medical research. The number one killer was heart trouble and much work was done during this time which eventually led to heart surgery and transplants. If I remember correctly, medicine and surgery has reduced people dying from heart trouble by about 40%. Just count the people you know who have lived all these extra years because of all this advanced treatment!
Another thing that changed our way of living was the vast improvement in all kinds of electronic transmission. The TV was becoming our main source of news and also made a huge difference in our social lives. The radio kept scrambling to stay in the mainstream. C.B.’s became a must for every rig and on the local farm Mom became the ‘base’ operator.
The airlines put on a big push to build up the traveling business. Trains and buses suffer as more and more people are flying. Along with the building of bigger and better planes the tourist industry picks up and Las Vegas and Reno make a big play for the vacation dollar. Idaho does a big promotion play and all at once we have lots of people come through on vacation. Some just looking but there is a big increase in out of state hunting and fishing licenses.
Another event, in California, Ronald Reagan is elected governor-here he comes! The space program has a Gemini 11 successful space flight. Look out moon, here we come! The race riots and protests against the Viet Name War keep us all on edge and in April, 1968 a burning torch is thrown into a very volatile situation. In June the same year Robert Kennedy is shot. In August Richard Nixon is nominated by the GOP. On January 20, 1969 he is inaugurated as our next president. In July the United States lands Apollo 11 on the Moon. 500 million people this and see their safe return.
I remember many local people banded together and had TV-Moon parties. This great news diverted our attention from the race problems as well as the bitter taste of the Viet Nam War. In August the animal like killings of the “Manson Family” shocked us all. Remember where you were during these chaotic times? At the close of 1969 we still have all the problems we have worked our way into. In 1970 they finally start to bring our troops home from Nam. About this time the news says only24 Americans were killed in the first week of November. Nixon asks Congress for another 155 million dollars to throw into this Asian mess. One of the last acts of Nixon in 1970 is the signing of OSHA Act which made a great change in all our lives.
Here locally 1970 was a major year for change. We now had a new Catholic Church in town. St. Gertrude’s Academy was closed and the schools were consolidated. Also in 1968 our Parish Priest for 33 years, Msgr. Verhoeven officially retired.
This then was the start of the Released Time Program. This time of school consolidation was a difficult time for everyone and now, looking back, we can only commend our leaders who did a great job making this transition as smooth as it was. Our schools have a great record of teaching and we are proud to have such great schools!

Photos of the Camas Café, left, and their first menu from Sept. 15, 1939,, right were submitted by Joanne Sonnen. It was located where Lauretta Poxleitner’s office is now. From left behind the counter are Herman and Regina Seubert, an unknown waitress and Jo Peyer.

Several area young men heading into the armed services. Back  row second from right is Bob Gehring and front row far right is Walt Wensman.

A handbill for an event in Keuterville that took place 100 years ago last week.

A photo of Ferdinand from 1911.

Remember When
Remember when…
Lucille Ackerman ran the Café Royal? Liz Brady ran the same café? How about the other side of the street-Grace’s Coffee Shop? When Dorothy and Bernadette Seubert ran the same? When Herman and Regina Seubert and Jo Peyer ran the Camas Café? When Perry Briscoe ran it after them?
When Johnson Gilbertz ran the grocery in Ferdinand? When Vince and Caroline Frei took over and ran the grocery? When Geo. Tipton and Glen Inglish ran the Halfway Club, also in Ferdinand? When Tony and Barbara ran Haener’s Inn? Clyde Greening started and ran “The Twin Gables?” Then Phil and Patty Kilwein later ran the Gables? Then came Tex’s Radar Bar? The Past Time Bar? Cy’s Crystal Bar? Remember Arlie VonTersch working in Jenny’s Tavern? Cletus and Peg Uhlorn bought the Mode Theatre? And also bought the mortuary?
Urban Riener started Riener’s Grocery?
Bud Madden worked with Clem Riener in the O.K. Garage?
Do you remember when all the construction at the Housing Area and at the base 5 miles up had many local people employed? All at once we had a big bubble top on the Butte? As I remember the dome was supposed to turn, which it did for a few months, than because of faulty design it didn’t last long. All told there were 66 buildings built here and at the base. By 1965 the site was closed.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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