Idaho Falls (ID) (Images of America)
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Taylor's Crossing began as a wooden toll bridge over a narrow spot on the Snake River for travelers along the Old Montana Trail. By 1883, it was known as Eagle Rock, a dusty outpost for railroad workers, bullwhackers, and miners. "We can not claim an orderly town," the newspaper reported. "The reckless firing of firearms at all hours of the day and night is a nuisance that should be stopped." When the railroad pulled out its shops, the town almost died. Following statehood and another name change, Idaho Falls transformed itself into an agricultural center and outfitting point for visitors to Yellowstone Park. In 1949, the Atomic Energy Commission arrived, and the nearby desert became a training ground for the nuclear navy, the test site for a new "inherently safe" boiling-water reactor design and the location of the world's first fatal nuclear accident.
About the Author
This retrospective relies on newspaper and Museum of Idaho archives and local family histories. Author William Hathaway is a newspaperman and fourth-generation eastern Idahoan whose ancestors were teamsters on the Old Montana Trail, canal-builders, and homesteaders. Recently he supervised the Idaho Falls Post Register's 125th-anniversary history project. This book is an extension of that project.
Most helpful customer reviews
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Seemed like it was more about Rexberg than Idaho Falls
By Joann S. Lefferts
Seemed like it was more about Rexberg than Idaho Falls. But I really enjoyed reading about the town where I grew up.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Contains some great pictures
By Mike Smith
I don't live in Idaho Falls, or even Idaho, but I received this as a gift when I visited there, from my brother who knows I like to know the history of wherever I am.
Idaho Falls seemed like an okay enough place, although strewn with ugly, slapped-up developments and strip malls, but this book made it apparent to me that Idaho Falls is a place with a history, a place with much more depth than you could see just by walking or driving through it.
This book tells the story of the town's earliest incarnations as a Wild West boomtown under two other names, tells of its newspapers, and gathers together a lot of really old and interesting photographs.
Most of the photos seemed to come from the local newspaper archives--the book's author was a newspaperman--and I think it would have benefited from a wider array of sources. Also, scattered throughout the book are new, uninteresting photos that just felt like filler.
For a resident of Idaho Falls, I would practically insist that you buy this book. It will open your eyes.
For anyone else, however, this book--at least to some degree--fails to make Idaho Falls seem like a place that should matter to the rest of the world. But I suppose that's okay.
It's a local history, and for what it is, it's pretty good.