The historical society began its fund-raising for the grange restoration in April of 2013. With the food concession for the Salmon Select Mule Sale, the society raised just over $2,000.00. In July, they received a $35,000.00 grant from the Steele-Reese Foundation. In late fall, the historical society was the recipient of an additional grant of $3,000.00 from the Tianaderrah Foundation of New York specified for the grange restoration. The Salmon River Historic Film Festival, held in conjunction with the Salmon River Whitewater Park Association and made possible through the generous donation of time, films, and exhibits by author Cort Conley, brought an additional $2,000.00 to the grange project coffers. Further recognizing the importance of non-profit organizational cooperation, the historical society and the Salmon Arts Council co-sponsored (with the help of a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council) the Sara Grey concert, “Tracing Song Migration from the Old World to the American West,” raising just over $1,000.00 for each organization.
In December, the Bills family and Saveway Market, in recognition of the importance of the Salmon Grange’s role in the community’s cultural legacy, donated $5,000.00 toward the project. Additional funds from the Idaho Heritage Trust’s portion of the Sister Alfreda Award of 2011-12 ($3,300.00) and a 2013 Idaho Heritage Trust Grant of $5,000.00 enabled the society to engage Marc Williams Construction to commence restoration in January of this year.
A membership drive that includes opportunities for various levels of participation and opportunities for donation has also helped generate much-needed funds.
The restoration and stabilization process includes refinishing the hardwood floors, raising the ceiling to its original height, repairing and stabilizing the roof, installing an ADA bathroom (design by Don Stamp) and ramp, new lighting and electrical elements (Mike Ernest Electric), and a heat pump (Ray’s Heating and Plumbing). Water damage and age also requires brick repair and replacement. Fortunately, Larry Zuckerman of Salmon has donated Pollard brick that he collected during the deconstruction of the historic Ibach home (which was located across Courthouse Drive from the Courthouse).
The enormity of scope and expense of this project dictates that it will take place over the course of two to three years. Fundraising will be ongoing, and the next major event will be the April 2014 Salmon Select Mule Sale Food concession on Friday, April 11th.
For information on how you can contribute to the Lemhi County Historical Society, help with specific projects, or if you would like to become a member, please visit the historical society’s website at www.lemhicountymuseum.org or call (208)756-3342. The historical society is a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status and any donations may be tax deductible.
The residents of this county and the many supporters of the Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum and its endeavors have proved the truth of the society’s motto that “A Sense of History and a Sense of Place Create a Stronger Community.”