History of the Idaho Falls Elks Lodge
Celebrating 100 Years of Elkdom in Idaho Falls
When our current Lodge building opened,
the Post Register published a 10-page special
section on November 11, 1959, that described
the building and its features, many of our
programs and members, the excellence and
success of our ritual teams, and details of all
the grand opening activities. Thanks to Bob
Bybee, PER and Past Grand Trustee, this special
section was laminated and preserved for our
information and enjoyment. It is in the Lodge
office if you should wish to view it.
The building provides 34,500 square feet, and
was constructed by the Wadsworth Construction
Company directed by Golden Wadsworth. C. A.
Sundberg was the architect. Land purchase was
$60,000 and the basic building cost was
approximately $460,000. Equipment for the
bowling alley and other furnishings and
equipment brought the total cost up to about
$700,000. The grand opening was held on
Saturday, November 14, 1959, under the
direction of a committee composed of Matt
Worton, Dr. C. Larry Crabtree and Garth
Petersen. N.D. "Andy" Anderson was the Exalted
Ruler at the time. The festivities included
dedication of the bowling alley by Mayor
W. J. O'Bryant, a bowling exhibition by a
well-known professional bowler, dancers
directed by Larry (Mrs. Bill) Kroll, several
different musical performances and floor shows,
and dancing to Johnny Reitz and his orchestra.
The first Lodge meeting was held the following
Tuesday, November 17, with the featured speaker
William S. Hawkins of Coeur d'Alene Lodge, who
was Grand Exalted Ruler at the time. He is the
only Elk from Idaho to serve as Grand Exalted
Ruler. There were 180 new candidates to be
initiated at that meeting, bringing our total
membership to over 1700 members.
It is interesting to see the many Idaho
Falls businesses that had congratulatory
messages and ads in this special section.
Max Ker and Son Lumber, Johnson Brothers
Planing Mill, Old Faithful Beverage, Jewel
Electric, B.A. Wackerli and Westergard-
Mayflower Transfer and Storage are among
those still doing business. Fogg Drug,
Brown and Gesas, Kite Rambler Sales,
Jack's Chicken Inn and Pond's Fine
Automobiles are some of the ones not with
us any more.
This special section of the Post Register
provides an interesting window on the history
of our Lodge and our city. Drop in and take a
look at it.
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