Events Calendar

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All Society meetings are held at the Museum at 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted, from September through May. There are light refreshments served. As always, the Society meetings are free and open to the public, so bring family and invite some friends!  Other special events will be added as planning for them is completed, and details are updated regularly, so keep checking back.


June 8, 2018

 Celebrating the History of Bannock County!

On June 8th from 10 AM to 6 PM the Bannock County Historical Museum and Fort Hall Replica are celebrating the annual opening of the Fort for the summer season!  The Museum and Fort are now both managed by the Bannock County Historical Society (who just celebrated 95 years), with support from Bannock County and the City of Pocatello.  As you visit the Complex, keep in mind this important and unique fact - everything in it was built by the community, primarily with donations (money, labor, or materials), to honor the past and preserve it for future generations. 

There are several structures and many artifacts in the Historic Complex for visitors to explore and learn about.  The first structure built in Complex was the now venerable Fort Hall Replica. The Fort was completed 1963 using traditional materials and methods referencing original blueprints used by the Hudson Bay Trading Co.  The City of Pocatello provided $20,000 in seed money to begin the project. Why build a replica, you may ask? Because….

“Pocatello and Southeast Idaho have a story to tell. It is a story of one of the most thrilling periods of American history, when a young nation full of adventure and wanting new lands began the trek Westward, first in trickles, then in swarms, growing into the greatest [voluntary] migration that any nation had known. A story of the hardships and heroism, the sadness and the happiness, the anguish and success, the weak and the strong, a story of the will and determination to overcome all obstacles and conquer a vast wilderness. It is a story of the days of the Old Oregon Trail. The major factor in determining that the Oregon Trail came through this territory, and the main reason for maintaining it from its start to its crest and on to its ebb, was the small outpost on the banks of the Snake River, Fort Hall. Built in 1834 as a trading post by Nathaniel Wyeth, it proved to be of benefit in the expansion of the nation. Allowed to wither and decay, with the last of its timbers hauled away in 1863 to help build a stage station, it is now but a memory. But this memory should be prodded anew into life and its story told. Each individual, whether his or her lot, owes homage or respect to an ancestor or forbearer. People feel a bond that ties them to ancestry. Collectively, groups who feel that they are proud of the heritage that has been given to them, strive to show their appreciation. So, it is up to us, who are reaping the benefits of some of the most dedicated, sincere and hardworking people who pioneered the Northwest, to retell their story and provide a monument to their memory. - Article by Jack Alvord, published in the Idaho State Journal, 1962”.

To learn more about the history of the Fort and Bannock County, please visit forthall.net and read the broadsheets uploaded to the site. These broadsheets provide a great deal of fascinating information about the area’s past, and the characters who built this region into what it is today.

Located near the entrance to the Fort is the Anderson Cabin from Arbon Valley (Donor: Delores Anderson). The Anderson cabin was built by John Anderson for his bride Sena in 1905-06. His son Mark, who married Delores, later inherited the farm.  Around the time the cabin was donated and physically moved to the Historic Complex (1990), Andrean and Melissa Anderson were the 3rd generation of the family to manage the farm.  This beautifully preserved cabin is the only original historic structure in the Complex and one of the oldest cabins still standing in Bannock County.

At the north end of the Complex is the Pocatello Junction.  The Junction buildings, which are about ¾ scale, were completed in 1990, and represent the primary community buildings and businesses that were part of the original Pocatello Junction fabric.  The construction of these buildings was a community effort, undertaken at the same time the Bannock County Historical Museum was being built. School, church, cemetery, court house, drug store, hardware store, land office, bank, saloon, hotel and depot, newspaper office, and general store are all represented and based upon photos and floor plans of original structures.  Also located on the grounds are a historic windmill and many folk-art sculptures donated by the Jackson family.  Walkways and plants were recently added between the Museum and Pocatello Junction thanks to an Ifft Foundation Grant awarded to improve the appearance of the Complex and provide better accessibility to visitors.

The Bannock County Historical Museum, originally housed in what was then the Carnegie Library (now Marshall Public Library) in Old Town, joined the landscape near the Fort in 1990.  When it became clear there was a need for more space than the Carnegie could provide, fundraising efforts were undertaken, and Myers-Anderson Architects were selected to design the new Museum.  The Museum was constructed near the Fort because it was thought that the proximity would provide a more complete experience for visitors.  It was dedicated in 1990 as part of the State of Idaho Centennial Celebration.  One of the unique features of the Museum is the spectacular donor mural wall (primary artist Tim Norton); it bears the names of the individuals and organizations who contributed to the building fund and features local history themes. 

The BCHM houses exhibits, objects, and records relating to Bannock County and Pocatello's history. Exhibit themes include the Oregon Trail, railroad, medical practices, general store, the military, Victorian parlor, Japanese Shrine, photography shop, prohibition police evidence, fire-fighting, printing equipment, ranching and farming tools and equipment, a windmill, a Holladay Overland Stage Company stagecoach, horse tack, Shoshoni and Bannock ethnographic photographs and objects, local archaeological specimens, a research archive, and much more.  Visit bchm-id.org for more information.

The Historical Society cordially invites you to visit and explore the Historic Complex for free at our Grand Summer Celebration on June 8th.  Throughout the day there will be heritage skill demonstrations including spinning, quilting, blacksmithing, beading, flintknapping, and atlatl use.  Several mountain men will be present, and at 2 PM there will original poetry and music by Cowgirl Up.  Cowgirl up is a team of western female talent, comprised of award-winning song writer Patty Clayton (pattyclayton.com) and award-winning poet Sam DeLeeuw (samdeleeuw.com).  The schedule of events is as follows:

10:00 AM                    Gates open to the public.

11:00 AM                    Dignitaries address visitors from the second level of the Fort interior

11:30 -11:45 AM        Raising of the American flag, with a black powder salute.

                                   Reading of the “Defense of Fort McHenry” (author Francis Scott Key).

                                   Raising of the Hudson Bay flag.

 11:50 AM                   Native American prayer.

12:00 – 1:00 PM         Chili and lemonade at the Fort, dessert at the Museum.

1:00 PM                      Visitors free to watch demonstrations and prepare for the concert.

2:00 PM                      Cowgirl Up performs original music and poetry from the Fort Hall stage.

3:30 – 6:00 PM           Ongoing demonstrations. Visitors are free to explore.


                (208) 233-0434 | 3000 Ave. of the Chiefs, P.O. Box 253, Pocatello, ID 83204 | bancohismus@gmail.com