Morning News â€” Leslie Mielke
Court Supervisor Tami VanOrden helps visitors explore Naturalization Records for Bingham County. On Thursday, one lady discovered her great-grandfather in the records. "She was in tears," said VanOrden. The Susquicentennial Celebration continues today and Saturday at the Bingham County Courthouse. All events are free and are open to the public.
Thursday, elementary students swarmed the courthouse to be transported into the 19th century as they explored Bingham County's history.
Each student was given a book to fill out. There were questions to answer, stickers to obtain, people to meet and lots of displays to see.
Rockford Elementary fourth grader Stephanie Miranda said the displays were "good."
After leaving the re-creation of an 1887 trial, Rockford student Mary Anderson said, "The jury listened to the evidence."
Rockford student Alexa Rodriguez said she learned that "Sara Woods was murdered."
"I learned about stuff in olden days," said Rockford student Marlen Trejo.
"Bullets were a lot different than now," said Rockford fourth grader Morgan Sensenbach.
So what's available at the courthouse?
Lots of history. Shoshone-Bannock representatives and tribal history greet visitors as they enter the courthouse. Maps and homestead plats can be perused.
Did you know the Territory of Idaho was bigger than Texas? asked Audrey Stanfield as she explains maps, plats, property and aerial views.
It's the "real deal." People can touch and peruse materials that include photos, naturalization books, court records and other hands-on materials.
Living history can be discovered as people question representatives of years gone by. Just check out people wearing a question mark on their name tags.
Blackfoot resident Lois Bates is playing the part of Finetta Elizabeth Garrett Stevens.
Stevens was married at age 15 and had the first white child in the area. She and her husband operated the first stagecoach stop that was located on Riverton and Nagasty Roads.
Said organizer Sara Staub, Bingham County's Clerk, "People have really outdone themselves."
Bingham County's celebration of the Susquicentennial (150th anniversary of the Territory of Idaho) is open to all comers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The re-creation of the 1887 trial, the Territory of Idaho vs. Alexander Woods, is at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. today and at 11 a.m. on Saturday. To get tickets for the trial, contact Bingham County Clerk Sara Staub at 782-3160.
All events of the Susquicentennial are free and open to the public.