Bear River Heritage Area – Logan, Idaho

Bear Hot Springs.jpgBear River Heritage Area – Logan, Idaho

This area straddles the Idaho-Utah border where the Great Basin and the Rocky Mountains come together.  The roughest beauty of the area is well worth seeing as you enjoy all there is to do in the area.

Come and enjoy the Bear Lake Hot Springs which emerge at 118 degrees Fahrenheit.  The mineral water is cooled as flows through the mountains to the tubs.  This relaxing visit will have you ready for all the other things there are to do and see in the area, and then you may want to come back to take another relaxing dip before heading home from your vacation.

The springs are located 7 miles East North Beach State Road on the north east side of Bear Lake in Idaho.  They are open Mother’s Day to Labor Day from 10 am to 10 pm daily.  You can get information by calling 208-945-4545.

Ezra Taft Benson.jpgLocated in Whitney, Idaho is the Ezra Taft Benson Home and Gravesite.  Whitney was the boyhood home of this gentleman who served as Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration and as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1985 – 1994.  Although the home and farm are private property which is not open to the public Benson is buried in the Whitney cemetery which is close by.

Franklin Relic Hall.jpgStop in at the Franklin Relic Hall which is located in the village of Franklin.  Franklin is the oldest European-American settlement in Idaho.  It was established in April of 1860 by Mormon pioneers moving northward from Utah.  The Relic Hall is a log building that was built as a museum in 1937 as homage to the homes of the early settlers.  The displays you will be able to see have remained pretty much unchanged since they were installed in 1937.  There are farm implements, photos of settlers, and a Yellowstone Park Touring Stagecoach as well as a replica of the old fort that was the first structure of the settlement.  The Relic Hall is located at 111 East Main in Franklin, Idaho.

Hatch House.jpgWhile in Franklin stop in at the Hatch House and Doney House.  This Greek revival style house was built with local limestone in 1872 by Lorenzo H. Hatch.  He was one of the earliest settlers in Franklin. A carpenter and farmer, he was the first Mormon Idaho legislator and served as mayor and Mormon bishop of Franklin. Since Hatch was the local bishop, he built his house large enough to accommodate visiting dignitaries and travelers. The original floor plan included a front parlor, hallway and staircase on one side, a kitchen in the back, and four bedrooms (three upstairs and one downstairs). A brick addition was built in 1905.  Descendants of L.H. Hatch lived in the house until the 1940’s. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is not open to the public.

This is also the site of the Doney house, which has been moved from its original location. It is the second oldest house in Idaho, built in 1864 by John Doney, and an example of a pioneer rock house.  View both houses from the street.  Location to view them is 125 East Main, Franklin, Idaho.

Preston, Idaho offers you the opportunity to see the Oneida Stake Academy whish was one of many schools founded by the LDS.  It was started in 1888.  It is the oldest academy building still standing.  in 2002 the Franklin County School District decided they needed the land occupied by the empty Academy building and were going to tear it down.  Citizens came to the rescue of the building and had it lifted from its foundation and moved two blocks to Benson Park so that it would remain for people to see.

If you have an interest in learning how it was to live as a pioneer lived you can take a Pioneering Adventure and visit the Pioneer style living farm.  You can take hay wagon and covered wagon rides.  You will be able to enjoy Dutch oven dinners, tipi village, and camping and hand cart treks with the hosts.  This is located in Paris, Idaho.  You may find that the illusions of the easy life of "the old days" is just that, an illusion as you get familiarized with the work it took to just exist in the early days of Idaho founding.