As a single parent, my mother went back to school at Boise Junior College so that she could get a better job to support us kids, especially after finding out that her second husband had lied to her – he was still married to his first wife. What a scumbag he was! I have no nice words to describe him. So Freddie and I lived in Elba with Grandpa and Grandma Eames for a couple of years.
|Elba, Idaho Schoolhouse
If you look close, you can see the bell on top of the school. The old red brick schoolhouse in Elba had four large rooms, one hallway, one bathroom for the girls and one for the boys.
Right smack dab in the middle of the building hung a rope that was tied to the bell that hung at the top of the building. When it was time to go back to class from recess, the teacher rung the bell. The first room was the kitchen which was no longer used.
Only the room on the left was used – each row of students (no more than 5 in a row) was a different grade. There were only four of us in the third grade. One teacher taught all five grades.
There was only one block in Elba and each dirt road on the block was a mile long. While walking up the road, you had to be careful because that large stick lying in the road was usually a rattle snake. I found a snake in grandma’s rock garden. After telling her about it, she grabbed a shovel and I’ll be darned if she didn’t just chop off its head. It was just a little garter snake but who knew.
My grandfather owned the only store in town which was on the north corner of the block. The LDS church was on the south corner of the block and kiddy corner from the church, Mrs. Hurd’s place housed the post office. On the west end of the block was the park and rodeo grounds.
Elba is still a very small town. The store was sold in the 1960s and later it burned down. The owner turned the old red bricks that were left standing into a garage so there is no longer a store in Elba. The only paved road was the hi-way that was just east of the store which connected Elba to Almo.
Many of the older homes that have survived harsh years are the old red brick Victorian style like the one in this newspaper article. Notice that there is a door at the second level that walks out to emptiness. I’d hate to be a sleep walker! Why was a door put there?
My cousin Betty used to live in this house and I have actually slept there. It’s seen days of wine off the vine and roses near the cow pasture – no one has maintained it to its former glory. As kids, we had to go to the east cow pasture to do our duty in an old wood outhouse. The house had no indoor plumbing at all.