23rd January 2015

Centennial Celebration

Boundary County came into existence on January 23, 1915. At the time of statehood, the northern Panhandle of Idaho was incorporated as part of Kootenai County with the county seat in Rathdrum. In 1907, the northern portion split off and became Bonner County. Population growth and transportation needs led to a two year effort by area residents to split Bonner County further. With the passage of House Bill 1 and the signature of Governor Alexander on January 23, 1915, Boundary County was finally established as a separate governmental entity.

Boundary County Centennial CelebrationTwo days later, an impromptu celebration was held. A large crowd gathered at the corner of Kootenai and Main Streets to celebrate the occasion. Spirits ran high on this cold and breezy day. Marshall Worley served as master of ceremonies and Major W.S. Walker delivered the main speech. Clowns, the Bonners Ferry band, Company E of the Idaho National Guard, and representatives from the Knights of Pythias in full regalia added to the event. Elementary school children sang an updated version of “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” titled “It’s a Long, Long Way to Bonners Ferry”.

Fast forward to January 23, 2015. A crowd in excess of 150 gathered again at the corner of Kootenai and Main to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Boundary County. Sheriff Greg Sprungl played the role of Marshal Worley and Cal Russell reprised that of Major W.S. Walker. Boundary County Commissioners LeAlan Pinkerton and Walt Kirby read key sections of the original House Bill 1 and Commissioner Dan Dinning read a proclamation declaring January 23, 2015 as the official start of the Boundary County centennial celebrations. Tribal Chair Gary Aitken, Jr. represented the Kootenai Tribe. Elementary school children under the direction of David Carpenter performed the ballad “A Long, Long Way to Bonners Ferry” as was done 100 years ago. Following the conclusion of the program, the crowd moved to the Boundary County Museum for birthday cake and refreshments. Entertainment was provided by the Boundary County High School Jazz band.

The event was organized by the Boundary County Museum with the assistance of the Boundary County Commission and the City of Bonners Ferry. Special thanks go out to Dottie Gray and Sue Kemmis who put in many long hours organizing the event, the Bonners Ferry Police Department for traffic control, and to all the volunteers who assisted.

Planning for the County Sesqui-centennial is already under way.


Boundary County Independence Day
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