In 1947, the Payette Lakes Progressive Club, a women’s organization in McCall, Idaho, solicited Idaho authors for letters in return describing “Who are all of you and what made you into authors and poets? And what has Idaho to do with it?” The project organizer, Mrs. William Reitmeir, described the club as “a handful of women in a community civic club” who were “making an effort to acquaint ourselves with this, our state of Idaho.”
Responses from 19 authors were placed in a 72-page scrapbook, most of which was filled with typewritten copies of poems by them (and other Idaho poets) and scenic photographs of the Payette Lakes region. The scrapbook is entitled “Idaho’s Heritage in Literature.” The scrapbook was preserved over the years by Frances Elizabeth (“Jackie”) Brooks, who at the time lived in McCall and operated Brooks Hardware with her husband, Orville P. Brooks. They subsequently moved to Baker, Oregon, and then Caldwell, Idaho, where Brooks taught school. Jackie Brooks died in January 2004 at the age of 95, and her daughters, Cynthia Webster and Mary K. Ballard, presented the scrapbook to Boise State University.
Thumbnail image on homepage: Letter to Idaho authors MSS_233_029
Landing page image: Frances Elizabeth Brooks (r), and friend Lela McCraight near McCall MSS_233_photo envelope
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