By Eileen Bennett
More than a town, Kilgore is where memories of those who lived there were created from their visions of success. For such people, including me, this high mountain valley community in eastern Idaho’s Clark County, close to the Montana border, is home. It is a place of lush grasses and streams meandering between the foothills of the Centennial Mountains of the Continental Divide and the northern reaches of the lava of the Upper Snake River Plain. The valley was called Kamisinim Takin, Camas Meadows, by an unknown Indian tribe, long before white men came.
I lived there for forty-nine years, from 1948 to 1997. Here’s an example of what I mean about memories being created from visions of success. When our community organized the Camas Meadows Centennial in 1984, people sent us stories of things they remembered. Leroy Bennett, my husband’s cousin, told us a story concerning his father, Pat Bennett, and a huge swarm of crickets that threatened to invade the valley around 1906. Upon learning of the crickets’ approach, the ranchers got together and decided on the best method of combating them. They selected a location where they knew the crickets would have to cross a creek. On the far side of the creek from the approaching crickets, they built a long board fence at the edge of the water, and covered it with tin. At the downstream end of the fence, they built what resembled a large clothes wringer, made from two medium-sized, straight logs. They placed it so the upper side of the lower log was level with the surface of the creek. Above it, the other log had a handle or crank on each end.