Author Archives: Joyce Driggs Edlefsen

About Joyce Driggs Edlefsen

Joyce Driggs Edlefsen retired after more than thirty years working at the Standard Journal newspaper in Rexburg as an editor, writer and photographer. A native of Driggs (which also is her maiden name), she grew up in the town, attended Idaho State University in Pocatello and settled in St. Anthony, where she works as a freelance writer, photographer, and volunteer.

Victor–Spotlight

My first memorable visit to Victor was aboard a passenger train. I was traveling with the rest of my first-grade classmates from Driggs on what was then an annual student field trip. That was sixty-two years ago, when Victor was a terminus for tourists traveling to and from Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The train brought not only first-graders and other local passengers but also skiers eager to try out the runs near Victor and across Teton Pass in Jackson. Continue reading

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Tetonia–Spotlight

A tiny town with a hearty heritage, Tetonia gets its name from the Teton Range that dominates the sky to the east. Growing up in the Teton County seat of Driggs in the 1950s and 60s, I imagined Tetonia, seven miles north, as a rough and tough hellion of a town with old buildings and quasi-skyscrapers that held grain. Back then Tetonia was mostly a mystery to me with its unpaved streets and gritty rural feel, a couple of bars on Main Street, a church, school, post office, service station, and not much else. Talking to folks this winter, I found I was not alone in my thinking, and that many people from Tetonia are proud of their town’s renegade reputation in the valley. Continue reading

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The People’s Museum

I blame the name.

Had I not been born with the name of Driggs, a town hugging the Tetons in far eastern Idaho, my interest in history likely would not have been so strong.

But early on, as soon as someone found out my name, he or she asked the same question: “Was the town named after you?”

The short answer: “Yes, kind of.”

The more complicated explanation: “It was more or less governmental convenience.” Many people with the surname Driggs had signed a petition to secure a post office in their Teton Valley village—so many that the post office bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., named the post office “Driggs.”

Without the same name as the town, I likely wouldn’t be versed in that history. And maybe I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the story of my mother’s side of the family, which also figured early in the valley history. Nor would I be as vested in the area’s history.

Given my family heritage and a professional background in journalism and photography, it seemed natural to me after retirement to volunteer at the Teton Valley Museum. I had no knowledge of the workings of the place, having made only a couple of visits over a few years. But when I walked in the front door, the museum’s head volunteer, Kay Fullmer, didn’t take long to accept me into her team.

More than a year later, I now understand why it was unusual for Kay to welcome me into the fold on the spot. The close-knit group of museum board members is quite selective about who works there.

“They have to fit in,” is how Kay puts it.

But they liked my skill set, and it didn’t hurt to have the same name as the town. Continue reading

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