Road trip to Wallace, Idaho

Time for the Wallace High School all-class reunion again.  We packed all the important stuff and headed east/northeast…


We stopped in Mosier in the Gorge…Louis Bunce spent a few summers in Mosier back in the 1930’s with the Givlers and others…R wanted to get a feel for it.

Mosier post office

Mosier bldg

We headed across Washington and by now the heat was about 102 degrees…and against all odds R found a picnic table in the shade…possibly not the loveliest picnic spot in the Northwest BUT…IN THE SHADE!


Eventually we arrived in Wallace, Idaho…


and checked in to the Stardust Hotel, built in 1962…the year R graduated from Wallace High.  Synchronicity in all things.

Starduest by daYFor the Hulls of Wallace this is really a family reunion.  None of them live in Wallace anymore, but all have been influenced by growing up in a place like Wallace.  When the Hull kids were growing up it was a mining town.  Their Dad Piatt, their uncle Alden and their grandfather H.J. were attorneys in Wallace, and the windows still gleam down from the now empty space…


Over the course of the weekend we met  up with 5 of the 6 sibs and 2 nieces, but the first night it was Jennifer, George and Fanny, Carolyn and Terry Lee, and we headed to the Smokehouse for some BBQ…

Fanny contemplate BBQand a long funny evening of remembering…

Fat tire

There were breakfasts and various events, but mostly the reunion stuff was at night…leaving the days for wandering the town…

Shonsone Building

arrow sign


and heading to the Red Light Garage…

Red Light Garage

milkshake machine

for a huckleberry milk shake (and yes easterners…huckleberries are NOT blueberries)…

huckleberry shakes

before the tour of former Hull houses.  We started with 202 River Street because we had been invited to see the progress the new owners had made in making it into a B&B…  It was the first house of R’s Wallace experience, one they moved into in 1949 arriving from New York.  Talk about culture shock…but it’s looking good…


a drive by 313 Cedar…(1955-1963)…


and then 224 Cedar…originally the grandparents house, and then Piatt and Fanny’s house from 1963-1993.  It is being kept impeccably, but all trees and shrubs have been eliminated giving it a sort of “stranded” look…


to those of us who remember it this way…


Past the houses now, up into the hills,

setting up fpr slippery gulch

a dinner under a tent and then, when darkness falls (earlier than elsewhere because of the mountains…) the fun begins.  Words fail…it’s crazy, not like anyplace I’ve ever been, the streets are blocked off, the middle-aged business men in Wallace dress in drag for Slippery Gulch where they dance the Can Can and Swan Lake…I mean, really.  Friends and family meet and greet…too much fun.


Day/Nite Rock

gulch 2

gulch 1

can can


and the blue moon rises…

blue moon

We avoided the 1910 experience…the reason why the downtown is mostly brick…(Tim Egan’s “the Big Burn” tells the tale)

1910 fire

Sunday we head home down through the wheat country, which is beautiful to see…


wheat 2

past towns with familiar names…(and we really could have used an iced coffee right about here…)


In Wallace we had no internet, which enhanced the sense of it being a place out of time…just this beautiful country without thinking of the politics or the candidates or the gun mayhem…just this beautiful country.  Heading home.

heading home



  1. Bonnie, one of your best ever, and that’s saying something. The pictures of the Hull houses (not to be confused with the Hull House in Chicago, though equally enthralling to some of us to be sure) made me reflect on how important just one change can be. You mentioned the trees that are missing from the last house. I was saddened by the change from a red roof to a brown one. And shouldn’t we all take time for such a great reunion – without the internet. Mare

  2. I must jump in to stand up for the eastern huckleberry. Although it may be the state fruit of Idaho, it is also found in the Pocono Mt area, as well as other mountainous regions. A childhood favorite was my aunt’s huckleberry cake. Yum!

  3. Without diving into the east/west huckleberry controversy (see Euell Gibbons’s Stalking the Wild Asparagus) we should all agree that the coastal huckleberry is just part of a bland of brothers impersonating the mountain huckleberry.. Were the huckleberries ripe? About this time of year we would be feasting on huckleberries picked up the hill behind our house in Burke, Gorge Gulch, Pig Pen, or the Power House. Where are your photos of the whore house (Bordello Museum)? Seeing your reference to H.J. Hull reminds me of the diplomatic letter he wrote in order to get my crazy grandmother to seek another attornery. Thanks for the trip!

    1. Hi Rex. You mentioned Pig Pen near Burke. I have ancestors who claimed their address was “below Pig Pen” near Burke. I cannot find any information about the location of Pig Pen. Can you help me find it on a map?

  4. thanks for taking us along on your adventures. none of my reunions have ever looked like yours. men in drag line dancing????? keep us posted.

  5. Bonnie: Absolutely wonderful! The history, the well cared for buildings, the sense of pride…and the fun! Thank you xoxnancy

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