Past Tense: September 22, 2016

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Bill and Phyllis Neuhoff of Idyllwild in November 1972. File photo

Bill and Phyllis Neuhoff of Idyllwild in November 1972.  File photo

60 years ago - 1956

Nearly 400 county educators, administrators and groups concerned with education held an all-day meeting on the campus of the Arts Foundation (now Idyllwild Arts).

55 years ago - 1961

Idyllwild’s reputation as a creative center got a boost from a new art factory. Idyllwild resident and artist Jon Gnagy, with the help of local artists and technicians, produced art kits for Visual Art Industries Inc., New York. For many years, “Learn to Draw With Jon Gnagy” was a trade name across the country.

50 years ago - 1966

Paving Saunders Meadow Road started in preparation for developing the cut-and-fill dump to replace the open pit being used to dispose of trash.

45 years ago - 1971

Flags were at half staff in town to honor Robert Miller, a 21-year-old Forest Service foreman, who died as a result of burns received while fighting a 589-acre brush fire near the Idyllwild-Banning Highway (now called Highway 243). Officials suspected an arsonist ignited the fire.

40 years ago - 1976

Another heavy thunderstorm made for a very wet September. The Sept. 30 issue of the Town Crier featured a photo of Strawberry Creek near ISOMATA (Idyllwild Arts) which had swollen to a 50-foot-wide stream.

35 years ago - 1981

There was a wall-to-wall crowd at the Idyllwild County Park Visitor Center when a new book, “The San Jacintos: A History and Natural History,” written by 12 local authors, was unveiled.

30 years ago - 1986

Then Town Hall Recreation Program Director Shirley Root died in a traffic collision on Highway 243 south of Banning. She had been director for four years.

25 years ago - 1991

A dedication ceremony was held at the Idyllwild Visitor Center (Nature Center) addition. The new structure, a twin to the original Visitor Center building, added a 1,500-square-foot multipurpose room, offices and room for new exhibits.

20 years ago - 1996

The U.S. Forest Service announced that the Hill’s national forest lands would be part of a pilot project to  start charging the public vehicle fees to use its lands. Thus, the Adventure Pass was born.

15 years ago - 2001

Three weeks after the Idyllwild Water District’s new filtration plant began operations, then General Manager Tom Lovejoy reported, “The plant is performing beautifully.

10 years ago - 2006

A party was held at Café Aroma to celebrate the 95th birthday of Herb Jeffries, famous jazz singer and actor known as “Bronze Buckaroo.” He was known as the first black man to star as a cowboy in early movie westerns. Some sources claim that Jeffries was actually of Sicilian-Irish ancestry and that he was born in 1913, rather than 1911.

5 years ago - 2011

A 4.1-magnitude earthquake was felt in Idyllwild and other areas of the Hill about 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14.

1 year ago - 2015

The Idyllwild Shuttle Bus had arrived, funded from a Riverside County Transportation grant and Supervisor Chuck Washington.

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