In 1941, Idyllwild had about 200 buildings with electric meters. Since then, many more have been added. At one time, golfers had their choice of two Idyllwild courses. During WWII, General Patton allowed his tank corps, which was training in the desert for the invasion of North Africa, to spend weekends in Idyllwild because it was cooler.
In January 2000, two panels of long-time residents talked about their living in Idyllwild during the early 20th Century. The result of this effort was the creation and establishment of the Idyllwild Area Historical Society, the following October.
To commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the IAHS, another panel of long-time residents will discuss their lives and experiences here. The commemorative event will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Idyllwild Library.
Bob Smith, a member of the IAHS board of directors, is organizing the event.
“It [IAHS] all got started with a panel reminiscing about Idyllwild,” he said. “Out of that people began to feel the need to organize to preserve our history.”
Smith will be joined by three other panelists: Pat Boss, Becky Atilano and Marge Muir.
“They’ve asked to talk about heir memorable experience growing up or living here in the early years,” Smith said. “Pat grew up here and Marge was a young wife when she moved here.”
The first hour will be devoted to the panelists describing their experiences and the town years ago. The second hour will be available for questions from the public.
Following the panel discussion, the Society will open its archive building for tours. This is the first time in five years that the public could tour the building. In 2010, the annual Archive Appreciation Award of the Society of California Archivists was bestowed on IAHS.
“It’s almost full now,” Smith said proudly.
The following year, the California Council for he Promotion of History in Riverside presented IAHS with its 2011 Dave Byrd Award for Meritorious Performance.
This award is granted for an outstanding contribution to the promotion of history. CCPH recognized the IAHS for “its consolidation of historical resources, development of a public presence, and ever-growing promotion of the area’s rich history.”
The Society’s major fundraiser each year is the annual home tour. In 2014, nearly 540 people took the tour, and IAHS members felt that it was the best ever. Then last month, the 2015 tour attracted nearly 650 participants.
“We have about 300 members and it’s been very stable,” Smith added.