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The SRHC, a non-profit organization, finds its home in Hooker Hall at the site of the Intermountain Institute. This place has a great story to tell.
During an era in Idaho when even one-room schools were rare, the Intermountain Institute looked like an Ivy League school and attracted students from eight states and one foreign country.
Far ahead of its time in the humanities, the I.I. offered its frontier students art, music, debate and literature courses, as well as the industrial arts.
Edward Anson Paddock, Jane Slocum and Thomas Maryatt founded the Idaho Industrial Institute in 1899. Other idealists, fired with their enthusiasm, left positions in Eastern schools and colleges to teach with them on the frontier. Their devotion and determination to bring education to Idaho’s raw sagebrush country reached near legendary proportions.
Students came in such numbers the waiting list grew as large as the attendance rolls. By the 1930s the school’s excellent faculty and curriculum were attracting boys and girls to the institute in preference to the public schools.
The Great Depression finally overwhelmed the Institute in 1933. Benefactors, crippled by the grim economic conditions, were no longer able to make contributions and the market for Institute farm crops and products disappeared.
The National Youth Administration was allowed to train disadvantaged youths on this site during the depression. This era also includes wonderful stories, photos and memories for its participants.
Hooker Hall features four floors, some parts are still under re-construction after a devastating 1994 fire. The bell tower is graced with four new clock faces while the clock works now sit on the second floor for viewers. A 240 seat auditorium features exceptional acoustics where local productions and music events are held.
For more information about the SRHC please go to our "About us" page to learn what it is that gives people the spark to visit our museum. Please also take a moment and sign our Guest Book, We would love to know you stopped by!