Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just Getting Started

Well, here goes. I designed the South Fork Companion as a complement to my conventional web site, South Fork Revue (follow the link at “Places to Go …” [Later EDIT: "Linked Web Sites"]).

The Revue is mostly about Idaho history (slanted toward the period before about 1910), with sidesteps into other topics I am working on, or just find of interest. Of course, it makes no sense to only focus on Idaho events without explaining where they fit into the context of Western and United States history. As noted on the Revue, the history articles are based on the tremendous body of reference material I have collected over the past few years. [Note to self: Add page listing some of those references.]

THE BOOK (about 100 thousand words) I have written and am currently revising mainly deals with the development of the Idaho stock raising industry before about 1910. I started this blog after I sent my proposal package off to a publisher. In my cover letter for the package I wrote: “Say ‘Idaho’ to most people, even Idahoans, and they think ‘potato.’ Fair enough, considering decades of relentless marketing. What many do not think of are ‘cowboys’ and ‘cattle.’ Yet Idaho was, and is, as much a cowboy state as its more-recognized cattle-state neighbors in the Intermountain West.”

As early as 1910, Idaho ranked 6th in U. S. wool production and 32nd in livestock (cattle and dairy product sales), despite being only 44th in population. Today, Idaho still ranks low in population (39th) but is a significant livestock-products supplier. To quote a book paragraph pertaining to 2008: “Livestock sales and dairy product shipments were valued at over $3.1 billion, placing Idaho in the top ten among all states. Although the state is also in the top ten for U. S. wool production, the total income from that commodity is quite small. (The U.S. now produces less than 1 percent of the world’s wool.)”

With one exception, at present, the Revue contains relatively “static” historical articles, along with background on me and my wife, Caroline. During the summer, I added a FEATURES page to the site which was meant to “include something of timely and/or peripheral interest (historical facts, rants about sports, travel items, etc.).”

Extensive reading finally convinced me that a blog would be a much better approach to highlight the kinds of items slated for the FEATURES page, whether they were history topics or other items of interest. However, my immediate priorities among many projects (see KEEPING BUSY at the Revue) are to (1) finish The Retort, the newsletter I co-edit and desktop-publish for the Idaho Academy of Science and (2) write the next article for the Revue. (When I get bored with those, I generally go back and tweak a book chapter.)

With all that going on, I do not expect to put a lot into the blog right away. Hopefully, however, I can create enough new content to keep it interesting.


  1. I was wondering if you had any information on a Probate Judge named G.W. CHARLESWORTH from Idaho Falls? Thanks

  2. Among all the references I have, I found only two mentions of a G. W. Charlesworth. One was in the Idaho Falls Post-Register "Jubilee Edition." He was identified as a local manager of the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Co. outlet in Idaho Falls. He joined that company in Oct 1910.
    The other was in Mary Jane Fritzen's "Idaho Falls, City of Destiny" -- G.W. was a member of the "Sunnyland Quartet" singing group in the 1920s.
    I found no mentions of him being a Probate Judge,but that might have come later.