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Hundreds flock to Fort Hall Replica opening

Hundreds of local people kept history alive this weekend by celebrating the annual opening of the Fort Hall Replica in Pocatello.

For those organizing and attending the event, remembering where we came from lets us keep an eye on where we’re going.

The annual opening was full of demonstrations of frontier trades of all kinds, but Harold Waggoner, a.k.a. Lonesome Bear, and his arrowheads could have really come from back in time. He’s been doing it since 1973.

“You’ve got to do it on your leg cause it takes a lot of power and you hold it like this and you push down real hard, lot of power, you push down and you chip off a big piece on the other side,” Waggoner said, demonstrating.

Waggoner teaches survival courses, and said, even in the modern world it’s important for people to learn how to fend for themselves, because you never know what could happen.

“If I get one I can do something with I’m satisfied,” he said.

Tabatha Butler is the curator and director at the Bannock County Historical Museum, and said that knowing history can help the area leverage it into economic benefits today.

“The Fort Hall was actually the point where you decided whether you were going to go south to California on the Oregon Trail or continue west. It was a junction there, it was a great junction when the railroad was a part of it and it’s still a junction point today,” Butler said.

Waggoner lives on the Oregon Trail in Twin Falls and said people are too apathetic about history. He said people should be involved with it, because it’s a part of who they are.

“You never know what’s in somebody’s closet way back in the back,” he said.

The Fort Hall Replica, Pocatello Junction, and Bannock County Historical Museum complex is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Regular admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children.

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