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American Falls saloon torn down

American Falls made changes to a historical landmark. The town’s large senior population welcomed the changes, giving them better access to the Power County Senior Citizen Center.

The Silver Horseshoe Saloon building was torn down and a parking lot was put in its place, now dubbed Silver Horseshoe Park. The lot gives the senior center immediate accessible parking.

Before, seniors would park across the street or around the nearby intersection.

“Seniors cross the street and people waiting to turn left almost run them over,” said John Saint-Vincent, executive director of the center.

The Silver Horseshoe building was seized as part of a federal investigation in 2013. In a combined effort of several local law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the building was forfeited to American Falls.

When the building was deemed too unsafe, the idea for the lot was born.

Wendy Olson, U.S. attorney for the District of Idaho, said this was a case where the government acted as it should.

“We had the federal government through the U.S. Attorney’s Office working with enforcement from all levels working in this major investigation,” she said. “More importantly with the city of American Falls to bring about a resolution that helps us resolve a criminal case and bring an asset to the city.”

Although the building is lost, the town managed to preserve the saloon’s iconic neon sign.

“It’s really rewarding at the end of the day to preserve that and preserve as much of its historical integrity as possible,” said Jeremy Piersol, American Fall’s public works director.

There’s also a section of grass on the lot, Saint-Vincent said he plans to put a picnic table on it. Silver Horseshoe Park is completely ADA accessible.

There will be a special lighting ceremony of the sign Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

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