I’m taking a slightly different approach to podcast episodes as I work to align some of my professional and academic interests with my personal interest in the rural American West. Rather than focus on one particular town, I will be focusing on the entrepreneurial and small business ecosystems that exist in and around rural small towns. I’ll still be talking to historians, small business owners, entrepreneurs and artists but I’m trying to get a better understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that connects each of them and their communities. First up, and as an example, I’m headed back to Bear Lake and rather than focus on one small town again (Garden City, UT), I’ll be using several more episodes to try and understand the forces and issues connecting the small businesses and communities in the larger valley (from Montpelier, ID to Laketown, UT).
I start off this new approach with a conversation with regular guest and friend of the podcast HannaLore Hein (Idaho State Historian). HannaLore gives an update on some of the work she is doing on Idaho history, including the upcoming America 250 initiative. In this first of two Bear Lake-focused conversations with HannaLore, we focus on Montpelier and the Idaho section of the Bear Lake Valley. We talk about the role of the LDS church in the strategic settling of the valley (e.g. Franklin to Paris to Montpelier) and find parallels in the new, smaller, more rural locations for LDS Temples. We learn that Montpelier got its name from Montpelier, Vermont (because it was the home state of Brigham Young). HannaLore uses the story of Edward Burgoyne, successful Montpelier merchant - and his very successful candy making wife - to illustrate the process and tools (Zotero, Archives West, and more) for doing history, especially community, business, and businessperson history. We end, not with the Road Trip Music Question, but with HannaLore drawing parallels between the polio vaccine in the 1950s and vaccines today. Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll focus on the actual Bear Lake and water in the Bear Lake Valley.
If you want to find out more about me or the Rural Towns Project, please go to https://www.ruraltownsproject.com/
Podcast music: “A Happy Day” by codemusic, http://www.jamendo.com, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/