Harriet Reece sent in the correct answer for this week's Orofino History Trivia: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3296.
"I remember when there was a vacant lot where the VFW Building now stands. My grandfather, Charles O. Portfors, owned the lot and sold it to the VFW for their new building. They had a VFW Club in the back of the Walrath building (owned by my Grandmother Naioma Walrath -- Mrs. Harry L.) where they gained lots of money with slot machines (they were legal then).
"I was never eligible to join the auxiliary because having an uncle who was a veteran was not a close enough connection. My uncle, F. A. (Porkie) Portfors, was very active in the local, district, state and national VFW and served as State Commander at one time. In those days VFW Post 3296 was a driving force in Orofino and Clearwater County. Their new building proved to be a social hub for the community."
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3296 was chartered May 26, 1935 and named after Lt. Harold Kinne who was killed in France during World War I.
The present VFW Building was completed in 1951 and with furnishings cost about $147,000. It was a civic center for Orofino and included accommodations for Clearwater Memorial Library, Red Cross, Cub and Boy Scouts sponsored by the organization, a public cafeteria, VFW Auxiliary sponsored kindergarten and meeting rooms.
In 1954, a fire caused $23,000 damage, but the building was soon repaired.
Only eight of the charter members were living when the group celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 1960. They were Elmer Lundblad, Archie Rowland, Glen C. Hallam, Willam M. Harris, Harry E. Hudson, Earl V. Reeve, Mike Radick and Francis W. Chilton.
Tomorrow we will add more history from VFW members.
Monday: Red, white and blue are popular colors.
Tuesday: This was once one of the largest groups of its kind in Idaho.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544