LEWISTON, ID — A vacuum roars to life. Metal chairs snap shut, stowed away one by one. Silverware clinks as its gathered by the handful.
It's all bustle and activity at Lewiston's Elks Lodge on Thursday. Only one day left to spruce up for an event a hundred-plus years in the making.
Thomas Eier says, "We're celebrating 150 years of life of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks."
Friday, February 16th, the lodge will be joining in the nationwide celebration of a century and a half of service to the community. The order is best known for charitable work for youth and veterans.
Eier says, "We're going to open up the doors and allow people to come and look at the Elks Lodge and see the story of what we've done."
See the story because the past will be brought to life by characters like Lewiston's Madame Bonhore.
'Madame,' in her French accent, says, "We are the ones who tell the story."
Madame Bonhore was the owner of Lewiston's Hotel de France. Never heard of it? That's because Madame started the hotel in 1861.
Our local Elks Lodge, the biggest in Idaho, was founded in 1904. But Idaho was just a young territory when the national order was formed in 1868.
The Order of the Elks was founded by a troup of actors, fitting given Friday's theatrical performances, in New York City all those 150 years ago.
That story, plus a historical retelling of how Idaho's capital was stolen from Lewiston, will play out in real life at Friday's event.