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Twin Falls Public Library needs your help identifying old photos

TWIN FALLS — Want to help solve a few mysteries? You’ll have a chance Saturday at the Twin Falls Public Library.

Over the decades, folks have donated many, many photos of people, places and buildings — some labeled and some not — and reference librarian Jennifer Hills needs your help identifying them.

And while it may be fun for younger generations to see the photos, Hills is looking for older residents who may have known some of the people or be familiar with some of the places in the photos.

Twin Falls architect Harald Gerber’s family donated to the library many slides, negatives and photos from the mid-20th century. But with more information, the photos would be even more valuable.

Things around the valley don’t look like they used to, she said. Two people may see the same photo, but the photo may bring up different memories for each.

“I’ve seen from going through the old photos that depending on when a picture was taken and how old you are,” Hills said, “your perspective and memory may be completely different from someone else’s.”

In addition, addresses may have changed because buildings were moved or, more likely, streets were renamed. Streets in downtown Twin Falls have been renamed not once but twice since its 1904 beginning.

“Some of the subjects in the photos are obvious,” Hills said. “But there may be other things — or a person — in the photo that someone might recognize.”

She hopes the library’s “photo ID party” will be like going through a surprise box of family pictures at a reunion. Many of the photos haven’t seen the light of day in decades.

All this information is invaluable to the library as the main depository of the town’s history. Hills hopes to hold more parties in the future.

“We are looking for factual information about the photos,” Hills said. “But we would also like to hear people’s stories about how and what they remember.”

The library will provide photos to peruse and work sheets for memories.

“The more people who can verify the photos, the more accurate our documentation can be,” Hills said. “We will never know the whole story, but something in a photo may spark a memory.”

Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the more information that comes together, the clearer the picture becomes, she said.

“Research always opens up another window.”


Shoshone's Cierra Hennings goes up for the ball against Oakley during their Snake River Conference matchup Tuesday night at CSI in Twin Falls.

No arrests in downtown Burley fire, police still mum on details

BURLEY — More than a week has passed since an arson fire blackened a Burley downtown vacant building and an undetonated bomb was found at the doorway of a business across the street. Rubble lies piled in the street surrounded by police tape and wires dangle from the side of the decimated building.

Still, no arrests have been made.

The state fire marshal posted signs on the building’s windows declaring the crime arson and offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

“A few tips have trickled in,” Cassia County Undersheriff George Warrell said.

Warrell said he will not release additional information.

The building at 1222 Overland Ave., was set on fire early Jan. 29. Firefighters putting out the fire discovered a pipe bomb across the street at an unopened restaurant tucked into the door handle. The bomb had a fuse that had been lit but went out. The restaurant and buildings are owned by businessmen Brek Pilling and his partner, Brian Tibbets.

A Nissan pickup wanted in connection with the incidents was recovered by the sheriff’s office, which is not releasing information about where it was discovered or who owns the truck.

State Fire Marshal investigator Verl Jarvie, who investigated the fire said someone had made an effort to ensure the building burned. The fire was set inside the building using paper and rags and a fire accelerant was found throughout the building, Jarvie said. Samples of the accelerant were sent to a lab for identification.

The vacant building next door was also destroyed by water damage.

Burley Fire Chief Shannon Tolman said about 100,000 gallons of water were used to extinguish the blaze, and the basement was full of water.