PARIS, ID — You have an opportunity to get out and learn some history of northern Utah and southeast Idaho from Paris, Idaho to Garden City, Utah, the Bear Lake Valley area,  that many people do not  know.

Several events are planned this summer and fall to spotlight that history through a non-profit organization – ‘Friends United for Bear Lake’.

Current organization president and co-founder Laurie Rich was a guest on KVNU’s For the People program on Monday and talked about how she got interested in the history of this area.

“We saw that our children leave this valley, but they always want to come back, and what brings them back is their roots.  And we wanted to preserve that and we wanted to preserve these structures because they were slowly….I’ve seen…people buying them and they’ll change them. Then they won’t be on the registry anymore because of the changes, or they demolish them,”  explained Rich.

Their first event is coming up this Saturday at the Thomas Nye home (52 East 1st South) in Paris, Idaho. It’s a Bear Lake Heritage Photo Show.

“We wanted to preserve the history, and that’s what we want to do is show the history and the beautiful things there are in the valley.  The talent, there’s so much talent in this valley that needs to be shown off. Not just photographers, but artists and musicians and authors.”

Other events on the schedule include a Hollyhock Historic Home & Garden tour in August and a Folklore & Apple Cider Social in September.

Rich’s  husband is a great-grandson of pioneer and settler Charles C. Rich, who founded Paris, and they live on some of that property that Charles owned For more information visit


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