Clark Fork, Idaho
This is the second post in my series on small towns. You can read the first post here.
For my second shoot, I picked Clark Fork, Idaho, a town of 536 people situated on the Clark Fork River near the Idaho/Montana border. I did not pick it because of any fantastic historical significance (although the town’s name comes directly from William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition) and certainly not because it is on any must see list in a tour guide’s itinerary. I had it in my head that I wanted to go out and try and capture what it was that made a small town so appealing and Clark Fork was the perfect place to do that.
4th Street is the main thoroughfare through the city and also is a part of State Highway 200. Part of the appeal of this small town is that one doesn’t have to go far to get to anything. All of the main businesses are right there lining this highway.
Speaking of streets, this small town reminds me of days long ago when I used to visit my grandparents. I remember the streets to have been clean, uncluttered and well kept. This is what I found in Clark Fork. The yards and homes that occupied these town streets were well kept and added to the overall “homey” feel of the town.
I would also be doing Clark Fork an injustice by only talking about how good the city streets look. When was the last time you saw a dirt alley with two “tire worn” marks all the way down. Not only that, the grass in this alley had been mowed by the folks who live adjacent to it.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that every town pretty much has a small market whose name identifies it with some landmark…
But when is the last time you saw a market with a community bulletin board??
The buildings which have housed places like City Hall or the VFW Hall for years are still in use and still for those purposes. They are picturesque, provincial and unaffected by the passage of time.
….and what self-respecting small town would be without an eatery called, “Moms”? Complete right down to the dirt parking lot.
In all my travels through this city, there was one thing that really grabbed my attention more than anything else because it is just not seen anymore. Hays’ Chevron still has a one-car garage where vehicle repairs get done.
Clark Fork, Idaho is a wonderful small town where people are friendly, they still wave to each other driving down the road and neighbors help neighbors with whatever is needed. It is a small town that will take you back to when life was a little slower paced and whole lot simpler.