Luke Waldron of Malad City was named one of 2021’s awardees for the prestigious Esto Perpetua award from the Idaho State Historical Society. He and his fellow winners will be celebrated during the upcoming ceremony at the Idaho State Museum on August 23, 2021 at 5PM. Named for Idaho’s motto, Latin for ‘Let it be perpetual’, the award recognizes ‘people and organizations who have preserved and promoted Idaho’s history through professional accomplishments, public service or volunteerism, and philanthropy.’
Luke’s great-great grandparents were some of the first settlers in the Malad Valley, and Luke developed his love of history from his grandparents’ stories about life on the frontier. At the tender age of 14, Luke began collecting and displaying historical artifacts in his own makeshift museum. He also became enamored with preserving and protecting older buildings. One of his early accomplishments was saving and relocating The Blue Goose, which is now a fixture of Samaria Park in Malad City. The Blue Goose began as a furniture store and went on to be a confectionary, a tavern, and a poolhall, before finding its current role as a town gathering place and volunteer-run candy and souvenir store.
Luke has also had a hand in protecting and restoring a dozen historic cabins throughout the Malad Valley. ‘They provide a sense of community, a sense of place and identity. There is a spirit to them born from hardship and struggle, but also perseverance of our ancestors that paved the way for where we are today,’ Luke says. He became acquainted with the Idaho Heritage Trust through seeking funding for these preservation projects, and he was an active member of the regional board that weighs in on grant awards for many years. When an opening on IHT’s Board of Directors became available, he was the natural choice to represent his beloved area of Southeastern Idaho.
In addition to his many contributions to preserving historic places, Luke is also an outstanding steward of his Welsh heritage. The Malad Valley has a remarkable number of people of Welsh descent. Luke loves to teach about Welsh culture and is intimately involved in the annual Welsh Festival. He oversaw the establishment of the Malad Valley Heritage Square, as well. On his family farm, which he operates with his wife and six children, Luke rears black Welsh mountain sheep, famed Kerry Hill sheep, Welsh ponies, Welsh ducks, and a small pack of Welsh corgis.
Luke Waldron is a tremendous steward of the history and culture that helps make Idaho such a fascinating and unique place. We look forward to celebrating him and the many other deserving organizations on August 23rd, and we hope you will join us as well. For more information on the Idaho Heritage Trust, our board of directors, and the work we do to preserve our cultural legacy, you can find us at idahoheritagetrust.org or join us in Pocatello for Idaho’s Heritage Conference September 27-30, 2021.
- Our Work
- Our Story