GLENNS FERRY -- The peaceful town of Glenns Ferry is working to reinvent itself.

The city has seen better days, but city officials are working to once again bring back Glenns Ferry's glory days.

Mayor JoAnne Lanham says if anyone can stand the test of time, it's the people of Glenns Ferry.

Right across the street over there where the quilt shop is, used to be the meat market, Lanham pointed out. Right next door was the coffee cup cafe.

Lanham has seen a lot of changes since when she was a little girl walking down these very streets.

Through the years, she says the city has been dealt a series of blows starting in the early 60s, when the highway that used to go through town, diverted around it.

Then in the 70s, trains that used to stop here decided to pass right on by.

Most recently, a potato processing plant shut its doors two years ago, taking with it a chunk of the town's population.

Lanham says it employed between 120 and 130 people. And in a town the size of Glenns Ferry, that is a lot of workers.

But, Lanham says the city remains resilient.

I've seen it come and go, and I've never seen people give up, said Lanham. I think that's the wonderful thing about a small community, we all pull together.

David Payne is doing his part to help the small community. He bought an old building downtown to save it from demolition. When he saw that a seed store was going out of business in Gooding, he saw a way to combine the two and start his own small business.

We had a building that didn't have a purpose and now we had a purpose that needed a home, Payne explained. So we married the two together.

The seed store has now become a draw for many people outside of Glenns Ferry.

It may not be a big draw at this time , but it's something, you know, for a small town every little bit helps, said Payne.

Down the block, Darlene Smith-Gianelli opened a bakery less than a year ago.

It's always scary to start any kind of business, but in a small town it's trickier, said Smith-Gianelli.

Mayor Lanham says it is that resilience and tenacity of the people of Glenns Ferry, that she believes will once again put the city back on top.

We work together and we're going to make it. I'd have never have run for mayor again if I didn't believe it so we're doing everything we can, said Lanham. I always say we're a diamond in the rough, when we get discovered, watch out.

Mayor Lanham says they have had multiple corporations looking at taking over the old potato processing plant, but as of yet, no takers.

City officials are also taking on an aggressive tourism campaign to get people to come to Glenns Ferry.

Recently, Glenns Ferry received a $445,000 grant to revitalize downtown.

The money was used to add new street lights, street signs and benches. Some of the downtown sidewalks were also repaved.

Read or Share this story: