Historic Moment for New Post Falls Historical Society President

Thu Apr 11th, 2024

By DEVIN WEEKS Staff Writer | April 6, 2024 1:06 AM

POST FALLS — The new president of the Post Falls Historical Society, who has a long history of loving history, began her journey at the helm of the history-promoting nonprofit with her own historic adventure.

Catherine McClintick, a former Idaho state regent and vice regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution, was sworn in as president of the historical society in January. Just two months later, she attended the March 16 christening ceremony of the USS Idaho nuclear submarine in Groton, Conn."It was amazing," McClintick said Wednesday. “It was a big submarine, it was a lot of pomp and circumstance. Very official.”

McClintick attended the ceremony with DAR colleague and friend Susan Snodderly. The water that was used to pressurize the sub was from four Idaho lakes: Lake Pend Oreille, Payette Lake, Henrys Lake and Redfish Lake. It was also christened with the Idaho lake water.

The USS Idaho is the U.S. Navy's newest and most technologically advanced Virginia-class submarine, according to General Dynamics Electric Boat, which teamed with Newport News Shipbuilding to construct the 377-foot-long, 7,835-ton submarine. With a crew of 132 officers and enlisted personnel, the USS Idaho boasts Tomahawk land-attack missiles, 48 advanced-capacity torpedoes and more.

One of its monikers is "Fully Loaded," paying homage to Idaho's famous potatoes.

“Everything in that submarine has Idaho history, everything,” McClintick said.

Much the USS Idaho's advanced acoustic stealth technology came from the Navy’s Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview on Lake Pend Oreille, home of the world's largest unmanned submarine.

The first USS Idaho was a wooden steam sloop completed in 1866 as part of the steam cruiser program of the American Civil War. The second was a Mississippi-class battleship commissioned to the fleet April 1, 1908. The third was a 60-foot-long motorboat purchased during World War I. The fourth USS Idaho was a New Mexico-class battleship commissioned in 1919 and extensively used during World War II. It was decommissioned in 1946.

McClintick was invited to the christening ceremony of the newest iteration of the USS Idaho by the USS Idaho Commissioning Committee because of her work when she was the DAR state regent to raise scholarship funds for the sub's crew members and their children through the USS Idaho Dolphin Scholarship Endowment. McClintick and her team raised $7,500 selling scarves and pins.

“When I picked this project, I thought, ‘Idaho is such a big, long state,’ I needed to do a project for my state regent term that would unite all of our chapters," she said.

The USS Idaho is expected to be commissioned into the Navy's fleet in spring of 2025, according to the USS Idaho Commissioning Committee.

McClintick, whose grandfather served on the troop carrier ship LST 1000 in World War II, enjoys genealogy and serves as her family's historian.

Catherine McClintick at Post Falls Museum

“I’ve found articles over the years of a great-grandfather who rode a horse in Abraham Lincoln’s parade," she said. "It’s just little connections to history."

She said she is excited to step into the role of president for the Post Falls Historical Society. She has volunteered at the Post Falls Museum for five years and served on the board for about four years. She succeeds Kim Brown, a fellow local history buff with a deep appreciation for the past.

McClintick said Brown asked her if she would like to take over as president.

“I had to think about it, because I’d just gotten done with the regent job, which was very intense,” McClintick said. “But I said, ‘OK,’ and now I’m really getting into it."

Historical society members are working with the city of Post Falls and Idaho Heritage Trust to replace 30-year-old gutters on the nearly 101-year-old Chapin Building that houses the museum, which will be open for the season May 16. The Post Falls Museum will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday after opening day, although more volunteers would allow the museum to be open one more day each week.

High schoolers on up are invited to volunteer. All they need is a love of history and the ability to follow along in the museum's tour guide book.

McClintick said it is important for every town to have a museum.

“"People are trying to rewrite history and we need to know our past," she said.

For details or to volunteer at the Post Falls Museum, email postfallshistoricalsociety@gmail.com or call 208-262-9642.

Historic Moment for New Post Falls Historical Society President

Idaho Daughters of the American Revolution members celebrate the christening of the USS Idaho submarine March 16 in Connecticut. From left: Lt. George Farragut Past Chapter Regent Susan Snodderly; State Regent Janice Beller; and Honorary State Regent Catherine McClintick, who is also the new president of the Post Falls Historical Society.