Unless you were alive in the mid-twentieth century, you probably do not remember the Brink And A Half Club. If you have heard of it, you might know it was founded by people who accidentally drove their cars into the Clearwater River.
Harry Cummings shared with the Clearwater Tribune a 1954 issue of a magazine called Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure, published by the Brink And A Half Club. The magazine featured a plethora of photographs and articles promoting recreation in the Clearwater area and along the Lewis-Clark Highway.
Activities and topics covered ranged from wildfire fighting to fishing, hunting, motorcycle riding, camping, and much more.
The Brink And A Half Club’s founding members clearly had quite the sense of humor. According to the magazine, the club was organized on Sept. 27, 1947, in the small mining community of Fall Creek and Golden.
The founders, a group of local residents who unintentionally landed their cars in the Clearwater River, took the club’s name from this experience. “If you’re on the road, you’re on the BRINK, take away half and you’re in the river—thus Brink And A Half,” explained the article.
Initially, only people who accidentally entered the Clearwater as passengers in a vehicle were eligible to be members. If reading through issues of the Clearwater Tribune from the time period when this club was founded is any indication, someone was newly eligible to become a member nearly every week.
Later, the rules were altered so anyone who had simply driven along the Clearwater could become a member. Finally, membership became open to anyone who wished to join. The membership fee was $3 a year, according to the 1954 issue of Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.
The club didn’t seek publicity, yet newspapers and magazines carried articles that were read across the country. Letters from all over the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii; and even European countries, made their way to the club. All expressed interest in learning more about Clearwater country.
This inspired the club’s members to publish and distribute, once a year, a booklet. It was called Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure.
From the original 12 members, the Brink And A Half Club grew to several thousand, and included people from Europe and Asia.
Idaho’s Golden Road To Adventure was published from 1948 to 1958. The editor listed in the 1954 issue was David Brazil. Horace Parker and Roscoe LeGresley were Associate Editors. Brink And A Half Club officers were Ben Bear of Orofino, President; Ernie Nelson of Lewiston, Vice-President; and Horace Parker of Grangeville, Treasurer. The directors were Roscoe LeGresley of Kooskia, Ed Folden of Clearwater, Harry E. Faris of Kooskia, and Charlie Dundas of Pierce.