Lardos has a lot of local memorabilia nailed to the walls, big saw blades that harken back to timber days, historical photos, the occasional head of an ungulate, stuffed canids in threatening poses, and signs for various beverages. The outside is old time Western rustic. You can get burgers, mushroom skins, a Reuben sandwich, Lardo fries, and more. But where did the name come from?
Lardo was originally the name of a town. This town, sort of. But, it started in another location south of present-day McCall. That site was originally called Eugene, until the incident.
The story goes that there was a freight wagon hauling its load of supplies for the area miners. It would be a better story, perhaps, if there was some dramatic off-a-cliff wagon wreck, but that wasn’t what happened. It seems the road was rough enough to break open some of the flour sacks in the back of the wagon as it jostled along toward town. That was bad enough, with flour dusting out all over everything, but the bumpy ride also popped the lids on several pails of lard, glopping fat all over and mixing with the flour. The driver, reportedly with a southern drawl, saw the mess when he started to unload and exclaimed, “Lard, Oh, Lardo,” describing the lard and dough on its way toward becoming accidental biscuits.
The locals, for reasons I cannot fathom, decided Lardo was a better name than Eugene. So, in 1889, the post office there became the Lardo post office. When the gold played out, Lardo moved to the south end of Payette Lake, and was eventually absorbed by the City of McCall, which is prudently named after a family that lived there.