The editor and publisher of the Blackfoot Republican, eventually absorbed by the Daily Bulletin the predecessor of the Morning News built and named Sagehurst in 1909. That was a couple of years before the Idaho Legislature made it possible to legally register a house name. Even so, Sagehurst was not the first house name to be officially registered in Bingham County. That achievement belonged to Grove Farm in Groveland, the home of Ernest F. Hale.
It was Sagehurst that made the papers time and again, though, in no small part because its owner, Byrd Trego, also owned the Blackfoot Republican. Sagehurst was often mentioned in society stories when teas were held there and when dignitaries from out of town would visit. Sagehurst was so named by Trego’s wife, Susie, because she painted many of the rooms the color of sagebrush. “Hurst” means a grove, hill, or nest.
Sagehurst was frequently mentioned in the Blackfoot Republican, almost as if it were a community gathering center. It was common at the time for people to report to the papers visits from friends and overnight guests. Those reports from Sagehurst stood out because the home was named, and because the guests were often dignitaries from out of town, especially politicians and newspaper editors.
The construction of a garage was seldom with a newspaper mention, but when one was added to Sagehurst in 1920, editor Trego treated readers to a full description of the two-car addition from its nearly flat roof “covered in Ruberoid” to the special cinder and clay floor designed to drain liquids such as the contents of radiators without the need for a sewer connection.
Mrs. Byrd Trego (as her byline read), sometimes called the “silent editor” of the paper, wrote lengthy articles about gardening, often mentioning the latest plantings at Sagehurst. The Tregos were big Blackfoot boosters who took great pride in their community and landscaped their home as a reflection of that. Midnight raids on flower beds were not uncommon, so the Tregos planted sections of their front yard with flowers meant for cutting and invited the community to stop by and pick a few for Blackfoot vases. The hope was that blossom hoodlums would leave the rest of the plants alone.
In 1917, on the occasion of the opening of the Shelley sugar factory, Byrd Trego announced that he had “four million seeds, hadn’t time to plant them all himself, and (he) called upon the north end of the county to help put them in the ground where they would add the most beauty to the country.” He spent two hours handing out varicolored hollyhock and garden variety perennial peas. No doubt there are still flowers around the county that can be traced to the seeds from Sagehurst.
Sagehurst was, and still is, a place of beauty. But there would be many months in 1913 and 1914 that would be remembered by the Tregos as dark days in the home. That story on Tuesday.