After 21 years of living in our wonderful home here at 2300 South Boulevard in Idaho Falls, we have to say goodbye. It was a great place to raise our family, but the kids are all grown up and now it's time to move on.

In this blog, we hope to share with you an intimate look at our house and our yard. There's so much to see and know about this property; a quick walk-through could never capture the richness of its history, the architectural detail, or the seasonal beauty of the grounds.

We will be listing the house for sale during the Summer of 2013. At that time, tours of the home will be available to pre-qualified buyers.

Please contact us by phone - (208) 243-5003 - or by email - - for more information.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

History of the House

The current residence was completed in 1931 by K.D. Rose as a wedding present for his wife, Elizabeth Holden Rose.  Mrs. Rose visited us here in 1993 and again in 1995.  During the many hours that she was here, Mrs. Rose shared a good bit history about the house, the yard, and the Rose family.  This is what she had to tell us.

K.D. Rose was first married to a daughter of one of the Rogers brothers who founded the Rogers Brothers Seed Company in 1876 in Chaumont, New York.  Mr. Rose came with the company to Idaho Falls to establish a pea seed production program in 1916.  His first wife subsequently died and K.D. married Elizabeth Holden.

Mr. and Mrs. Rose were both quite active in the community.  In addition to serving as President of the Rogers Brothers Seed Company, Mr. Rose was President of the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce in 1932 and was Chairman of the committee representing Idaho Falls in the site selection process for the National Reactor Testing Station (now known as the Idaho National Laboratory) in 1949.  According to Mrs. Rose, K.D. was also involved in the early development of Pinecrest Golf Course in Idaho Falls.

Mrs. Elizabeth Rose is greeted by Mr. Thant Myint-U, grandson
of U Thant, during her visit to United Nations University for the
dedication of the Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall in 2000.
Mrs. Rose was an avid gardener and told us that she did all of the landscape design and much of the planting on the ten acres.  She also raised prize winning show horses.  Mrs. Rose and two of her horses are mentioned in a 1932 Deseret News article, “Ogden Horse Show Boasts Fine Stock.”  While Mrs. Rose was active in local civic affairs, her most notable accomplishment was her role in the establishment of the United Nations University (UNU) in Japan.  In 1977, the Emperor of Japan awarded Mrs. Rose the nation's second-highest honor, the Order of the Precious Crown, in recognition of her contributions leading to the establishment of the UNU.  

When it was built in 1931, the house sat on ten acres and was known locally as “Rose Acres,” and long-time residents of our area still refer to our home as “Rose Mansion.”  The property extended south and west to Rose Hill Cemetery.  Mr. Rose insisted that the house be painted red, as it still is today.

A small farmhouse of lava rock construction was originally on property.  The current residence incorporates three walls from the older structure, believed to have been built around 1870.  Two other relics from the old farmhouse include the leaded glass china cabinet in the kitchen nook and the beveled glass front door which now separates the kitchen and pantry. 

Because the house was built during the Depression, Mrs. Rose said that carpenters lined up every day, hoping for work.  A cabinet maker was subsequently hired for each room in the house, a fact clearly visible in the fine woodworking throughout the home. 

A large, two story addition was added to the home in 1950 to accommodate the oldest sons.  One wall of the family room in this addition is made entirely from large stones.

Mrs. Rose telling us about the sconces she
purchased from an antique store
in Ithaca, New York.
The house was decorated with “antiques from all over the country.”  The heating system was the first vapor vacuum system “west of the Mississippi,” and was installed by an engineer sent out from Cincinnati by Trane.  Helen Aupperle, one of the founders of the Idaho Falls Art Council, created the stained glass window in the main entryway.

According to Mrs. Rose, they employed six house and yard “helpers,” because they did so much entertaining - on one occasion hosting an outdoor dance and dinner for 400 guests. When Mr. Rose had the automated dishwasher (the first in Idaho Falls) installed, Mrs. Rose said she fussed, “I have six dishwashers already!” 

One of these helpers, Elizabeth “Beth” Ellsworth Madsen, accompanied Mrs. Rose during her visit here in 1993.  Mrs. Madsen smiled when she told me that once, Mrs. Rose made her wear a uniform when they were entertaining some dignitaries from Washington, D.C. 

When we asked Mrs. Rose about the living quarters in the basement, she told us that originally some of the helpers lived in the basement.  The Rose Family communicated with them with a system of buzzers installed throughout the house that rang into the basement.  (Just like Downton Abbey!)  Mrs. Rose had especially fond memories of one full-time housekeeper – a Scandinavian immigrant - who lived in the basement. She said that while this young woman was “very prudent about her dates,” she had a habit of “running about the house in nothing but a towel.”  The only problem with that was the housekeeper “couldn’t decide which side to cover, the front or the back:”

In addition to the gardener’s shed which still stands today, the original ten acres included, a horse stable and riding area for Mrs. Roses’ show horses.  During the summer months, the full-time gardener lived in the shed. 

Because of her love of gardening and the family’s connection to the agricultural/horticultural industry, Mrs. Rose said she planted hundreds of evergreens and 1,000 daffodils on the original ten acres.  The large lilac bushes that now line the driveway all came from one lilac bush that she separated and planted.  She also had a large bed of 50 peonies which she said she fed bone meal and “they grew like mad!”  According to Mrs. Rose, locals frequently came by and cut flowers from the yard for their weddings.

Perhaps the sweetest moment of our visits with Mrs. Rose came when we told her that we still had the custom front door mat bearing the name “K.D. Rose.”  When we showed her, she was thrilled and asked us to take her picture with it.  Mrs. Madsen’s eyes filled with tears when she saw it because, she said, it made her miss Mr. Rose.

Mrs. Rose was thrilled to find her late
husband's doormat still in use!

Now we miss Mrs. Rose as well.  She died May 8, 2006 at the age of 104.  She was a great lady who created a wonderful home and we were truly blessed to know her and share this historic home.


  1. Is Elizabeth Holden Rose related to William Holden, the attorney instrumental in bringing the INL here? I live in his house!, a similar colonial revival in blue, on the corner of South Ridge & Pine.

    1. Sara - Thanks for your note. As we understood it from Mrs. Rose, she had a brother William and, if memory serves, their father was William as well. The family has been in Idaho Falls for many years and there are a number of Holdens in the current phone book, though we are not acquainted with any of them. Their numbers have included several prominent members of the legal community, including at least one member of the Idaho Supreme Court. Mrs. Rose also referred to a brother or uncle who was a member of the botany faculty at Harvard.