POCATELLO — The place Larry Allenbaugh poured his heart and soul into now bears his name on the clubhouse at the Oregon Trail Shooting Range located off 2½ Mile Road.
The sign, which reads “Larry Allenbaugh Club House,” was unveiled during a special ceremony held Saturday afternoon. A large photo of Allenbaugh was presented to his widow, Diane Allenbaugh, and another framed copy was hung inside the clubhouse.
“If we didn’t have a Larry, we wouldn’t have an outdoor range,” said Sam Laoboonmi, vice president of the Gate City Sport Shooting Association, and owner of Sam’s Gun Shop, told the crowd gathered for the commemoration.
“None of this would be here without his foresight,” said association president Mike Van Brunt.
Allenbaugh was the driving force behind negotiations with private landowners, the Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Fish and Game, and the Bannock County commissioners to make the range happen back in 1993. He also organized volunteer efforts and dedicated hundreds of hours of his own time to make sure the range was completed. Allenbaugh died in April of 2014.
“It’s special,” Diane Allenbaugh said about the dedication of the clubhouse in her husband’s name. “Larry was a person that when he decided something needed to be done, he was unstoppable.”
Diane said there was a real need for an outdoor range for Pocatello and Chubbuck, and her husband made sure that need was filled.
“The outpouring of support he received from the community was unbelievable,” Diane said.
The range includes the large covered shooting bay near the clubhouse, separate 25- and 50-yard shooting bays, two 100-yard shooting bays, a trap-shooting area and a field exercise area — a mockup Western town called “Gullyville” near the clubhouse. The association with about 800 dues paying members is responsible for its upkeep.
Diane remembers all the days that her husband dedicated his time to supervising activities at the range and making sure the safety rules and regulations were being enforced.
“He was that ‘old man in the red truck,’” Diane said with a smile.
Those attending Saturday’s event included Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Herzog, Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner, and Pocatello resident Lane Clezie, and president of Freedom Arms in Wyoming, Bob Baker.
Baker and Larry used to meet up for silhouette pistol shooting competitions at the range.
“We’d hold handgun shoots with others for a little competition,” Baker said. “Larry and I used to trade off each year on who won it.”
As people gathered for a roast pig feed following the ceremony, the sound of gunshots echoed from the range as people sighted in their guns for hunting season. Larry’s efforts made all those people winners.