b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLERidge, Tennessee, where he was assis- nities about to come their way. Like for a torchlight parade down the maintant unit chief of the Gaseous Diffusion many regions of the American West, street of the town. En masse, the citi-Plant K-25, a giant facility of over two the history of the area was a tale of zens had themselves a dance in themillion square feet. Later, he became economic booms brought about by out- recreation hall. Someone had calculateddeputy director of operations for the side investment in mining, railroads, or that the $500 million that the AEC saidManhattan District. In 1946, as a civil- irrigation. It had been some time since it would spend on the site was greaterian, he opened up and managed the new the last good boom in southeast Idaho, than the assessed valuation of the entireSchenectady Operations office for the but no one had forgotten how to hustle. state of Idaho. Arco saw the AEC pro-AEC in New York, the site of the ject as a boom to outclass all otherKnolls Atomic Power Laboratory Johnston toured the towns east, west, booms. Being the town closest to the(KAPL), an experience that proved, and south of the site. Community lead- site, it felt sure that good fortune wasamong other things, that he could sur- ers everywhere welcomed him with on the way. No longer would the Idahovive face-to-face contact with the gratifying enthusiasm. If warmth and State Encyclopediasay of Arco: PointsNavys formidable Captain Hyman good will could build houses, the gov- of InterestThere are none of note inRickover. As an ex-military employee ernment would have no trouble at all. the town. 6of the Manhattan Project, Johnston was The business people in the region hadtypical of the executives in the manage- plenty of energy and ambition. 5 Arco had fewer assets than Idaho Fallsrial ranks of the AEC. 4 but nevertheless felt that it could reme-The town of Arco flung itself into a fes- dy its deficiencies. Arco mayorAs soon as he was named, Johnston tive celebration only hours after it Winfield Marvel and others flew tobecame the focus of great interest from heard that the AEC had selected the Hanford to look around and solicitthe communities of southeast Idaho. All Arco site. State Senator E.J. Soelberg advice. Soelberg went to the state capi-of them were wide open to the opportu- deployed the Arco High School band tol at Boise to meet with GovernorCourtesy of the Ada Marcia Porter FamilyAbove. Torchlight parade in Arco. Left. Arco andButte County leaders undertook a comprehensiveplanning process to prepare for growth.Courtesy of the Winfield Marvel Family3 0'