Do You Remember These Hilarious Idaho And Washington State Road Signs?

As a kid growing up in Washington State in the 70s, I remember seeing these funny road signs alongside the road when I took a trip with my foster parents through Idaho.

Who Saw These Hilarious Signs Growing Up In Washington And Idaho?

If you grew up in the '70s and '80s, you might recall the Stinker Gas Stations that once populated Idaho and Washington. My hometown of Clarkston Washington had several of them.

Little did I know at the time, they were behind some hilarious roadside signs that'll make you chuckle if you remember them.

How'd these signs come to be?

Farris Lind was the genius behind Idaho's iconic yellow road signs, born out of necessity.

credit: youtube
credit: youtube
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The Birth of the Yellow Sign Legend In Idaho And Washington State

The tale begins in the post-war era of the 1940s, when returning soldiers like Farris were eager to pick up the threads of normalcy while injecting life back into their communities.

Lind Farris, a veteran of World War II, as he had purchased several gas stations, 33 of them throughout rural Idaho.

credit: idahofb.org
credit: idahofb.org
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It was in 1946 that a stroke of fate occurred at a hardware store – Lind intended to purchase exterior plywood for advertising, the kind that can stand the test of time outdoors.

However, only interior plywood was available, prompting him to paint both sides – the front for business, and the back for whatever caught his whimsy. Thus, was born the dual-purpose signboard that would showcase both his gas station and his sense of humor.

credit: Idaho Farm Bureau
credit: Idaho Farm Bureau
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One classic sign near a field of lava rock teased, 'Petrified watermelon. Take one home to your mother-in-law,' encapsulating the quintessential 'dad joke' a generation before they were even a 'thing.'

The signs, which dotted the landscape made headlines, with United Press International featuring Lind and his witty approach in 1954, dubbing him a 'retail star.'

Here are a few of the best lines from the signs thanks to the Idaho Farm Bureau

"Lava is free. Make your own soap."

"This area is for the birds. It's fowl territory."

"Nudist area. (Keep your eyes on the road.)"

"Sheep herders headed for town have right of way."

"For a fast pickup, pass a state patrolman."

Farris Lind's legacy persisted long after the paint dried on each sign. Most of the signs are gone but today one sign still stands outside of Idaho Falls Idaho even though it has faded through the years.

I've included it below ⬇⬇⬇

credit: idaho farm bureau
credit: idaho farm bureau
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So even though most of the signs are gone now, those of us who grew up during that time remember those signs fondly and you can still check out one of them in Idaho Falls Idaho.

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