Singletary earns DAR history award medal

| November 19, 2020 1:00 AM

Robert Singletary has earned many honors as a distinguished local historian, but this one shines with a particular brightness.

On Monday at the Museum of North Idaho, Singletary was awarded the Lt. George Farragut chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution History Award Medal.

The award honors an individual whose study and promotion of American history on the local, regional, or national level has significantly advanced our understanding of our nation’s past.

The criteria is strict. Nominees must demonstrate significant contributions beyond those required for any paid employment.

Singletary has lived in Coeur d’Alene with his wife, Connie, for more than 50 years. He served as coordinator for the Kootenai County Celebration in conjunction with the Idaho Centennial Celebration in 1990. He has taught local and regional history classes at North Idaho College and Lewis-Clark State College where he created much of the curriculum.

In 1994, Singletary was presented the Teaching Excellence Award from LCSC for his endeavors. From 1994 to 2004, Robert wrote a highly respected and widely anticipated weekly historical column for the Coeur d’Alene Press called the “Kootenai Chronicles.” The 52 articles along with numerous photographs from the Museum of North Idaho’s archives detailing information from the region’s rich past were published as Kootenai Chronicles, A History of Kootenai County Vol. 1 by the Coeur d’ Alene Press for distribution to the public.

Robert has been featured on numerous TV programs in the region. Over the years, he has been active in historical organizations at the local, state, and national levels.

In the past 15 years, Robert has presented public workshops, lectures, tours and living history programs throughout North Idaho. He also presents the area’s history to local Chamber of Commerce leadership programs.

“In these presentations Robert puts tremendous effort into dressing up as pertinent and authentic historical figures to help bring the story alive,” a press release said.

Several years ago Robert began taking his living history program into the secondary classrooms of Coeur d’Alene School District No. 271.

“Since that time he has captivated several thousand children with his stories of Idaho the way it used to be,” the release said.

Among so many achievements in his life, Robert has also been the program and marketing director of the Museum of North Idaho since 2012 and, at the age of 85, this unique and wonderful man continues to present monthly historical lectures for all comers at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

Robert also just completed his book Coeur d’Alene Beautiful and Progressive: An Illustrated History of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 1878-1990.

“Having made multiple significant contributions to the preservation of Idaho history over many years Robert Singletary is, by most accounts, North Idaho’s most respected and cherished historian,” the release said.

He is also an accomplished musician, performing with musical groups, including the Spokane Symphony. He founded and was the first director of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, the Panhandle Symphony and the Community Concert Band.