A history of the development of the Coeur d’Alene Basin in the state of Idaho

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of History The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

by Ivor Albert Schott January 195°

UMI Number: EP59619

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' 5-


T h is thesis, w ritte n by

...... Ivo r Albe r t _S cho 11_.......... under the guidance of h.X&.. F a c u lt y C o m m itte e , a nd a p p ro v e d

by a l l its members, has been

presented to and accepted by the C o u n c il on G ra d u a te S tu d y an d Research in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­ m ent of the requirem ents f o r the degree of

Master of Arts

Dean D a te ...

Faculty Committee





THE COEUR D ’ALENE BASIN ..................... Description of the Coeur d ’Alene Basin

1 6

. 6

The b a s i n .........................


The drainage system .................... Crossing the basin from west to east II.


DISPOSSESSING THE I N D I A N S ............ The Sacred Heart Mission

10 18



The Indian W a r ..................

23 38

The Coeur d ’Alene Reservation.. ........ III.

THE MULLAN R O A D .......................


Plans for transcontinental railroads



Isaac I. S t e v e n s ................


John M u l l a n ’s s u r v e y ...........


Work begins on the r o a d .........


Building through the Coeur d ’Alene B a s i n ........................... The road is extended to Fort Benton

55 .

The trial r u n .....................


62 64

Building the road north of Lake Coeur


d ’A l e n e .........................


RAILROADS AND H I G H W A Y S ..............


R a i l r o a d s ...........................



PAGE Beginning of railroad surveys



The Mull an R o a d ..................


Gold is f o u n d ....................


Early routes of t r a v e l .........


The Northern Pacific



The Spokane Falls and Idaho Railroad



The Coeur d ’Alene Railway and Navigation Company



The Washington and Idaho Northern Railway Company



The Coeur d ’Alene and Spokane Railway The Milwaukee R o a d ............. Highways U.S.


. . ■.............................


10 H i g h w a y ..................


U.S. 95 H i g h w a y .................... .. V.



M I N I N G ............................... Few settlers in the basin in 1880 The first discoveries


. 100

. . .




Developments in the Murray District up to 1 8 8 5 ........................


Growth between 1 8 8 5 -1 8 9 0


The Wallace District



The Wardner-Kellogg District




PAGE The mining district exploited fully Early-day newspapers




The era of big c o m p a n i e s ................


Minerals found in the b a s i n ...........


The clash of owners and laborers

. . . .




THE STEAMBOAT E R A ...........................


Steamboats on the l a k e ..................


Mining developments after 1910 VI.

. .

Events associated with life on the 159

l a k e ....................................


Development of vacation resorts

. . . .


Other recreational developments

. . . .


Wild l i f e ................................


FORESTS AND L U M B E R I N G .......................


The importance of the lumber industry The Panhandle Forest District





Land o w n e r s h i p ...........................


Development of the lumber industry


. . .

The mill t o w n s ...........................


Logging practices in the basin



The big timber o w n e r s ..................


Status of timber resources in 1930


The National Forests

. . .




PAGE Conservation measures of the Forestry


S e r v i c e .....................................


A G R I C U L T U R E .......................................


The first f a r m e r s ............................


I r r i g a t i o n .............................


Opening the Coeur d ’Alene Indian R e s e r v a t i o n ................................ Agriculture limited by nature Related industries BIBLIOGRAPHY












Coeur d'Alene Basin



The Mullan R o a d ....................



R a i l r o a d s .......................................



Coeur d'Alene Mining Region


Timber Stands in the Coeur d'Alene Basin

.................. . .


103 177



For the man who possesses genuine curiosity when he arrives for the first time in a city with a population of more than one hundred twenty thousand, tion in his mind.

there must be a q u e s ­

From what source come the material factors

that sustain this population? Spokane, Washington,

"Capital of the Inland Empire,"

in 1935 spread over an area of some forty square miles. Situated along the banks of the Spokane River,

its northern

boundary line was drawn across the valley several miles short of the mountain wall; but on the south it had climbed out of the valley and from the plateau above looked back upon the heart of the city.

Below were the lower falls of the river.

They were often dry in summer when the stream's entire flow was diverted

into the conduits of the giant hydroelectric

plant on the left bank; but in the spring these falls were a raging flood of icy waters.

The Monroe Street bridge

spanned the river above the cataract,

and from its west side

one could look down ninety feet upon foam-flecked and turbid waters rushing along a graceful curve and out of the city. Latah Creek joined the river on the left.

High above the

creek were the trestles of transcontinental railroads.


history of the Coeur d'Alene Basin is intimately related with


jNWEOi CJW*»2*£_ t ^ 'o o ie w tA l C o im / T 'f

£ 'A t H o t*


tot'l/n D'AlCtfV

o’;l+AYA h Spokane was the

and the banking center,

in fact

it was the heart of the mining and lumbering districts of the Coeur d ’Alene Basin;


it lay entirely outside the

bas i n . Passing up either bank of the Spokane River through the city one could follow a winding course over a network of streets,

past lumber mills,


and factories,

packing houses,

flour mills,

finally leaving the city behind.

The mountains crowded

in closer then and the scattered

trees became forests high upon their sides.

On the valley

floor were the irrigated orchards and gardens and fields, wonderfully luxuriant

in summer, but bare in winter and often

lying under a blanket of snow.

A cluster of buildings waited

at the Washington-Idaho state line and there the road joined U, S. 1Q highway,

commonly known as the 11Apple W a y ” from

Spokane east to the junction. Where the Apple Way crossed the Spokane River,


might stop and look down from the bridge upon crystal clear waters hurrying over the rocky bed. crossing was the spot

A few miles below that

where Antoine Plante built his hut and

cultivated a small plot of land from which he sold vegetables to the miners and pack train crews who passed on their way to and from the Kootenai mines along the old Wild Horse Trail during the sixties.

It was along the banks of this stream


that John Clarke and his small detail of men representing the American Fur Company tramped during June of 1812, visit with the Coeur d fAlene Indians.


After establishing

a trading post on the shores of Coeur d ’Alene Lake,


retraced his steps along the Spokane River to a spot just below the site of present-day Spokane and established Spokane Post.

In the year, 1842, Peter De Smet, after a

two-day visit among the Coeur d ’Alene Indians, the banks of this river.


passed down

there was Father Nickolas

Point and his associates who built the first mission house along the shores of the Coeur d ’Alene River--the first Catholic mission in Idaho.

The missionaries often journeyed

west along the banks of the Spokane River. McLennan, whom John Clarke had left in charge of the post among the lake Indians, was discouraged, no doubt by the poverty of the small tribe, and abandoned his post the very next year. Company sold


two years later,

its holdings

west Fur Company. these Indians,

the American Fur

in the Spokane Valley to the N or th ­

But first of the white men to come among

if the unrecorded travels of the unnamed

mountain men and trappers must be omitted, was David T h o m p ­ son, trapper and surveyor for the Northwest Fur Company, He was the "Star Man," K o o -k o o -sint. t who awed, but also b e ­ friended the Indians.

He left an indelible memorial

North where stream and falls bear his name.

in the


If the stranger were to have turned to the east side of the bridge and directed his eyes to the mountains above and beyond, he would have seen ridge after ridge rising before him. forest,

Covered with a dark green blanket of

these mountain ridges shut out all the hundreds

of little valleys and gulches that reached in every d i r e c ­ tion up to the mountain summits.

This was the western g a t e ­

way that led into the Coeur d ’Alene Basin.

Here were the

valley farms and irrigated prairies where truck gardens and orchards, wheat fields and dairy herds yielded their harvest to the farmer and dairyman. of pine,

fir, hemlock,

Here were the forests

larch and spruce,

of feet of timber each year.

yielding millions

In this basin were the Coeur

d ’Alene mines at Kellogg, Wallace, Burke, Mullan, Wardner, Murray and many others, flourishing. Coeur d ’Alene,

some abandoned

But queen of all cities

in 1935, many still in the basin was

county seat of Kootenai County,

the largest

city in Idaho north of Lewiston--a city unspoiled by the close proximity of mine and factory, a city of modest,


kept homes that lined shaded streets, a city in the shadow of timbered mountains.




The B a s i n .

The Coeur d ’Alene Basin has two prominent

geographical features,

one of which claims special attention.

The maze of high ridges that cross and recross the basin cannot properly be called mountains although they too bear the popular name, Coeur d ’Alene.

Actually they are foot­

hills of the Bitter Root Range to the east.^

Small narrow

valleys begin high upon the mountain sides and spread wider as they descend to an elevation of two thousand two hundred feet at the lak e’s surface. The triangular Coeur d ’Alene Basin has its apex at Cabinet on the Clark Fork River.

Running south along the

main ridge of the Bitter Root Mountains for almost one hundred miles,

the line turns abruptly westward to trace

a distance ninety-nine miles along the ridges that divide the headwaters of the Clearwater River on the south from those of the rivers

in the basin.

The highest peak visible

from any part of this area is in the mountains of the w e s t ­ ern rim. feet high.

There is Pack Saddle, seven thousand nine hundred Lake Coeur d ’Alene hugs the west rim of the

basin and discharges

its waters through a northern outlet

1 John B. Leiberg, "General Report of a Botanical Survey of the Coeur d ’Alene Mountains in Idaho during the Summer of 18 95* ” U. S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Botany, vol. V, no. I” p. 6. Hereafter cLted, Leiberg Report"


into the Spokane River.

The water gap through which the

Spokane River leaves the basin lies sixty-five miles north of the base of the triangle in the western wall of the basin. It is about fifteen miles wide.

North of the gap the w e s t ­

ern rim runs again along a mountain ridge for fifty-nine miles to join the apex at Cabinet.


thousand square miles of area in the basin.

there are nine In general,


is a rough and difficult region through which to pass. Modern highways had been built through the basin by 1935 at considerable cost, and no difficulty was encountered in traversing it; but before roads were built,

travel was almost

impossible. All the larger ridges join with the Bitter Root ranges eventually and but for the singular way into which they divide to enclose the drainage system, might be regarded as a westward foothill region of the parent range. saddle a stream heads on either side.

From every

The lines of the tri­

angle trace a serpentine course, thus making the heavily timbered segments very difficult to follow.

The ridges vary

in. height from four thousand four hundred to seven thousand feet, the everage being about five thousand feet.

On the

south ridge dividing the headwaters of the St. Joe and Coeur d'Alene rivers is Wiessner Peak, one of the few rock-faced swells in the region, heavily timbered peaks being the rule. An idea of the steepness of the spur walls may be gained by


finding that forty-degree slopes are common and many are sixty and even seventy-degree.

Rocky cliffs of nearly nine

hundred feet are found near Lake Pend Oreille on the west wall of the "basin.

The narrow and tortuous ravines there

are perpetually shaded from the s u n ’s rays and run their courses for a short distance of two or more miles before ascending to the crest of the parent ridges. The drainage systern.

Turning to the drainage system

one finds that two river systems divide and subdivide over and over again to form a very intricate, network of lateral streams, able size. systems

some of them being of consider­

The largest and most extensive of these river

is the St. Joseph,

It empties

if not complex,

commonly called the

"St. Joe."

into the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene and

has a total length of about one hundred thirty-seven miles, twenty-six of which are navigable.

About fifteen miles up

from its mouth the St. Joe receives the waters of the St. M a r y ’s River. above


is the largest


its mouth, the St. Joe branches

Forty miles

into three streams,

two of which have their sources In the mountains that separate the basin from the Clearwater Basin. branch heads

The third

in the Bitter Root Range a short distance from

S t e v e n ’s Peak.

It is this stream,

the longest of the three



that gives the St. Joe its extreme length.

idea of the rate of water-flow


in this stream is gained by

noting that an elevation of four thousand nine hundred feet at its source drops steadily to two thousand two h u n ­ dred feet just one hundred miles below at the head of n av ig a­ tion.

From that point to the outlet into the lake there is

a drop of twenty-three feet. are called

The lower thirty-seven miles

’’slack w a t e r . ”

The St. M a r y 1s River heads

in the south wall of the

basin at an elevation of three thousand four hundred feet. The mouth of the St. M a r y !s is about twenty-six feet wide and ten feet deep.

Its banks were heavily forested before

logging operations were begun;

in 1935 , a second-growth

timber shared the valley lands with cultivated The Coeur d'Alene River discharges


its waters into

the lake about twenty-five miles above the lake's northern outlet.

The waters of the river, grayish with mine tailings,

are discernible where they mingle with the clearer lake waters.

Forty miles above its mouth the river divides to

form the North and South forks, former,

Coeur d'Alene rivers.


longer of the two, heads in the mountain region of

Pend Oreille Lake in a triangular basin that duplicates the larger one in which it lies, feet above sea level.

three thousand nine hundred

The North Fork River breaks through


the basalt ridge to join the South Fork near the old boat landing near present-day Kingston.

At that point the river

is about two hundred

thirty feet wide and three feet deept.

The South Fork heads

in the Bitter Root Ridge just north

of Sohon's Pass,

forty miles above

its junction described


The valley of this stream, never wide in any part,


in the vicinity of Wallace so that a width great

enough to pass river,

railroad and highway had to be made

by blasting considerable solid rock from the mountain walls. This

is the fork that gathers the pollution from the s m e l ­

ters that lie contiguous to its course. Lgke Coeur d*Alene is a dammed-up river valley about thirty miles long and from two to four miles wide.


spurs from the higher ridges run into the lake making many tentacle-like bays a part of its shore line.

The lake is

drained by the Spokane River at its extreme northwestern end.

This broad sheet of water flows slowly westward about

eight miles before plunging thirty-nine feet over the "upper” falls of the Spokane River at Post Falls.

Crossing the basin from west to e a s t .

Back to the

cluster of buildings on the Idaho-Washington border,

lo ok ­

ing east over a cement pavement, U. S. Highway 10, a quick survey of the basin is possible by crossing it along this automobile route.

The distance is eighty-two miles and


cuts through the heart of the basin from vest to east. The valley floor presented,

in 1935, a contrast of

scenes with fruit orchards and boulder-strewn pasture lands, irrigated truck farms and gravelly wastes, substantial homes and unpainted shacks.

On the right, hugging the low mountain

wall, was the Spokane River, four railway lines;

paralleled by the tracks of

on the left, a main canal of the Spokane

Valley Improvement C om pany1s 1902 vision of an irrigated valley.

Then the highway crossed a railroad and entered

Post Falls,

a small town founded by Frederick Post who built

Spokane Ts first flour mill.

Post appreciated the potential­

ities of these sites, both of them at falls in the river, and foresaw the growth of cities. After leaving Post Falls,

the highway ran straight

east to a junction with an improved road leading north to Rathdrum.

Round about Rathdrum were stretched the basin*s

most extensive wheat farms.

But the eastward-bound h i g h ­

way, after passing the junction point, entered forest land. The trees were small second growth evergreens, nevertheless, they were the vanguard of forests that were never left b e ­ hind during the remainder of the journey. On the right in succession stood the plants of the Ohio Match Company, Company,

and then,

the Atlas Tie Company,

the Winton Lumber

the city of Coeur d*Alene.

On the left


at the northwest corner of Coeur d ’Alene city limits, U. S. 95 highway crossed at right angles and ran through the city to leave

it by way of the Spokane River Bridge.

U. S. 10 highway turned right down Fourth Street,

then left

on Sherman Avenue and left the town. East of Coeur d'Alene, north shore of the lake.

the highway ran along the

At that time,

the highway often

climbed up and over spurs of the mountains that extended to the l a k e 1s shore.

From the heights one could look down

upon the lake described by Feodore von Lauerzer, Austrian artist, as the "Lucerne of America."


After following the northern shore of the lake to its eastern extremity,

the highway approached Wolf Lodge.

On the right U. S. 95 highway,


led south across

Wolf Lodge Creek to follow along the east shores of the lake. On the left was the junction with a road that led into the Coeur d ’Alene National Forest.

Two miles up that road was

the location of the old Rutheford Ranch, known trapper and hunter.

the home of a well-

Rutheford trapped bear, beaver,

martin and lynx throughout the basin for many y e a r s . 3 road crossed Searchlight Creek1* at right angles,

^ Burd Modr, 10, January, 1911. ^


then turned

"Shadowy St. Joe," Overland Monthly,

i n Word and Pi ctu re , 3 3 5 .

^ Locally known as "Marie Creek."


right to follov up the creek through a narrow, canyon to Honeysuckle Ranger Station.

The next fifteen

miles ran over steep grades to reach Leiberg, Creek, and next,


the McGee Ranger Station.

then Tepee

From that point

forest trails ran to Grizzly Ridge, McDonald Peak, Grassy Mountain,

Lookout Peak, McGee Peak, or Elkhorn Peak.


these points were within the heart of the Coeur cMAlene National Forest and illustrate the extensive development of roads and trails throughout the National Forest areas. From the junction of this side road,

the highway

climbed upward through Cedar Canyon to pass from the summit down Fourth of July Canyon.

The summit at the pass marks

the western extremity of the famous Osburn Fault.5 The next fifteen miles of th

highway passed through

little meadows and valleys, alternating with timber patches. Scattered ranch houses along this stretch of the road could be counted on the fingers of two hands, some of them pr e­ senting a prosperous appearance, shacks.

others being unpainted

All the unmistakable signs of the b a s i n 1s leading

industry were there in the small sawmills and in road signs warning,

"TRACKS CROSSING," posted at the point where side

5 The Osburn fault has a displacement of more than a mile in places, and is traceable from Fourth of July summit through the mining district into Montana.


roads sloped down the steep gulches to join the main highway. At Cataldo,

a small settlement of about one hundred

people, on the banks of the Coeur d'Alene River, passed into Shoshone County. of the narrow-gauge railway,

At that time,

the highway

(1935) the piling

long since abandoned, were still

visible a short distance below the highway bridge.


Mission Flats just west of Cataldo, presented a picturesque scene with their hillocks, marshland and tall grasses over­ looked by the quaint mission church standing like a sullen sentinel in their very center. Almost immediately after crossing the bridge, highway entered the mining district.


There the bright green

forest was beginning to take on a blighted look that soon changed to stark trunks and branches of dead and dying trees, killed by the funes and gases of lead smelters.

On thr

right a road led up Pine Creek'past several mining properties. At the confluence of Pine Creek and the South Fork River the highway swung left around a spur of mountain and passed the Page mine.

At Smelterville,

the next town,

out into a flat, ghost-like waste of land,

the valley fanned rimmed in by

denuded mountains. The next town was Kellogg,

the largest in the mining

district with a population of 4,124.

On the town's environs

were the Bunker Hill lead smelter, the Sullivan zinc reduc­ tion plant in Government Gulch,

and railway connections with


the several exploited gulches.

The Bunker Hill lode and

ore bodies were in the mountains on the south extending from Government Gulch eastward to Wardner in Milo Gulch. Wardner could be reached by turning right off the highway and proceeding up Milo Gulch. population of 903.

In 1935,

it had a

This was the location of the famous

"bull pen" in which several hundred men were kept under

£ guard after the unfortunate strikes of 1 8 9 9 Returning to the highway down Milo Gulch and continu­ ing eastward

for about three and


half miles brought

another road

leading south up Big Creek




the Sunshine mine,

the largest single producer of silver in the United States at that time.

East of Sunshine

in Polaris Gulch and reached

by a road running up the gulch from the highway was one of the oldest mines in the district, 1884.

the Polaris discovered


Opposite Polaris Gulch and left of the highway was

Prospect Gulch where Prichard did some of his early prospecting.7 The next point of historical interest on the highway was the town of Osburn,

6 See

page 14 4

7 See

page 104

the old landmark of Bill Osburn*s


place settled

In I8 8 3 , a stopping place on the Mullan Road

and the point of departure for the Murray area during the gold rush days.

Osburn was,

in 1890,

one of the contending

towns for the county seat of Shoshone County in the October elections of that year. To follow up an unimproved road north from Osburn was to circle Dago Peak in the Coeur d*Alene National Forest and to trace back on the route of gold seekers bound for Murray from Wallace by way of Ninemile Creek. Wallace was built

in a small triangular valley where

several streams from radiating gulches join the South Fork River.

It had a population of about 3,634 in 1935, an(3 was

the county seat of Shoshone County, a distinction won in I8 9 8 .

Many of the houses of the town were built upon the

mountain sides,

thus affording a picturesque scene.

Running left from Wallace up a narrow gulch was a railroad as well as an improved automobile road.

Gen, three

miles above Wallace, stood midway between the latter and the locally famous Burke. located at Burke,

The Hecla Mining C o m p a n y ^

and therefore,

town while Gen stood as a ghost.

plant was

it continued to exist as a The road up Ninemile Creek

led north and west through gulches and over their dividing ridges to pass through an area once the scene of feverish activity during the 1860's when gold placers throve.



of the historic places, on Prichard Creek,

such as Delta, Trail Creek, Murray-

and Eagle City were gaunt reminders of

neglect attended by depletion of the placer gold. Seven miles east of Wallace up the South Fork River was Mullan.

The narrow valley there was walled by high

ridges still greem with forests.

Mullan was another s t o p ­

ping place on the Mullan Road, and formerly was known as "Nigger Prairie." Hunter mine. producers

There were the Morning mine and the Gold

The former was long one of the big lead-zinc

in the United States.

Its lode body lies vertical

and promises to develop into the deepest lode of its kind in the country. From Mullan U. S. Highway 10 circled and climbed six miles up the mountain wall to Lookout Pass.


From the

pass one could look left over the Coeur d ’Alene National Forest or right to the St. Joe National Forest.

The valley

below begins an ascent to the east through Shoshone County Park,

formerly known as "Pottsville Pa rk. 11

The site was

developed after 1930, by the Shoshone Park Association with the aid of C. C. C. boys.^ At Lookout Pass, altitude, left the basin.

4,738 feet, U.S.

10 highway

The distance from the western border was

eighty-two miles.

® Article from the Mullan (Idaho) News, Vacation Edition, summer, 1948, p. 5 .


DISPOSSESSING THE INDIANS When the nineteenth century dawned America was still new.

The vast stretches of western mountain,

desert country were untouched by white men. came and went In dreary monotony; were undiscovered.

plain, and The seasons

the locked-away treasures

In the tangled forests of pine and fir

where the backbone of the Rockies crosses the forty-ninth parallel the fine balance of nature was maintained without interruption.

Into the valley along the paths of wild

animals and equally wild aborigines a few solitary mountain men made their way occasionally, phantoms.

only to disappear again like

They bore few marks of civilization;

they were poor representatives of civilization.

in fact, Drugged by

the dreary environment of a primeval land they picked no quarrel with the hard life they knew there.

Like grains of

sand that fall in the van of a storm they came and were lost from the center of civilization. trace;

They left no records, no

they returned occasionally to the outer settlements

and told strange,

thrilling stories.

Those mountain men

had met with the wily Indian that lived along a beautiful lake "somewhere,” they bartered a few knives for some furs, beaver and fox, and they paid dearly for them. not good furs and the number was small;

They were

so the Indians were


hard customers, bargain drivers, the French traders,

and they "were called by

"Coeur d'Alenes," hard-hearted men who

lived miserable lives subsisting on fish and the flesh of the deer and the root of the camas plant.

The lake, along

whose shores they built their mat-covered houses, was called Coeur d'Alene.

The mountains,



in their

ridges and valleys and covered with forests,

the floors of

which were strewn with fallen trunks, brush,

and a thick

carpet of needles, were called the "Coeur d'Alenes." hidden stream that reached


its slender fingers up into the

snow-filled crevices of the mountains was called the "Coeur d'Alene River." Nichirn Kilgos, Indians, was

the largest camp of the Coeur d'Alene

located where the city of Coeur d'Alene now stands,

in 1842, a miserable village of about a dozen,

covered communal lodges. missionary,

Peter De Smet,

low, mat -

the Belgium-born

was in the early spring of that year traveling

from St. Mary's Mission in Montana,

to Vancouver.

He saw

the tiny Indian village squatting like a bed of mushrooms among the fire-blackened trunks of giant pine and fir trees along the north shore of Coeur d'Alene Lake.

To this point

he had followed the course of stream and deer run through dreary,

silent green forests.

Fifteen miles further west

down the banks of the Spokane River which empties the lake lay the valley of the Spokane like a finger of the plains

pointed at the mountains. Father de Smet rested, hut not for long. Indians, eager to he instructed

in the ways of the white

men, pressed the Black Rohe to remain among them. promised to stay three days,



During that time a small log

chapel was erected and the first services of the Catholic Church were held among the Coeur d*Alene Indians.

An i n ­

genious plan for teaching the Church doctrine was conceived. Father de Smet had all the members of the trihe stand

in a

circle around him, demanding that they should always take the same place when assembled for instruction and prayer. To each member of the circle he intrusted hut one sentence of a prayer.

In this way he was able to leave among them

the knowledge he wished to impart.

Frequent repetitions

were necessary; hut so thoroughly were the prayers learned that subsequent visits among them ascertained their ability to repeat the prayers

in their entirety.

To transplant an alien shoot among the weeds of a native culture required patience,

perseverance and compromise.

The Ten Commandments were definitely an alien shoot. Indians were


indisposed to apply themselves to the task of

memorization, nor were they inclined to give up old habits. Smoking was one of their habits that the father sought vain to control;


so he made use of the pipe in his teachings.

He conceived the plan of allowing his pupils to smoke only

after each of them could

repeat one of the Commandments;

henceforth the Indians called the Ten Commandments the nTen P i p e s ."

The Sacred Heart Miss i o n .

The promise to establish

a mission among the Coeur d*Alenes was kept.

In the fall of

1844, Father Nicholas Point and Brother Charles Huet crossed the Bitter Root Mountains and selected

for the site of the

first mission, a little clearing along the banks of a stream that Be Smet named the St. Joseph.

Sacred Heart was the

name given this mission, and two log buildings were erected that same fall.

Two years later the site was abandoned b e ­

cause of the r-: :lar spring Innundation and moved to the banks of the Coeur d ’Alene River in an open prairie of some three thousand acres.

In 1853, the first Catholic Church in

Idaho was erected on that site, With great effort Fathers Ravilli and Gassoli worked with crude tools and aided by one brother Magri, hewed timbers from the forests to construct the church. destroyed by fire in 1864, but was rebuilt.

It was

It stands today,

restored and preserved through the efforts of citizens of Idaho and Washington,

a monument to the men who built it.

When the Coeur d fAlene Indian Reservation was created the mission lands were left outside its boundaries. more the establishment was moved,

in 1880, Once

this time to its present

1 Catholic Encyclopedia^ i v ? 9 5 . Apparently, Point had visited the s’ite in 1841; the buildings were erected in 1844.

site on H a n g m a n ’s Creek in what

is Benawah County, about


miles east of present-day Tekoa, Washington. It was only with infinite patience that the seeds of civilization were planted among the Indians. raw materials for mills, mines,


Here were the

and farm;

yet the

missionaries were to toil for three decades before any a t ­ tempt was made at actual development of the basin.

A few

simple tools for cutting trees and hewing the logs for b u i l d ­ ing, some crude plows and other farm tools, and the bare necessities of life were brought in Montana.

in from St. M a r y ’s Mission

The route was a difficult one to travel.


Indians never attempted a crossing of the mountains


winter but used the S o h o n ’s Pass freely in summer.



the Cl ark’s Fork route farther north was used to gain

access to the little valley of the Sacred Heart Mission. The church was built of wood

in a poor imitation of

Michael Angel o’s "Minato on the H I l l . ”^ surrounded by low alluvial lands.

The residence hall of the

fathers was located behind the church. tage with overhanging eaves and piazza. two structures was a third,

It stood on a knoll

It was a rustic c o t ­ Just west of these

the refectory,

and surrounding

all were the cabins and wigwams of the Indians.

East of the

2 Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Washingt on, Idaho and M o n t a n a , 1845-89, 553*

church, some ground had been enclosed with a rail fence and there the Indians labored after a fashion, gardens.

cultivating their

Inside the church quaint drawings hung on the

vails about the altar which was supported by timbers carved from five-foot larch trees.

Territorial Governor Stevens

visited the mission in the summer of 1 8 5 9 , and leaves the following description:^ They have a splendid church, a large barn, a horse mill for flour, a storeroom, a milk or dairy room, a cook room, and a good arrangement for their pigs and cattle, some 12 log cabins, . . . a large cultivated field of some 200 a. and a prairie from 2000 to 3000 a. . . . They own a hundred pigs, 8 yoke of oxen, 20 cows and a liberal proportion of horses and mules and young animals.

The Ind ian W a r . trouble started. of the lands.

With the coming of the white men,

An unequal contest was waged for possession

The Indians rallied to oppose the establish­

ment of the proposed military road that was to open the North­ west to settlement.

Governor Stevens of Washington Territory,

accompanied by Lieutenant John Mullan,

passed through the

in basin^the fall of 1853 while on his way to Puget Sound to s p y out the possibilities of a railroad route to the Pacific. Difficulty was encountered

in the Bitter Roots,

and Mullan

was left to find the best route through the mountains.

3 Catholic Encyclopedia,

IV, 9 3 .

in I8 5 5 , Governor St ev en s1 treaties with the Indians were negotiated through Kamiakum,

a Yakima chief, and with

lesser chiefs who apparently were not properly intrusted with authority to speak for all the tribes treaties.

included in the

Through misunderstandings on the part of the

tribes of the upper Columbia,

including the Coeur d 'A le nes,

and largely attributed to agent J. Ross Brown who told them the treaty was to become effective immediately, a growing ii restlessness was evidenced. The clauses in the treaties that provided for fixing the boundaries of a reservation, moval of all the northwest tribes to that reservation,



the right to build roads through the country were part icu -1 larly indicative of loss of cherished rights.

The Coeur

d'Alenes were bound by agreements with the Spokanes and Palouses to support them in moves against the common enemy. In May of 185 8 , Colonel Steptoe left Ft. Walla Walla with one hundred fifty-two enlisted men, and two friendly Nez Perce Indians.

five company officers

His purpose was to in ­

vestigate the dissatisfaction among the northwest Indians. That he foresaw no outbreak of hostilities

is evidenced by

^ B. F. Manring, Conquest of the Coeur d'Alenes, Spokanes and P a l ou ses, 3 0 .

the fact that his party carried only forty rounds of ammunition,

two light howitzers,

and inferior a r m s . 5

Steptoe *s destination was Colville, which he planned to reach by a round-about route through the Palouse country. Those Indians were guilty of attacks on the settlers region of Walla Walla and, no doubt,

in the

Colonel Steptoe had

planned to demand the surrender of the perpetrators of the attacks.

He also planned to march into the territory of

the Spokanes to determine their mettle, as reports had come to him that the Spokanes and Coeur d*Alenes were unfriendly toward the proposed opening of roads through their lands. On the evening of the eighth day, the detachment encamped on Pine Creek.

The trail they were following ran

from the camping site to Hangman Creek and there connected with the Colville road.

This was in the heart of the

Palouse country and near present-day Tekoa. trails connected

in this immediate region.

Indian trail led south,

Several Indian The Lapwai

the Latah trail, northeast to Coeur

d*Alene Lake, and another trail ran east and west through the Rock Creek country to connect with the.St. Joe River in the Coeur d ’Alene country.

Penetration of this area had

forced the Palouse Indians to fall back upon the Spokanes and Coeur d !Alenes.

5 Ibid., 6 8 .

As the latter were committed to a

hostile attitude and to resistance should an attempt be made to penetrate their lands,

Colonel Steptoe, without

knowing it, was forcing their hand.

Two warnings had been

delivered to him in as many days. The fifteenth fell on Sunday.

It was a warm day and

the men were in high spirits as they leisurely prepared to resume their journey northward.

About eleven o !clock a

host of Indians suddenly appeared.

They were well mounted,

in full battle dress, and carried H u d s o n ^ Bay rifles. Their estimated number was about a thousand.

When they

had advanced to within one hundred yards of his men, Colonel Steptoe demanded the reason for their hostile attitude. parley was held.


The Indians expressed .their belief that

it was with the Intention of annihilating them that their country was being invaded.

Upon assuring them that his in­

tentions were not unfriendly,

some degree of moderation was

shown; but the Indians warned Steptoe that his army would not be permitted to cross the Spokane River. tion was an insult to the Colonel.

That presump­

The parley ended.

The soldiers continued their inarch with orders not to fire under any circumstances unless fired upon. in their rear, and before them, loud and




To the side,

the Indians pressed,

trying to start a fight.


Colonel Steptoe

Conquest of the Coeur d 1A le ne s, 83.

turned his men and headed due west. a mile before halting.

They marched for about

All the while the Indians pressed

upon them, becoming more and more roiled to fighting wrath. Another parley was held, but agreement was impossible, the Indians seemed determined to fight.


They evidently had

committed themselves to the task of ridding their country of the menace of the soldiers,

preferring a battle to w i t h ­

drawal of the forces. In the evening the Indians retired eastward. was made.


Colonel Steptoe conferred with his subordinates,

Taylor, Winder,


Gaston, and Wheeler,

retrace his steps to Ft. Walla Walla. too weak to advance



and decided to

The party was much they saw all too plainly

the gravity of their present situation.

Colonel Steptoe

had no desire to break the good record of the Spokanes and Coeur d !Alenes who had given the white settlers no trouble up to that time. abandon

No one of them expected the Indians to

the favorable position that they were In.

campfires and signal lights dotted the hilltops.

Their Picket

lines were strengthened and preparations for the new day were made by the apprehensive Colonel. The seventeenth day of May dawned


Every soldier

in Steptoe*s detachment knew the group was outnumbered and outmatched by the enemy.

The retreat was begun early in

close columns with the baggage train protected between them.

The *•nimaIs vere troublesome and hard to control as they were driven Into a frenzy by the yelling savages, who had appeared

in full force as soon as the retreat began.

Suddenly a rider dashed up through the enemy horde to inquire for Steptoe.

Father Joset from the Sacred Heart

Mission ninety miles away had come at the request of Chief Vincent of the Coeur d'Alenes to Intercede in face of an impending battle.

He was cordially received and proceeded

to absolve himself of charges of having delivered arms the hands of the Coeur d'Alenes.


Steptoe admitted that he

had heard this to be true;? whereupon Father Joset begged the colonel to arrange for another council with the chiefs. Steptoe replied that for him to halt t h e .retreat would be disastrous.

The Father next begged

for permission to bring

the chiefs up to him for a parley, then rode away and r e ­ turned with only Chief Vincent.

The others were unwilling

to treat further with the colonel.

The retreating soldiers

continued to move southward. During the talk, Vincent was taunted by one of the Nez Perce Indians who struck the chief such a blow across the shoulders with his whip as to almost unseat him from his horse.®

The offender was restrained, and Vincent,

7 Manring,

Conquest of the Cceur d 'A l e n e s , I5 3 .

8 i b i d -, 8 3 .


satisfied "with Colonel Steptoe* s remarks, made ready to ride away.

At that moment a relative of Vincent rode up to say

that the Palouses were going to open fire. At eight o ’clock the firing began. minutes a continuous

fire was poured at the troops, who were

yet far enough removed from their attackers damage.

Within twenty

to suffer no

For every endeavor to gain the vantage point on

hills and flanks the troops had a counter move.

They would

charge the Indians to force their way clear, still holding their fire.

Thus for two miles the moving fight continued.

Then a strong force of savages gathered on a hilltop to place themselves athwart the retreating troops. began in earnest.

The fighting then

Details of troops would suddenly pursue

a band of the enemy, who gave way to flight only so long as they were pressed;

but when the pursuers turned about to

rejoin the main body,

their tormentors

immediately rallied

again to the attack. To continue their retreat meant that the occupied hill must be taken.

Colonel Steptoe sent Lieutenant Gregg

with a detachment to storm the hill.

Th ey received some

support from one of the two howitzers and after succeeding in occupying the hilltop were

immediately cut off from the

main body by a strong cordon of Indians who were quick to take advantage of the isolated soldiers on the hilltop. All their efforts were bent for the moment

to that attempt,

hoping to annihilate the little band before joined by the main body of troops. of their fellow soldiers,

it could be

Seeing the predicament

the main body bent every effort

in simultaneous charges and succeeded

in forming a juncture.

In this phase of the fight, Jacques and Zachariah,

two of

the Coeur d'Alene Indians, were mortally wounded; both had councelled against the fight as had Chief Victor who was to lose his life in the battle.^

After a momentary lull,

Indians renewed the fury of their attack.


They fell into

the old pattern of riding in a circle around the enemy, ing wildly and without any particular plan.


Several of

their number had been killed, but at to that time, one man and a number of the pack animals were the only losses s u s ­ tained by Steptoe. After gaining the hill,

the troops were able to press

forward again, although weary and desperate.

After three

hours of fighting thirst forced them to steer their course toward a stream in spite of the danger such a course would evoke.

This caused the Indians to attack with Increased fury.

Lieutenant Gaston was killed and a rush was made to capture his body. the battle,

Then occurred the only hand-to-hand

fighting of

but the body was saved from the Indians.

after this Taylor was killed.

Now the attempt


to press fo r­

ward had to be abandoned and the troops maneuvered to a knoll

9 Manring,


of the Coeur d'Alenes,


covered with grass that partially concealed them when they lay flat upon the ground.

In that position they were able

to hold their attackers off.

Several attempts were made to

storm the hill, but each time the Indians,

fearful of a

frontal attack in the face of the concentrated

fire, wavered

and gave up the attempt.

in that manner.

The afternoon passed

Evening again brought respite with the Indians w i t h ­ drawing to kindle their camp fires.

Their chanting and w a i l ­

ing for the dead added little comfort to the weary soldiers. To this little band of troops

It meant a disastrous adventure

not wholly their fault but certainly revealing a lack of proper precautionary measures being taken, especially when they had been warned of the hostility of the Indians whose territory they had so Incautiously trespassed. A council was held.

Colonel Steptoe favored remain­

ing In the present location and fighting to the last, an honorable gesture, but hardly approved by his subordinates who proposed

immediate withdrawal under cover of the night.

The latter alternative was chosen and by judicious disposal of all encumbrances

including the two howitzers which S t e p ­

toe was loath to abandon,

they prepared for a rapid flight.

The grey horses were blanketed to make them inconspicuous, the wounded men were strapped

to their mounts, and the

wounded and slow animals tethered on the spot, and the order to march was given.

By ten o ’clock they were on the march.


The part played by the Coeur d ’Alene Indians fight was described by Father Joset superior in Vancouver,

In the

in a letter to his

June 27, 1 8 5 8 ."^

The missionaries at

the Sacred Heart Mission had detected unusual restlessness among the Indians. about the cause,

When they questioned one of them, Michael,

they received only vague answers and an u n ­

willingness to confide in the fathers was displayed.


did, however, express their determination to oppose the passqge of large numbers of whites through their country.

The Indians

were greatly opposed to the building of the wagon road.


ever the reason for his actions at this stage of the g at he r­ ing storm, Father Joset rode to Walla Walla for a talk with Steptoe.

In passing through the Nez Perce country he was

forced to abandon his mission, prisoner.

In the meantime,

being held there a virtual

Chief Vincent had sought him out

and told him that the Palouse and Nez Perce were always busy at intrigue,

telling his people that the Americans were c o m ­

ing to take their land from them and to enslave their people. Furthermore,

insults were flung upon the heads of the Coeur

d'Alenes who were accused of being women and cowards. older men apparently were willing to let these upon deaf ears, but braves.


insults fall

it had the desired effect on the young

The old men had warned against fighting, but the



of the Coeur d 1A l e n e s , 153-

younger men felt that their status among the neighboring tribes would suffer considerably if they refused to take up the c h a l l e n g e . S o

when the Indians gathered to oppose

Stepto efs progress northward, them.

the Coeur d ’Alenes were with

The news of his defeat had been received at San F r a n ­

cisco by General Clarke, who proceeded north to Vancouver immediately.

There he was informed by Father Cogiato, who

had received J o s e t !s letter,

that the latter was endeavoring

to prevent further hostilities. the missionaries,

Clarke dispatched through

the following terms:

(l) that the chiefs

authorized to speak for the respective tribes should come to him, bringing all their booty with them and being prepared to deliver up those men responsible for inciting the attack; (2) that they should drive from their midst all those Indians who insisted upon war;

(3 ) that they should pledge them1p selves to remain peaceful. Saulotken, a Coeur d ’Alene chief,


replied that he was

in his desire for peace and that it was his belief

that the whites seeking gold had been the cause of the ou t­ burst of wrath of his people.

He stated flatly that he would

not deliver up his men into the hands of the whites.


Conquest of the Coeur d 1Alen es , S3 .

12 Ibid-, P- 159•

A more pathetic letter was that sent by Chief Melkapsi stating that three of his brothers had been killed,

that if

the white men wanted to deceive him, he did not want peace, that he desired to hear no more about the goods that Colonel Ste ptoe ’s men had abandoned,

and that if the white men wanted

peace they would have to make peace with all Indians.


made It clear that overtures of peace would have to be made in the In d i a n fs country.

He warned General Clarke not to

bring any of the Nez Perce,

for they told only lies.


he added that when the general should see his people


their poverty, he would understand t h e m . ^ Chief Gary of the Spokanes sent word that

if the one

clause in the terms requiring them to deliver up their men were removed,

the Spokanes would make peace.

In the meantime Clarke had demanded of the H u d s o n ’s Bay chief trader at Vancouver,

that the y e a r ’s supply of

barter just received at Calville, consisting of two thousand pounds of powder and proportionate amount of ball and arms, should be withheld from the Indians.

Also included

In C la rke’s

dispatch were orders to seize and hold army goods and horses that the Indians had been trying to sell in Colville. George Wright was sent to take charge of the situation.


Conguest of the Coeur d 1A l e n e s , 162.



Wright met Steptoe at Willow Creek on the Columbia River, July 7, and after receiving a detailed account of the disastrous encounter of the previous May, drew up plans for a second expedition against the Indians.

Exactly one month

later, August 7, the march northward began. dragoons, zers,

One company of

six companies of infantry with two 12-pound h o w i t ­

two 26-pound guns, and thirty thousand rations, b e ­

sides a scouting party of Nez Perces under Lieutenant Mullan, combined to show the seriousness of this second undertaking. Their advance was not unopposed. prairie land ahead of them,

The foe burned the

thus making their march very u n ­

pleasant as the dry earth released such suffocating clouds of dust as to choke man and beast alike.


they learned

that the Coeur d*Alenes were preparing for a last-ditch stand. Colonel W r i g h t

wrote on the fourteenth that he was apprehen1k

sive of the task confronting him. ^ The first major skirmish occurred September 1, when the Battle of Four Lakes was fought. were killed.


Some twenty Indians

fighting by the companies of the

late Captain Taylor and Lieutenant Gaston, who were out for revenge,

occurred when they daringly cut down the foe in a

saber attack.

After the battle the confident troops pressed

on to gain the banks of the Spokane River where they rested


Executive Document No. 32.

four days later.

On the ninth, Chief Gary, who saw the h o p e ­

lessness of further resistance, make terms.

He was

met with Colonel Wright to

informed that all that the Indians pos­

sessed must be brought before the colonel.

The same demand

was made of Polotkin. The wrath of Wright struck fear into the Indians when he ordered their lodges burned and eight hundred of their horses slaughtered.

From the herd of animals rounded up,

he allowed his officers to choose mounts for themselves, then the rest were killed. In the meantime the Coeur d ^ l e n e s ,

desirous of av o i d ­

ing a personal call from Wright sent word that they would accept his terms.

But they were destined to witness the co m ­

plete destruction of their miserable property; land itself was destroyed, from them.

all but the

and that was soon to be wrested

Many of their horses and cattle were killed,

large quantities of wheat and oats and many caches of veg e­ tables and dried camas root were destroyed. On September 17, the council opened.

Seated under a

canopy of green boughs with his officers, Father Joset, an interpreter, Wright passed judgment on the chiefs. Vincent rose to make a plea for his people. chief,

and Chief

This gallant

torn by his desire to prevent his men from taking part

In the fight and yet hoping to keep his tribe

Intact by u n ­

impaired dignity among his tribal neighbors, now pleaded

earnestly for moderation in the hour of judgment.

He again

and again painted the difficult position of his people who sincerely believed they were being dealt a great


largely through the falsehoods of the Nez Perces and the chicanery of the Palouses.

He had believed

fair treatment

of the Indians would be guaranteed through their remaining at peace. Indian*


There seemed to be no justice for the

Whether he yielded peacefully or died

in battle,

the end result was always to be the same. The terms were little moderated.

The Coeur d *Alenes

were to send one chief and four warriors together with their families to Fort Walla Walla as hostages, erty taken from Colonel Steptoe,

to return all pr o p ­

and to allow troops and

settlers to pass through their country unmolested.


must guarantee no further resistance (how could there be any!) and were to sign a treaty of peace with the Nez Perce. Thus ended the only war ever waged against the white men by the Coeur d *Alene Indians. Those Indians were a small tribe of Salishan stock whose homes were the valleys and foothills of the basin. They seem never to have numbered more than seven hundred and fifty persons.^5 mannered.

They were generally docile and mild-

Subsisting upon game,

^5 Bancroft,

fish, berries,

and camas

H i s t o r y of W a s h i n g t o n , I d a h o , etc.,


root, they led a life of indolence and poverty.

They were

the charges of the Sacred Heart Mission even after they were removed to the reservation.

The Coeur d 1Alene Reservation.

The Coeur d ’Alene

Indian Reservation was a large block of land reaching from the Spokane River on the north to the Palouse on the south, and spreading from Lake Coeur d ’Alene on the east to beyond the Washington-Idaho boundary.

The extent of this reserva­

tion was later reduced several times. In 1891, a treaty was ratified whereby all the re se r­ vation lands lying within the state of Washington were ceded for the sum of $150,000.

Another treaty,

ratified February

18, 1 8 9 1 , provided for the surrender of lands lying in the north and east parts of the reservation. was paid the Indians for this cession.

The sum of $500,000 Each Indian was to

receive as his share of the purchase money,




remaining lands of the reservation were to remain forever in the hands of the Indians to be disposed of only by their c o nse nt . Again in 1909,

one million acres of reservation lands

were opened by proclamation for sale to settlers.


^ Article appearing in the Coeur d'Alene Press, Golden Anniversary Edition, 1937, section 3 , p. 6 .

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17 8

tofore employed in the mills were forced to find work in the forestry work begun at that time,, in fighting forest diseases and insects* planting trees* and fighting forest fires. Of the minor products*

cordwood for fuel was of local

importance* perhaps 90 per cent of it being used within the basin.

Its extensive use contributed to a more complete

utilization of the forest yield for it came mainly from dead trees and portions of trees not convertable into saw timber. Species not otherwise suitable for utilization also went into this product.

Mine timbers* hewed ties* piles and house logs

all found a particularly important local use. shingles*

The demand for

one of the first forest products to be shipped out

of the basin* exceeded the local supply after 1925. industry had developed to near capacity by 1 9 3 5 -

The pole

Red cedar

poles entered almost entirely into the outside market. A particular problem facing the conservationists was that of utilizing the nine billion board feet of standing timber for which there was little demand.

Species of trees

falling into that category were Douglas fir* hemlock* and cottonwood.


It was not until after 192? when a paper

mill was built at Spokane* commercially Important.

that fir* spruce and hemlock became

Even then the available stands of

those species greatly exceeded the demand for them. From the standpoint of the whole region*

It has always


been Impossible to fix a dollar valuation upon the forests. They protected watershed areas of the Columbia Basin and thus were basic to the maintenance and utilization of other natural resources.

The year-round flow of mountain streams insured

water for irrigation, hydroelectric plants, navigation p u r ­ poses; and precluded devastating spring floods.

The forests

made it possible for their boundaries to be extended into what would otherwise be non-forested land.

Nor could the recre­

ational value of forests be determined in dollars and cents; rather,

it must be said that recreational facilities have long

been utilized but had not been exploited in full measure.


the third decade of the present century, roads were being extended to serve a recreation-minded public.

State officials

were aware of that particular resource and its economic p o s ­ sibilities,

largely through the growing popularity of the

National Forests following their development after 1910. The clear mountain streams, well-stocked with game fish, tumble and foam along rocky courses throughout the summer months.

Pack trips,

camping, riding, and picnicking in

summer combined with boating and bathing to delight the vacationist and foster a love for the out-of-doors world among the permanent residents. off again to skii,

Then in winter they were

skate and toboggan.

Of the more practical uses to which forest lands might

i8o be put, grazing was important.

Farmers and stockmen,


within the basin and sheepmen from outside its area, have utilized much of the land classed as non-agricultural, n o n ­ commercial forest land. Of the thirteen native species of trees in the basin, nine are commercially important.

Western white pine,

ponderosa pine, western larch, Douglas-fir,

grand fir,

alpine fir, western red-cedar, Engelmann spruce, and lodgepole pine were marketed in considerable quantities; while western hemlock,

cottonwood, mountain hemlock,

fir found but little demand on the market.

and whitebark

Of the thirteen

species, western white pine had long been the most im portant. The largest single remaining stand of that valuable tree in Idaho was located in the Coeur d ’Alene Basin, Maries in the St. Joe National Forest. from the principal markets,

Being far removed

only white pine,

derosa pine were in constant demand;

south of St.

cedar and po n­

these drew prices

sufficiently high to make them of considerable importance in the n a t i o n ’s total lumber consumption.7

Land owner sh ip .

Another problem confronting the

conservationists was that of land ownership.

The problem

° Commonly called Idaho white pine. 7 Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 508, p. 10.

l8l was not peculiar to the basin, but rather universal as it pertained to the N a t i o n s



the owner­

ship pattern in northern Idaho did not facilitate effective timber management.

Any owner,

if he were to profit from his

investment in standing timber, had to hold extensive tracts. A period of at least one hundred years is required to mature a planting of timber trees.

The private owner could not

reckon profits on an investment in land to be planted to trees.


he bought only land that already supported

a growth of mature timber. When the public domain was converted to private ownership,

the plan of disposal was geared to the accomo­

dation of the head of a family who sought a homestead for the primary purpose of building a home. basin, as in all mountain regions, conversion into farm lands.

Forest land in the

did not lend itself to

The soil was soon wasted away

from steep hillsides once the timber was cut off.

A few

years at most was sufficient time to denude the land of even grass that might have been used for gracing purposes. The Stevens Treaty of 1855 marked the first act of alienation of the public domain in Idaho.

The Organic Act

of 1863 reserved sections sixteen and thirty-six in every township for use in support of public education, and thus began the acquisition of state lands.

The next big bloc of

182 grants came in 186^ and again in 1870 when the Northern Pacific Railroad Company was granted every odd section of land extending on either side of its right-of-way for forty miles throughout the territory.

That enormous grant was made

even more extensive by subsequent acts which granted the p r i ­ vilege of selecting in lieu of occupied sections from two tenmile strips extending beyond the forty-mile limit.

Thus, a

strip one hundred and twenty miles wide through northern Idaho was opened to a most unrestricted selection by one private owner.®

It was estimated that the Northern Pacific Company

was granted outright one and two-tenths million acres of land. It would be unfair to charge, nor could such a charge be sub­ stantiated, granted,

that these lands were selected and subsequently

for they were granted sight unseen to the railroad

c om p a n y . Selection of the timber lands began in the early part of the present century.

The policy of selecting was pursued

by lumber companies in search of timber after their Great Lakes supply began to wane.

In their quest for timber lands,

the companies acquired through purchase of land previously patented under the Timber and Stone and the Homestead acts as well as from grants originally made to railway companies, enormous tracts of choice timbered areas.

8 United States Department of Conmierce, Bureau of Corporations, ""Lumber Industry In 1913/' 234.


In time pressure was brought to withdraw northern Idaho lands from availability to private ownership.


first forest reserves were created in the Priest River and Bitter Root areas in 1897•

These were extended to approxi­

mately the proportions that existed in 1935^ while the Coeur d ’Alene and the St. Joe National Forests were created during the years from 1906 to 1 9 0 8 .

The withdrawals of forested

land in those years just about closed to private acquisition the remaining public land in the Coeur d ’Alene basin.


Federal Government thus became the owner of about six million acres of national forests in northern Idaho, the total.

In the Coeur d ’Alene Basin,

three-fifths of

that fraction was

even greater. The picture is somewhat obscured by the above figures, for most of the land remaining in private hands had been made private property through selection and therefore contained a greater part of commercial forests.

Where the private h o l d ­

ings of large owners encompassed those of the smaller owners-many times the case--the latter were at the mercy of the big timber owners, who, they actually owned.

in turn,

controlled much more timber than


a study made of conditions

of ownership in 1909,9 revealed that over a million acres of

9 H u t c h i s o n in M i s c el lan eo us Publi ca tio n No.





commercial timber lands were held by ten concerns.

Thus it

must be said that whereas the Federal Government was the largest owner of timber lands,, the private companies and owners dominated the commercial timber lands.

This meant

that they could control most of the choice white pine and ponderosa pine areas. A summary made in 1915 of the findings gathered by the survey commission showed that private owners controlled twenty-eight billion board feet of saw timber,


that amount were in national forests, and one-fourth of the figure were in other private hands; altogether there were fifty-seven billion board feet of available standing com­ mercial timber in northern Idaho at that t i m e . ^ Cutting practices varied with the ownership.


instance, by 19353 the twenty-eight billion board feet of standing timber on private lands had shrunk to fifteen b i l ­ lions, while the twenty-two billion board feet within the national forests had shrunk during the same years--since 1 915””to about twenty billion board f e e t . H

The cut-over

lands ceased to be attractive to the private owner and tended to drift back into public ownership, a condition that exists even today.


The land falling into the counties' hands

Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 508t, p. 1 7 .

11 Ib id ., 18.

185 through tax delinquency ceased to be of immediate, potential value,

or even

for the counties had never establ shed a

precedent in forest development or ma n a g e m e n t .

In some

cases they delivered the tax-delinquent lands into federal hands to be added again to the national forest areas. The practice eliminated considerable taxable areas from the rolls and thus added to the burden of taxation. The weight of the burden became evident when the figures in the case are presented. Since in 1928 only ^ .9 of the 12.5 million acres in northern Idaho was subject to taxation, the loss of one-half million acres from the tax rolls is sig­ nificant. It seems inevitable that, as time goes on, more lands will be dropped from the tax rolls for one reason or a n o t h e r . 12 Because the future development of the Coeur d'Alene Basin is bound up in the complete utilization of its greatest natural resource,

it is necessary to summarize the ownership

status of timber lands as they stood in the basin In 1935* And, because western white pine is bound to remain the most valuable species in the basin during the immediate future, it may be taken as an e x a m p l e . Thirty-six per cent of the white pine was owned by private parties, while 62 per cent was in state and national forests in 1935.

The two classes of private owners,


12 H u t c h i s o n in Mi s c e l l a n e o u s Publication No.


p. 18.

186 and industrial,

existed at the ratio of one to nine respec­

tively in acreage h o l d i n g s . ^

The farm owner could not

profitably operate his holdings on a sustaining yield basis if he had to depend upon income from timber cuttings;


fore, he was forced to look with disfavor upon conservation measures.

Nor could the industrial owners be expected to

assume a public-welfare-first attitude.

Development of the lumber industry.

When the lumber

industry was brought face to face with the necessity of searching out new sources of supply and consequently found a fertile field in the timber areas of north Idaho about 1900, the rapid development of that relatively small basin was assured.

The choice areas of the once broad frontier, although

varying greatly in their possibilities, were seized upon and within a few short years brought into conformity with much older and earlier developed regions.

Some of the waste and

wanton destruction of resources that had so often stood in the way of men who were single-minded in their aims were avoided through a growing consciousness of a more wise use of forest resources; but, to a surprising degree,

the same

old ruthlessness of private enterprise strode rough shod up and down the gulches and slopes of this forest area seeking

13 Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 508,

p. 21.

18? out the easily convertable economic goods.

In the basin,

the goods was standing timber. A recitation of printed eulogisms upon the entry of big business into the field at that time demonstrates the predominate aspirations of a young community.

The almost

childish yearning to grow up and become a vital part of the best of American bigness and glamour guided the newly opened region into an affable offering up of its limited storehouse to the farming methods of the big lumber companies.

It would

be unfair to claim that big business alone was grasping; big business was sure to pour money into the basin and thus assure maturity of another American community with its roads, modern cities,



and prosperous farms.




Nor can blame be laid upon the people;

for what people aspire to remain the rustics amid resources such as these! bards,

The people who came to the basin were not

they were opportunists. In the year 1900,

the Coeur d ’Alene Lumber Company

opened its new mill in the city of Coeur d ’Alene.

The follow­

ing extract from a local paper of that day aptly expresses the spirit of the p e o p l e . Early this year saw work begin on the new Coeur d ’Alene lumber company sawmill and on December 1, late that same year the boilers were steamed up, the whistle announced the beginning of a new in­ dustry, the ponderous engine moved, the shafts revolved, the machinery gave out a musical hum,

188 the big band saw was in motion and a piece of sawed lumber dropped on the live rolls, passed to the edger, through this machine to the trimmer, and the first lumber from the new mill marked an epoch in the history of Coeur d ’Alene that will make it the largest, most prosperous and best town in northern Idaho. It has the best plant in the state with a capacity of 75,000 feet of finished lumber in ten hours. I2*In the same year announcement was made that the William Howard Land Company, Williamsport,

"a wealthy corporation of

P e n n s y l v a n i a , h a d been active in the field,

deploying a scouting and buying crew throughout the St. Joe and St. Maries rivers district where it already owned large tracts of timber land.

That company was in the market for

all choice timber lands it could buy.

The company,

in 1903,

announced plans that were carried through the following year under the iname of the Blackwell Mill.

F.A. Blackwell was

the general manager of the William Howard Land and Lumber Company as well as an associate of railroad and banking interests in the basin.

In 1903,

the Lyon Lumber Company

purchased a complete mill in Wisconsin and loaded It on cars to be shipped to Coeur d ’Alene where it was set up on the old Wonnacott place in a building thirty-two feet long.

In that

same year the Rutledge Lumber Company, an associate with the


^ C oeu r d ’Alene Sec. 3, p. 3. 15 Ibid., p. 5.


Go lden A n n i v e r s a y Edition,


Weyerhauser syndicate, announced plans for erecting a saw­ mill.

Besides sawing lumber,

planing mill,

the mill was to operate a

shingle mill, and lath mill.

This was the

year in which the electric railway connecting Coeur d ’Alene and Spokane was completed. In 1906,

the Panhandle Lumber Company with a capital

stock of five hundred thousand dollars, backed by Pennsyl­ vania interests,

entered the field and announced its in­

tention to purchase the mill of P.A. Blackwell at Hayden Lake.

In that year,

the Monarch Timber Company purchased

the combined interests of the William Howard Land and Lumber Company and the P.A. Blackwell interests, a transaction that involved more than six million dollars and the transfer of some one hundred thousand acres of standing timber,

e st i­

mated to contain two and a half million board feet of saw timber.1^

The Monarch company immediately formulated plans

to improve its properties,

build roads into the timber holdings,

and to erect new sawmills throughout the basin.

In 1910,

C.D. Gibbs and J.L. Stack formulated plans which were sub­ sequently carried through to build a mill with an annual capacity of one hundred million board feet, along the right bank of the Spokane River just west and north of the city of


^ C oeur d ’Alene Sec. 3, p. 8.


Go lde n A n n i v e r s a r y Edition,

190 Coeur d'Alene.

That mill, after passing through times of

good and bad years, was still running in 1935 • By 1912, a survey of the lumber capital of the basin, Coeur d'Alene,

showed remarkable figures.

The Blackwell

Lumber Company was the largest mill in the area and employed 350 men in and around the mill as well as 400 in the logging camps, a total payroll amounting to $530,000 per year.


Coeur d'Alene Lumber Company, within the city limits, e m ­ ployed 200 men.

The Stack-Gibbs Lumber Company employed

1,000 men in the timber and 350 at the mill;

their payroll

was estimated at about $ 1 ,053*000 annually, and included the Dryad Lumber Company and the Atlas Tie Mill.

The McGoldrick

Lumber Company employed 600 men in the timber of the Coeur d'Alene forest and had a payroll of $50,000 a y ear.1 ^


Tri-State Foie and Cedar Company was a new concern that began operations that same year. Although the Rutledge mill was planned in 1903* it was ten years later that the building was completed. built it was modern in every sense of the wrord. laborsaving devices,

a drying kiln,



steam-drive motors,

and units to utilize what would otherwise have been waste products were built into the plant.

^ 1937,


Coeu r d'Alene 3* P. 8.

In 1913* Coeur d'Alene

P r e s s , Golden A n n i v e r s a r y Edition,


laid claim to being the largest single lumber distributing plant In the world.



The C-hio Match Company did not enter

the field until 1923, when it bought the timber rights on thirty-five hundred acres of land known as the Burnt Cabin Creek area in the Coeur d'Alene National Forest.

In that

area on the North Fork R i v e r * the company began exploitation of some ninety-two million board feet of choice white pine timber.

.The Ohio Match Company was in 1935-

one of the most

stable big mills in the basin. At the height of the lumber industry’s output in 1925,, the city of Coeur d ’Alene had seven lumber mills with a p a y ­ roll of more than a thousand.

The Blackwell mill had one

shift in operation, employing three hundred men.

The R u t ­

ledge Company ran two shifts and employed three hundred men. The Coeur d ’Alene Mill, with a normal capacity of three hundred fifty men was operating one shift of one hundred seventy-five men.

The Winton Lumber Company, with a normal

employment of two hundred fifty men was closed for repairs. The Ohio Match Company was employing ninety men in the shipping yards and somewhat more than that in the mill. The Atlas Tie Company was running one shift and keeping thirty-five men


o c c u p i e d . ^

1^ Coeur d ’Alene Sec. 5, p. 2. 19 Ibid.,

p. 2.


Golden A n n i v e r s a r y Edition,

192 The Coeur d ’Alene Basin was developed after the machine had demonstrated its superiority over hand labor in almost every major industry.

The machine arrived almost

contemporaneously with the settlers; of settlement,

in the earliest decade

small, machine-operated sawmills were set up

wherever a few dozen families chose to become established.

The mill t o w n s .

In l 88 l, Rathdrum had some three

hundred people, most of them railroad workers, but it had a sawmill that was kept busy turning out lumber for local need;

it had a planing mill; M.D. Wright established his

tie manufacturing business during that year.

In spite of

a not-too-prosperous future after the railroad was extended to Coeur d'Alene in 1886, another mill, equipped to turn out both shingles and lumber, was built and flourished for several years. The first business establishment at Post Palls was a sawmill begun in 1871 by Mr.


it was destined to fill

an important niche in that c om mu ni ty ’s history. Mr.

Post operated the business himself,

over to leasees.20 operation,

After a few months,

only to lease it once again.

At first

then he turned it Post again took over The mill was finally

sold in I8 9 A to the Spokane and Idaho Lumber Company.


20 Forest Statistics, 19 37 , United States Department of Agriculture, A.


company sold it to a Milwaukee company that operated it until 1 9 0 2 , when it burned with a loss estimated at $8 0 ,0 0 0 . 2 1 Within six months,

the town of Post Palls lost over half

its population, as there was no other industry there to absorb those thrown out of work. When the Coeur d ’Alene Military Reservation of some one thousand acres was established in 1877 ^ the army set up a sawmill.

In 1 8 8 3 , a portable mill was brought to the post

and used to turn out lumber for the military establishment. The next year Glassford and hawley constructed a mill at Sander Beach. d e m a n d .22

Their mill was never able to meet the local

Coeur d ’Alene village was incorporated in 1 8 8 7 .

Two years later it had two lumber mills,

one of them equipped

to turn out fifty thousand board feet daily,

the other was a

shingle mill with fifty thousand shingles daily capacity. Those two establishments had a monthly payroll of four thousand and three thousand dollars respectively. Although much slower in developing to peak production figures,

the Coeur d'Alene area, which included the northern

part of the basin with mills at Spirit Lake and Post Falls, far outclassed the southern section of the basin with Harriscn as its center.

The last big sawmill built in Coeur d ’Alene

21 Coeur d ’Alene Press, Golden Anniversary Edition, 1937, Sec. 3, P. 8 . 22 Forest Statistics,

1937* 7.

194 was completed in 1922 , three years before a slump in p r o ­ duction figures set in. Just below the city of Coeur d'Alene on the north bank of the Spokane River was a little settlement called Hauser Junction. rich,

The lands surrounding Hauser were generally

level, and suited to farming.

But they were originally

covered with a thick growth of forest.

Some of the logs were

taken to the mills; most of them were felled and burned to make way for the farms of wheat,

small grains and livestock.

Athol, a station on the main line of the Northern Pacific railroad ten miles north of Rathdrum, saw mill for several years.

supported a

Its builders, Hackett and Wilson,

sold part interest in the mill to Huber Rasher and Charles Kingman in 1903.

At that time the plant was equipped to turn

out twenty-five thousand board feet about ten miles,



West of Athol

the town of Spirit Lake rose and fell with

the tide of lumbering activity. Even in the Tyson area,

located in the southeastern

corner of Kootenai County, where the pioneer development was farming,

then mining,

after 1902.

At Santa,

a sawmill flourished for many years three miles north of Tyson,


camps of lumber mills in Harrison and Coeur d ’Alene were established as early as 1901.

^3 illust rat ed History,

The camps employed more than


a thousand men in an area whose timber resources were d e ­ scribed as




About twenty-five miles south by steamer from Coeur d'Alene,

the town of Harrison was platted in 1893.


on the east shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene, Harrison had b e ­ come the largest town in Kootenai County by 1900.83

in 1891,

S.W. Crane squatted on a tract of land adjoining the Oregon Railway and Navigation company's line; during the following year other members of his family joined him there, and t o ­ gether they began the task of carving out a new settlement. Crane opened the first general store in 1892.

A post office

was established the next year, and a Mr. Sexton built the first sawmill.

The second mill was moved to Harrison from

St. Maries by Fred Grant, who had purchased it from the Fishers,

founders of St. Maries.

The Grant mill had a daily

output capacity of twenty thousand board feet. Harrison soon became the foremost lumber producing town in the entire basin.

Situated in an area of evergreen forests,

having both rail and water connections with the mining di s ­ trict, and commanding approaches to all towns on the lake shores, Harrison faced a bright future in 1895-

0 ii

At that time

^ Coeur d'Alene Press, Golden Anniversary Edition, 1937, Sec. 3, p. 7 . 85 Illustrated History,


196 it had three sawmills, a newspaper,

a recently-organized

school with fifty-nine pupils enrolled, nucleus of a thriving trading center.

one church, and the The town was built on

the terraced hillside overlooking the lake and waterfront below; behind, was the green forest which muted the scream­ ing locomotives as they drew cars groaning under loads of ores or crowded with miners.

It was not until 1902 that the

locality was surveyed and ownership could be registered. ever,


electric lights, a telephone system and waterworks were

already in use.

In that year the Cameron Lumber Company mill

was destroyed by fire.

Eight other mills,

the St. Joe Lumber

C o m p a n y ’s mill with a capacity of sixty-five thousand board feet daily; the Harrison Box and Lumber Company mill,


by William Gray and Lee Knutson, and specializing in fruit boxes;

the Empire mill,

operated by Albert G. and Lawrence S.

Kroetch, with a daily capacity of fifty thousand board feet; and three small mills--all were running strong. mills,

Those lumber

strung out along the lake front for more than a mile,

were the pride of the townspeople.

They turned out a combined

board footage of more than half a million each day and had a monthly payroll of $ 2 5 , 0 0 0 . Subsequent years were to d emon­ strate the limitations of the ’’scarcely touched dense forest

26 il lu st r a t e d History,



of cedar,


tamarack, and pine."


By 1904, mills had been built throughout the immediate district at Rose Lake, Lane, and S p r i n g s t o n . 2 8 opportunity,

jjow given the

the people of the town leaped into the fray and

like a swarm of locusts devoured in a dozen years time the only means of support then known in that neighborhood. Harrison graphically illustrates the unstable position of a community which becomes entirely dependent upon the lum­ ber industry.

The town boomed in the true sense of the word

during the first decade of the present century.

By 1915*

however, a decline set in and retrogression was almost as rapid as progression had been up to that time. one mill,

In 1930*


the Russell and Pugh Lumber Company's Mill at

Springston, was in operation in the entire Harrison district. That was a far cry from the maximum production reached in

1915 , when six mills were turning out one hundred sixteen million board feet annually.^9 As early as. 1892 , shingle mills were in operation in the basin.

Each town had its small plant that turned out

shingles for local use.

Post Palls and Harrison each had

Illustrated H i st o ry , 799• Forest Statistics, 1937* 6 . 29 Ibid.,




the l a t t e r ’s mills were turning out over one hundred

eighty thousand shingles daily.

With the opening of the

twentieth century, a strong demand in eastern markets for that product led to an early expansion of the industry; and consequently,

by 1930 , practically all the cedar forests

stand along the Coeur d ’Alene and St. Joe rivers was logged o u t .80 Another demand upon the secondary species of timber along the Coeur d ’Alene River came from the mines.


produced principally by small concerns or even by two men working as partners, were cut from Douglass-fir and tamarack. Many farmers secured contracts for getting out stulls during the winter m o n t h s . The two major industries of the Coeur d ’Alene Basin, lumbering and mining,

have always been rather sharply divided

in their locations between the two counties.

Kootenai County

could claim overwhelming superiority in lumber mills; Shoshone County, a like distinction in mining. Benewah, Maries,

The third county,

shares with the former in lumber production. county seat of Benewah County,

milling industry there.


is the center of the

In 1902, the basin had twenty-six

sawmills in full operation,

30 Forest Statistics,

fourteen steamers plied on the

1937^ 7*


lakes and rivers, and more than three hundred miles of ra il ­ roads were in use.

In that year, articles of incorporation

were filed by the Richmond Gold Mining and Milling Company with a capital of $100,000; $62,000;

the Conjecture Mining and Milling




the Northland Pine Company,

Springston Lumber Company,

the St. Joe Boom Company, capital,




capital $75,000; and the Wisconsin

Log and Lumber Company with a capital of $500,000, were some of the large companies operating in the basin. industrialization was contemplated;

Even greater

consequently, another

railroad was projected to run from Spokane to Rathdrum, north through Sandpoint,


Bonner's Perry and thence up the

Kootenai River to the Canadian border where It would connect with the Canadian lines.

Logging practices in the basin.

The first logging

operations were crude; as time went on, improvements over­ lapped that crudeness.

Logs used in building Port Sherman

were cut with axe and saw along the shore of the lake, horses were used to skid them out upon the beach.

From there the

army steamer towed the logs to the fort grounds to be sawed into lumber.

Or earlier still, Nicholas Point labored and

directed the work of hewing timbers by hand to build the Coeur d'Alene Mission.

But those local building operations paled

into insignificance after 1885 .

The first demand came from

the railroads and then from the mines.

With settlers and

miners came a demand for homes,, hotels,

stores, and all the

buildings that go into the making of a town.

Soon the forest

air of early winter was filled with the sound of axe, ring of steel saws,


the clang of peavy and chain, and the

shout of "timber” as one by one the trees came crashing down. When the snows came,

sleds were dragged up the slopes by

teams of horses to be loaded with as much as five thousand board feet of logs destined for the down-hill hawl to lake or stream.

In the lake they were gathered into booms,


times as small as ten thousand, but often containing as much as ten million board feet.31

it was the work of the tugs to

draw these floating booms slowly across the lake to the saw­ mills . In the logging camps which contained anywhere from five to five hundred men, ran from six to six.

life was hard.

A d a y ’s work often

Many of the men were unmarried and

spent their entire winters in camp, drawing fifty dollars and grub for a twenty-six-day month. drinking and tough.

Those men were hard-

Healthy and hard-working,

they loved

31 Dan Newell, "The Life of a Lumberjack," a document in the possession of the writer. Mr. Newell grew up in the forests of the basin; he-was a lumberman from 1903 through the period covered by this thesis.


a good fight and vied with one another in telling tall tales. One boasted that he loaded seven cords of wood upon a springtooth harrow and drew it over a corduroy road.

Another told

of working for an outfit that cut logs on the far side of a swamp and had to use all their w i n t e r ’s cut to build a c o r ­ duroy road through the swamp in order to remove the logs. Then they began at the far end and removed the logs from the road one by one.

Bets were placed and collected upon the

prowess of teams, upon ability to fell trees with the greatest speed, and upon biggest sleigh loads of logs. To the lumberjack, "blade."

a saw was a "brier,M an axe, a

If a man told you he was "throwing the crooked steel

in the frosty air," you knew he was using a peavy or a canthook.

This rustic was not devoid of poetics when he told you

that "he was bowing their noble heads." job and the cold winter weather.

He dressed for his

Heavy woolen underwear,

shirts, and socks, heavy rubbers with cleats of leather and caulks in them to avoid slipping,

and the picturesque


pants with leg parts cut short to avoid entanglement u n d e r ­ foot, all identified the lumberjack.

He often called his

food "garbage" and bacon was almost universally called "sow bosom."

When the logging camps drew back deep into the hill

country, all food for men and beasts was brought in on pack


animals at a rate of two cents or more per p o u n d . T h e s e pack trains were used exclusively until the advent of the bulldozer made road building practical. Log drives on the waterways of the basin have con­ tributed to the picturesque life in the lumber industry. The first commercial venture appears to have been that un der­ taken in 1895*

At that time the Felix Mill of Spokane u n d er ­

took prospective cruising in the St. Maries region; and, finding desirable stands of cedar and pine,

von Diessel,


manager, with two other men took out several timber and stone claims in the immediate area along Emerald Creek.33


time a few homesteaders were scattered along the banks of Emerald Creek and the St. Joe River,

but the timber areas

were scarcely touched.

The following spring, after break-up

of the ice on the lake,

the first boom of logs was towed

across the lake and thus began its journey to the mills. Although improved devices for discharging loads of logs from trucks facilitated the work of getting them into the water,

the booms,

towed by tugs to the mills,


essentially no different from the first log drive back in 1895.

The important thing was to get the logs into the

Dan Newell,


"The Life of a Lumberjack," a document.

Coeur d'Alene Pr ess, Golden Anniversary Edition, 1937, Sec. 2, p. 7.

203 water, whether flumes,

teams of horses,


or sleds

were the medium used.

One difference was noticeable after

1 9 0 0 , the white pine logs predominated over all other species logged.

The average size of that timber most sought after

remained from fourteen to twenty-six Inches in diameter. that respect,


they did not compare favorably with the giant

logs cut in the Pacific slope forests. Estimation of quanitity of standing timber rested upon several methods of cruising.

The lumber industry usually

allowed a 25 per cent variation on what it called good e s t i ­ mates; but always expected an un d er estimation.3^

a common

method in the early years of the present century was to look the forest over without counting or measuring any trees.


cruiser might walk about through the timber all day long,


he might trace only one path through the tract,

In either

case, not bothering to set down figures or to measure with a scaler;

then at the end of the day he would write down his

estimates of the board footage.

This led to gross un d e r ­

estimates In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, part, no doubt, cruisers,

to the enormous size of the trees.

owing in The

It seems, were inclined to place their estimates

rather higher when cruising for the government than when

3^ U nit e d States Department of C o m m e r c e , B ure au of Corporations, Part I, "Standing Timber," kd.

20 k

cruising for the lumber companies.^5

The big timber o w n e r s .

One way of tracing the develop­

ment of the lumber industry is to follow the timber trans­ actions of the big co mpanies.

The original railroad grants

were part of the public domain set aside to finance the trans­ continental line built in the l870's and l880*s by the Northern Pacific Company.

Those grants were extended and further

scattered by the Lieu Selection Law of 1897*

Provisions in

the law permitted private owners, whether homesteaders or outright grantees,

to select lands in lieu of previously held

lands lying within the boundaries of national forests.


careful selections which followed--the value of timber stands was by that time fully appreciated--choice areas were trans­ ferred to private ownership.

The Northern Pacific Company

35 Scaling logs is measuring with a log scale. The scale or stick is a quarter of an inch or more in thickness and about an inch and a quarter wide. The edges may be g radu­ ated in inches. On the face are usually six gradations, three on either end of the stick, for six different lengths of logs. These gradations show the contents in board feet at each diameter The practiced scaler usually determines with his eye, the length of the log and then lays his scale stick against the small end of the log and reads the scale in board f e e t . (United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of -Corporations, "Lumber Industry in 1913 , 'vr~23k) . 36 i b i d . , 10.

205 sold much of its original holdings to the Weyerhauser interests.

The latter,

laying claim to some ninety-six

billion board feet of standing timber,

became one of the

greatest holders of timber lands in the Pacific Northwest. Those vast holdings were exceeded only by the holdings of the Southern Pacific Company, which claimed one hundred six billion board

f e e t . 37

Another provision of the Lieu Selection

Law permitted private owners to sell the timber, but only under government regulation and with the further stipulation that it would retain title to the land. In Idaho,

the National Forest board footage exceeded

that of privately owned lands; the former contained an es ti ­ mated seventy-one billion board feet compared to slightly more than fifty billion board feet in private hands, and seven, billion board feet on lands held by all others.



Idaho forest lands conformed to the general condition in r e ­ spect to methods of acquisition and disposition. Timber and Stone Act,

Under the

lands more often than not found their

way Into the hands of Investors of a speculative mind.


outstanding was that speculation motive in lands acquired under the act that less than 1 per cent of those who purchased them

37 The total area was estimated to contain 2,829 billion board feet; 2,200 billion board feet of It privately owned. ( U n i t e d S t a t e s D e p a r t m e n t o f C o m m e r c e , B u r e a u o f C o r p o r a t i o n s ,

^ L u m b e r

I n d u s t r y


1 9 1 3 , n

x i x . )

206 from the government held or used t h e m .3 According to the survey report made In connection with the work of 1913* an area in north Idaho rather closely Iden­ tified with the basin but also including the Clearwater area on the south contained seventeen private

h o l d i n gs .



seventeen holdings were further divided into seven holdings of platted timber land and ten holdings of unplatted land. Together,

they held about 80 per cent of all private holdings

in the region.

A large part of the area was held under the

timber rights clause of the 1897 law.

A further breakdown

of those figures showed that of the total, one private owner of platted lands held more than 5 per cent, a group of three others held 5^ P®^ cent of the total, and a second group of three held more than 11 per cent. lands,

Of the holders of unplatted

four held more than 7 per cent of all timber in the

region, another group of three held 2 per cent of the total, and a third group held seventeenths of 1 per cent. maining unplatted,

The r e ­

private holdings were In tracts cruised

at less than sixty million board feet each. These holdings were acquired largely from N Qrthern Pacific Railroad grants and from the Milwaukee Land Company


United States Department of Co mm er c e, Bureau of Corporations, d u m b e r Industry in 1913/' xvlii.

39 I b i d. , 119.

20? which was owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul R a i l ­ road Company.

The Milwaukee Land Company entered the field

during the first decade of the present century.

The lands

in the region were classified as mineral and non-mineral lands by a commission appointed by Congress in 1 8 9 5 - ^

Fraud was

charged in the commission’s work on the basis that railroad grants appearing in odd-numbered sections were set down as non-mineral, while alternate odd-sections were classified as mineral l a n d s . The private holders set forth in the above summary of group-holdings were the Clearwater Timber Company,

the Pot­

latch Lumber Company,^1 the Milwaukee Land C o m p a n y , ^ the Humbird Lumber C o m p a n y , ^3 the Monarch Timber Company--it later transferred its holdings to the Milwaukee Lumber C o m ­ pany- -the Edward Turledge Company, Company,

the Blackwell Lumber

and the Coeur d ’Alene Lumber Company.

The Blackwell Company secured its lands in the basin

United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Corporations, d u m b e r Industry in 1913," 120. M . . .over 80,000 A acquired by Potlatch from the State and on almost all of it, timber-rights only were he l d, ” (Ibid., 121.) 42

The Milwaukee Land Company secured its holdings through purchases of land from the State and from the N o r ­ thern Pacific company, as well as from numerous small owners. (Ibid., 121.) ^3 i b i d . , 121.

208 largely from the B.R. Lewis Lumber Company and selected timber holdings of Charles R. Smith and Menasha Woodenware Company, whose holdings were acquired in part from the State of I d a h o . ^

The Weyerhaeuser family held substantial

interests in the Edward Rutledge Company. The charges of fraud introduced into the House of Representatives by resolution in 1910, were referred to the committee on rules where it died.

Sections in fourteen

townships in the Marble Creek district were involved in the charges.

The Edward Rutledge Company and other affiliates

of the Weyerhaeuser syndicate were charged with unlawful combination to force the price of standing white pine tim­ ber down to five hundred dollars per quarter section of land, when the actual market value was seven times that amount. It further charged acts of fraud,


and intimi­

dation in the transfer, as well as in the acquisition of their holdings, and that unlawful methods were being used in the manufacturing and disposition of lumber products of those lands.

Further charges were made that Northern Pacific

script bought by the companies had been filed on lands a l ­ ready acquired by settlers,

and that the companies had

employed claim jumpers to enter the contest on their behalf

^ United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Corporations, d u m b e r Industry in 1913*" 131.


In the local land office.^5 The charge that price was being manipulated was not without foundation in actual practice.

The holders of large

tracts stood sure to win advantages by disposing of certain ragged ends of the pattern of their holdings at a much lower figure than the prevailing price,, whereas the small holder would suffer keenly the loss of all profits.

Pacts In the

case did bear out the contention that the motive of the indi­ vidual homesteader,

as well as the speculator, was to acquire

lands at the prevailing low government price and immediately sell the timber from the land for its actual market value. This counter motive of the individual investor showed plainly the inadequacy of the land policy of the government as set forth in the Homestead Law and in the Timber and Stone Act. By terms of the latter,

land sold to prospective

owners at the minimum price of $2.50 per acre.

If the p u r ­

chaser of a quarter section of land found his property hemmed in by large holdings,

he could not market the timber from his

lands without passing through his n e i g h b o r ’s timber.


passing was resisted vigorously, and thus the neighbor, w h o ­ ever he might be, became the trapped timber o w n e r ’s enemy. An alternative was for the small owner of land to hold his

Unit ed States Depar tme nt of C o m m e r c e , Bureau of Corporations, "Standing Timber,*' 131.

210 few acres until such time as operations should be begun by the neighbor.

In the meantime,, even a fractional assessment

of the actual value of the land for taxation purposes would within fifteen years eat away all profits he might ever realize from the sale of the timber. was in most cases chosen.

Another alternative

He cut the timber down, burned

it, and sought to eke out a living by farming the land. Although the land appeared to be rich, within a few years its fertility was used up. be abandoned,


the land would

the county would take it over for gratifi­

cation of taxes due, and eventually it might be transferred back to the federal government to become a part of the public domain again.

Hundreds of tracts of land passed through such

a process. Until the value of the timber lands was adjusted r e ­ lative to its actual worth, homesteaders allowed small fortunes to slip from their hands. grantees,

the railroads,

Neither were the original

in position to profit unrestrictedly

in the disposition of their holdings.

A thirty thousand-acre

tract in north Idaho sold for $2A0,000 in 1901; the next year the same tract sold for $9 0 0 *0 0 0 * an^ in 1 9 0 9 * it sold a third time for $2 ,5 0 0 ,0 0 0 . ^

in other words,

the price had jumped

^6 Un ite d States Depart me nt of C o m m e r c e , B ur eau of Corporations, S t a n d i n g T i m b e r 7 n~-20"IT7


from approximately eight dollars an acre in 1901 to thirty dollars in 1902 ^ and to eighty-three dollars in 1909. 1 9 1 5 j it

was not unusual for the price of stumpage in

basin to

have increased from ten to fifteen times the

prevailing in 1900.

the price

There were those who claimed that

Pacific timber in Idaho could be had in 1 8 9 ^



ten cents per thousand,

stumpage price; whereas,


in 1 9 1 3 ,

the prevailing price was $100 per thousand board feet. Status of timber resources in 1930.

Kootenai County,

when mapped in 1 9 3 3 -3 ^* showed a comprehensive picture of the forest resources of that part of the basin; and from the situation thus revealed,

future utilization of the

resource had been pretty thoroughly assured. 1 5 7 ^ 1 8 3

A total of

acres were classified as nonforest lands, and in­

cluded townsites, grasslands,

cultivated land and stump pastures,

brush lands, and barren lands.

of forest lands was 6 3 9*6 1 6 acres. fied as producing timberland,

The total area

That was further classi­

deforested land,


forest land, rocky, non-commercial forest land, and other 2) Q

forest land.

Kootenai County was roughly 80 per cent

^ United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Corporations^ S t a n d i n g T imber," 20¥7 ^ Forest Statistics, Kootenai County, Idaho, "Forest Survey Release NoT 9 ,"n"P • 2.



The National Forests. Forest,

The Coeur d ’Alene National

containing over a million and a half acres,

almost entirely within the basin.

Of this acreage,

lay one-

fifth had passed into private hands by 1 9 0 6 , the year in which the National Forest was created.

This privately owned

part of the district had been steadily whittled down during the subsequent years through methods adopted by the Forestry Bureau.

One outstanding factor in this national forest

ownership was the large amount of white pine trees it con­ tained.

MSeventy~nine percent of the accessible white pine

sawlog stands are in the National Forest ownership."^9


subsequent policy which was scrupulously followed allowed only as much of the timber to be cut each year as would insure a continuous yield; million board feet in 1935. on a 120-year span,

that amounted to about fifteen Basing the rotation of the crop

one one-hundred-twentieth of the area was

to be cut each year. In 1919,

the Coeur d ’Alene and St. Joe National Forests

were placed under one district headquarters office established

^9 Forest Statistics, Kootenai Coun ty , I d ah o, "Forest Survey Release No"! 9 } " p. IB.


in Coeur d ’Alene.

The forests were divided into four ranger

districts each with a district forest ranger in charge. Under the district ranger were minor personnel such as assistants,

camp superintendents,

crew foremen, fire lo ok ­

outs and other workers scattered throughout the area.


peculiar work of the Federal Bureau of Forestry was m a n i ­ fested in having two primary interests to serve; neither of them being separable from the other, but, nevertheless,


times poles apart in their respective realms of primary interests.

One, the local community which depended upon

the land and its timber for continuing existence;

the other,

national, which ran a constant risk of being at variance with local interests, aimed to conserve forests.

The aim

itself was never countered by these two interests; but rather,

the method of achieving the aim caused difficulty.

In other words, a national program of forest conservation often worked a hardship upon the local community. The history of the supervision of the two national forests in the basin furnishes the main threat of the na rra­ tive from 1907 through 1935*

During the intervening years,

the Forest Service had replanted over twenty-five thousand acres of national forest land which at one time was devastated by forest f i r e s .

Over five hundred miles of roads had been


built In the Coeur d'Alene National Forest alone.


roads were constructed to serve a multiple purpose; among which were fire control, recreational exploitation, operations,


forest pest control, and scientific management

of the forest. In fact,

so vulnerable to the dreaded forest fires

is this region,

that no treatment of its history would be

complete without dwelling for some length upon that scourge of the forest.

Six years during the period,

1910-1935; were

called the "critical years" in the history of forest fires in the b a s i n . 50

The first,

the 1 9 1 0 -fire,

stands out as

being the year of greatest devastation. In 1910,

fire utterly destroyed approximately one

million acres of virgin white pine and cedar and took the lives of seventy-seven men.

A pall of smoke was cast Into

the Middle West, and these fires destroyed six billion board feet of saw timber.51 forest area.

This represents about one-fifth of the

That year was one of the driest in Idaho history.

No rain fell between April and October.

By the middle of July

50 Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 5 0 8 , 3 0 . 51 i bid., 30 .


the forest undergrowth was reduced to almost powder-like dryness and fires were breaking out all over the area.


July 23, a severe electrical storm accompanied by no rain, set new fires throughout the forests.

Eighteen hundred men

with two troops of soldiers were fighting desperately and were in the way of making some progress in checking the spread of the conflagration, when a strong wind from the southwest began, August 20. and swept all before them.

The fires got out of control Several towns were wiped out

and the holocaust extended from Montana to Kellogg in the basin. William H. Rock, an experienced woodsman,

had charge

of a crew of seventy men stationed six miles northeast of Avery, Idaho.

They were trapped by the flames from escape

to Avery, but Rock managed to get his crew into a burnedover area where they remained until the fires were well spent; whereupon,

they gained safety.

One man in the crew

became so crazed by the spectacle that he shot

him se l f.


At the same time one of the district rangers, Pulaski, was endeavoring to get supplies to the fire fighters in the vicinity of Wallace.

When the strong wind broke over them,

he and his men were caught in a circle of fire and apparently


5 2 Co eur d ’Alene Sec. 4, p. 7.


Gold en A n n i v e r s a r y Edition,

216 shut off from escape.

They made a dash for shelter in an

old mine tunnel, which was gained only after heroic effort, as an old man in the party gave out and had to be placed upon Pul as k i’s horse.

Desperate and crazed by the terrific

heat which burned the skin to a blister and threatened to envelope their clothing in flame, all reached the cave save one man.

He had been killed by a falling tree.

to escape a firey death,

In the race

the men were companions with beasts

of the forests, and at one time a bear ran with them.


was with difficulty that Pulaski kept some of his men from committing rash acts by which they sought a way out of their fright and suffering.

Five of them were lost; the rest,

Pulaski among them, reached Wallace alive.53 A similar outbreak of devastating forest fires occurred in 1919*

Approximately one million acres were

swept over in the Idaho-Montana region alone.

This was

particularly discouraging in face of the fact that con­ siderable time and money had been expended in an effort to prevent any re-occurrence of the tremendous losses sustained in 1910.


efforts were redoubled there­

after to combat the fire t h r e a t .

53 Nelson Courtland Brown, Logging Principles and Practices,


Conservation measures of the Forestry S e r v i c e .


1 9 1 0 , concerted efforts on the part of both state and national governments began to make progress In conservation of the forests.

Varying degrees of success accompanied efforts to

control fires, ation;

insect pests,

cutting methods,

and reforest­

the latter being undertaken on somewhat more scien­

tific methods. For fire-fighting and prevention purposes the country was divided into regions.

The Coeur d'Alene Basin fell into

Region No. 1, with headquarters in Missoula, Montana.


the organization thus developed, a look-out could spot a fire, compare locations by telephone with other look-outs, the exact location on maps.

At the same time,

and chart

all pertinent

weather data was relayed to the main office as well as to the fire stations within the area.

With each development being

quickly relayed to the central office, a complete picture of the progress of the fire and the fighters was always before the dispatcher.

Planes could be brought into use for dropping

supplies and fire-fighting equipment to the men, as well as reporting back to headquarters regarding their progress. Seldom were the groups of fighters completely shut off from contact with district headquarters. This method was expensive,

but much more effective

than any other devised; and it seemed to be feasible in face

218 of the fact that 80 per cent of the fires in the area were set by lightening,

and therefore,

liable to be in regions

almost inaccessible save by planes and pack animals. fact,

comparison of two sets of figures,


one representing

the total acreage destroyed by fires during the two critical years of 1910 and 1 9 1 9 * the other representing the mileage of roads built throughout the National Forest and in use during those years,

shows an almost parallel decrease in

acreage devastated with a corresponding increase in road m i l e a g e .


it must be admitted that arriving

at the scene of the fire early had greatly enhanced effec­ tive prevention of its spread. In some respects, an even more effective control of forest fires had been demonstrated by organizations supported by private timber owners.

The first of them was organized

in 1904, but ceased to exist before any tangible results were brought to the attention of forest service officials. Another,

the Coeur d ’Alene Timber Protective Association,

was organized in 1905.

In 1935*

there were five similar

associations operating in north Idaho.

Their success was

due largely to preventive methods and to a vigorous attack

54 H u t c h i s o n in Mi sc el l a n e o u s

Publication No.

t>08, 34.


upon fires in their initial stages.

As time passed means of

prevention and control were noticeably improved.

In order

to help defray the cost of fire prevention and fighting by private agencies,

the federal government shared the burden

on state and private lands through the Clark-McNary It was estimated in 1935*

A c t . 5 5

that the total annual cost of fire

protection was about twenty-one cents per acre. Another service performed by the Forest Service was the restocking of cut-over or burned-over areas.


fifty thousand acres had been successfully replanted in the period from 1909 to 1935*

The work was expensive and it was

believed at that time that it could not be greatly extended. Nevertheless,

the regenerative power of the forest proved

quite remarkable,

and many of the burned-over lands had been

restocked through natural

p r o c e s s e s .


One of the dreaded diseases attacking the white pine tree is blister rust.57

This parasitic disease made its

55 Beginning with 1935* the federal government con­ tributed $46,000 or 1 1 /2 cents per acre for every acre given protection, annually. (Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 5 0 8 , 34.) 56 jt was estimated that two million acres of forests under forty-one years of age existed in north Idaho in 1939* (I b i d ., 35.) 57 Blister rust is a parasitic fungus disease effecting the five-needle pines, of which western white pine is one. It


appearance in northern Idaho about 1923^ having worked south from British Columbia.

It is a European disease which

threatened the pine forest with destruction.


a determined effort was made to check its ravages.


was attempted through uprotting by hand the ribes on which the fungus must spend part of its life cycle.

The control

measures were placed under the supervision of the U.S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine.

After 1930*


federal agencies had been called into action, and many thousands of acres of white pine lands gone over,


workers pulling out by the roots all wild gooseberry and current plants found there. per acre.

The cost was about eight dollars


Control of insect pests and prevention of infestations had become one of the big problems of the Forestry Service. The mountain pine beetle,

one of the principal pests, was

especially destructive to white and lodge pole pines in

(Footnote 57 continued) spreads to pine from current and gooseberry plants, enters the tree through the needles, and grows in the inner bark. Once in the bark, the canker spreads in two directions, around the branch and toward the tree trunk. If the branch lacks vigor or the point of in­ fection is far from the bole, the branch may die before the disease reaches the trunk and the spread will be halted. In very young trees with short lower branches, infection soon results in death. (Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 508, 37.) 58 Ibid., 38 .


the basin.

Up until that time,


the annual sum of

twenty thousand dollars was being expended by the Forestry Service in experimental attempts to prevent outbreaks of infestation.




did not enable the work

to progress much beyond the experimental stage.


pointed out that the figure would stand a triple multipli­ cation and still be economic spending as far as forestry practices were concerned. Of special significance in the history of conservation measures undertaken by the Forestry Service in the basin was the progress made toward that in the Deception Creek E xp er i­ mental F o r e s t . ^

This tract of 190,300 acres known as the

"Experimental Forest" lay in the upper drainage of the North Fork River, and was entirely within the Coeur d ’Alene National Forest.

Eighty per cent of the area was government-owned,

15 per cent belonged to the Winton Lumber Company, which bought it from the Cameron Lumber Company.

The latter had

acquired the land through purchase of homesteaded tracts in 1912.

Although choice white pine was well distributed through

out the area, most of the script locations were taken up on

59 Hutchison in Miscellaneous Publication No. 508* 39* 80 Kenneth Davis, History of the Deception Creek ExperL mental Forest, 3.


lands that, by their situation,

controlled access to all

the timber. One or two examples of land speculation here will give a general idea of the counter aims generally attributed to the conservationist and the speculator.

At the mouth of

Haynes Creek was a 157-acre tract of land originally claimed by Frank M o n t f o r d . ^ 1

Montford had occupied the tract in

1906, when he built a cabin upon it. same year and moved to Spokane,

He left the tract that

established his residence

there and was employed as a cab driver. manently upon his claim until 1910.

He did not live p e r ­

During a two-year resi­

dence period following that date he made a number of improve­ ments on his claim.

A cabin, a smoke house, a root cellar,

and a woodshed were built.

He also cleared a small patch of

ground and raised some timothy. claim; but,

In 1911, Montford filed

failing to establish proof of a continuous r es i­

dence of five years thereon, his claim was denied. attempts to have the case reopened,


failed and the 1 5 7 -acre

tract of land became a part of the Coeur d ’Alene National Forest. Arthur J. Demorest in 1 9 0 6 , established residence on


Davis, History of the Deception Creek Experimental 10.


p. 9.

232 Rathdrum prairie.

In July of that year three water rights

were filed with the county recorder by W.L, Benham of Spokane, and preliminary surveys were made. promotor of the movement.

D.C. Corbin was the chief

As planned at that time,

the ditch

from Hayden Lake was to be fifteen miles long and have a capacity of five hundred cubic feet of water per second. The Pish Lake canal was to have the same capacity.


years passed before extensive irrigation projects were com­ pleted; but gradually the acreage increased until by 1930, about six thousand acres were under irrigation. had at that time four irrigation districts: Dalton Gardens, Avondale, and Post Falls.

The basin

Hayden Lake, Fruits,


tables, alfalfa, and potatoes were the chief crops grown on the irrigated l a n d s . Opening the Coeur d *Alene Indian Res er va t io n.


agricultural lands lie along the west shore of Lake Coeur d ’Alene. basin.

For the most part, this land lies outside the Nevertheless,

the opening of the Indian Reservation

in 1909 and the drawing of lands in Coeur d ’Alene added a colorful page to its history. gathered in the city. tion,

On July I 1]-, a motley crowd

During the first hour of registra­

five hundred people had signed up, and at the end of

the fourth day the number had grown to 3^*7 3 0 .

Two weeks



it reached the total of 167:, 000.


The sixteen n o t a ­

ries who recorded the registrations received two tons of applications representing $4,181.98 in stamps alone.


Selig drew the first choice for homestead lands. A tragedy occurred at a point just west of Coeur d ’Alene when two trains met head on, killing ten passengers and injuring many others.

It was during the height of the

excitement occasioned by the land drawings.

A Coeur d ’Alene

hound train was packed with homestead seekers and running at a high rate of speed when an outbound train left the Coeur d ’Alene station, apparently without orders to do so.


impact of the two completely smashed the forward cars of each.9

Many passengers were seriously injured and several

killed outright. Agriculture limited by n a t u r e .

The soils,

for the

most part, range from a silt loam and gravelly loam on the once glaciated portions to a loessial soil.

Some of the

richest soils in the St. Maries and Coeur d ’Alene valleys are alluvial.

Many of the farms on the cut-over lands that

proved fertile for a few years after the removal of the


Coeur d ’Alene Press, Sec. 4, p. 6.

9 I b i d ., p . 6.

234 timber, were abandoned after they became eroded and wasted by exhaustive cropping methods. grazing,

If protected from close

those hillside farms are slowly reclaimed by nature

into forested areas again. in the basin;

Severe storms are almost unknown

there are few thunder storms and no tornadoes

have occurred within the memory of living man.

The temperature

ranges from twenty-nine degrees below zero to one hundred seven degrees above, with a mean January temperature of 63.3* Prevailing winds blow from the southwest.

Most of the p r e ­

cipitation comes during the winter months and ranges from twenty to thirty inches; the eastern portion of the basin receives considerable more than falls on the extreme western rim.

The general characteristic nature of summer months is

the cool night and sunny day. Related industries.

In 1 9 1 6 , the Inland Canning C o m ­

pany incorporated in the State of Washington,

converted the

old Panhandle Brewery building into a canning establishment. Four years later, day.

The cannery,

the cannery handled ten tons of cherries a the only one in northern Idaho, was moved

in 1935 to Post Falls where it was housed in a frame and brick building.

Plans called for the construction of a vinegar

plant in addition to the canning of fruits and vegetables. The busy season began In June when sour cherries were harvested,


and passed in succession through the harvest of green beans, tomatoes,

Italian prunes, and apples--in all, a three-month

canning season. John Thompson owned the only apiary operated on an interstate basis with headquarters in the Coeur d ’Alene Basin. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson began experimenting with bees in 1917. During that year he acquired eleven hives which formed the nucleus of the Thompson Honey Company with hives in California, Montana, and Idaho.

Thompson later erected a factory in Coeur

d'Alene where he manufactured bee supplies. Numerous creameries had been established prior to 1935. One of the largest at that time was located in Coeur d'Alene. That factory,

the Coeur d'Alene Creamery,

opened in 1916.


one time it employed eighty men in the manufacturing of butter, ice cream and cultured buttermilk. modest beginnings in 1895-

The creamery grew from

Before that time, all cream p r o ­

ducts used in the city of Coeur d ’Alene had been freighted into the basin.

When pasteurizing of milk and cream became

a general practice, purpose.

the creamery added facilities for that

This was a far cry from the time when milk was d e ­

livered in large cans with a spout for running out the customer's measure.

Back in 1887 * Jane Turner had a dairy

just west of Coeur d'Alene where the town of Gibbs stands today, and sold milk to customers round about for fifteen

236 cents a gallon.

She delivered milk by the method described

a b o v e .^ R.N. Irving,

county agent in 1925, led an active cam­

paign to better general farming conditions. interested in the young people.

He was especially

Manual training and home-

making courses were introduced into the Coeur d ’Alene school that year.

The ty-H organization completed its seventh year

of work in the basin in 1925 . Although the agricultural possibilities in the basin are limited and have long been considered thus; it, along with the rest of the panhandle district, has, nevertheless, played a peculiar role in relieving the stress of farm failures in other parts of the country.

A,case in hand is the migration

of dust-bowl farmers during the early 1 9 3 0 ’s.

Hundreds of

the stricken farmers with their families loaded the remnants of their possessions upon truck or trailer, and with pitifully few dollars in their pockets headed toward northern Idaho. The garden spot of their dreams was often a run-down stump plot that was well on the road back to natural reforestration. For a few dollars down,

one of these plots could be purchased.

A rude shack was hastily built, an acre or two cleaned up, a garden platted, and the man of the family was then off to

Coeur d ’Alene Press, Sec. J, p. 6.


the woods to cut cordwood--there was usually a good market for that proauct--or,

he obtained employment In a lumber camp

or hired out as a day laborer in one of the numerous forestry camps.

In the meantime this f a r m e r ’s love for things that

grew from the soil would many times lead him to plant and tend a truck farm.

Gradually he won his way back to some

semblance of the respectability in which he once lived.


added a new zest to the life of the farmer; he proudly d i s ­ played his best produce at the county fairs; and the community in which he chose to make his new home accepted him as a worthy member. We exchanged cordwood for fruits and vegetables, down in the drainage district. Other farmers allowed us to pick their peas and beans, taking half of the gathered produce In pay for our labor. We gathered wild choke-cherries, Oregon grapes and huckleberries. We filled fruit jars--400 of them--and when they were full, and we lacked the money to buy more, we put dried fruits and vegetables in bags and stored them a w a y .H In some respects,

the typical farmer in the basin was

very much like the first farmers.

Ed Lashbrook was one of

the first to farm along the shores of Fernan Lake.

In winter

he would cut and store ice to be delivered to customers in and around Fort Sherman during the summer.

Another source

of income was found in cutting and selling cordwood from his

Nelle Portrey Davis, Stump Ranch Pioneer, 51.



In addition to the activities mentioned a b o v e , he

maintained a string of pack mules to carry food and supplies up to the mining district.

Another pioneer farmer,


and general business promoter in a small way was Charles W. Wood.

Mr. Wood began his career as a handy man with the

Overland Stage from Omaha to Salt Lake City.

He drove stage

ten years with that company and then shifted to the same work on a Montana line.

In 1871 * Wood rode the Pony Express from

Walla Walla to Missoula.

In 1 8 7 6 , he bought a farm where

Rathdrum now stands, plotted it and stocked it with sheep. He continued to engage in the stock business for several years.

At different times he owned and operated a bl a c k s m i t h

shop, livery barn, and a draying business in Rathdrum.



B 0 0K 3

Ail Illustrated IT1st ory of North Idaho , Bmbra cing Nez Perce s ; Id a h o , L a t a h K o o t e n a i and Shoshone Counties, State of Idaho. Western Historical Publishing Company, 1902. ISPS pp. Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of Washington, Idaho and M o n t a n a , 1845-8 9 . San Francisco: The History Company, 18 SO . Brown, Nelson Conrtlandt, Logging— Principles and Practices in the United States and C a na da . New York: lohn Alley and Sons, Inc., 1934. 284 pp. Chittenden, Hiram Martin, The American Fur Trade of the Far w e s t . New York: F.?. Harper, 1902. 3 Vols . Davis, Neile Portrey, Stump Ranch P i o n e e r . Mead and Company, 1942. 245 pp.

New York:


Defenbach, Byron, I d a h o , the Place and Its P e o p l e , A History of the Gem State from Frehistoric to Present D a y s . Chicago: American Historical Society, Inc., 1932 . 3 Vols. Derleth, A u g u s t 'Ailliam, The Milwaukee R o a d ; Its First Hundred Y e a r s . New York: Creative Age Press, 1948. 300

p p *

Donaldson, Thomas, Idaho of Y e s t e r d a y . Caldwell, The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1941. 406 pp.


Fenneman, Nevin Melanchton, Physiography of Western United States . New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1931. 534 pp. French, Hiram. Taylor, History Publishing Company" 1~914V

of Ida h o .Chicago: 3 Vols.



Greenough, 7/. Earl, First 100 Region t 1 846-1946. N .p .,

Y e a r s , Coeu.rd 1Alene n.n., 1947. 40 pp.


Haney, Lewis Henry, A Congressional History of RaiIways in the United States, 1650-1867. Madison, Wise.: 1910. 2 V o Is .

L i l i e y , Earnest Raymond, D e p o s i t s . New York: 610 pp .

Zoonomic Geology of Mineral Henry Holt and Company / 19::6.

IWanring, Benjamin Franklin, The Conque st of the Coeur d !Aleries , Sookanes and P a l o u s e s . Spokane, Washington: Inland 'Printing Company, 1912. 280 pp. Porter, John Sherman, editor, M o o d y Ts Manual of Investm e n t s , American and Foreign , Railroad Securi t i e s . New York: M o o d y ’s Investors Service, 1906. Rees, John P., Id a h o , Chronology, S o n s n c b t u r e , 31bliography . Chicago: W.3. Conkey Company, 1918. 131 pp. Siringo, Charles A . , Riata and Sp r u s , the Story of a_ Life­ time Spent in the Sad d le :.gg Cow boy and Pete cti v e . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927. 276 pp. Smalley, Eugene V., History of the Northern Pacific R a i l ­ road . New Y o r k : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1883. 437 pp. Stevens, Hazard, The Life of Isa a c Inga11s Stevens by His S o n , Hazard S t e v e n s . Boston: noughton, Mifflin and C o rnpo.n v , 1900. 2 Vo 13 . Stoll, William T., Silver S t r i k e , The True Story of Silver Mining in the Coeur d 1A l e n e s . Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1902. 273 pp.

B. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS Campbell, Marius Robinson, e t . a l ., "The Northern Pacific Route, with a Side Trip to Yellowstone Park," Guidebook °t. Western United S t a t e s ; Fart A. Washington, D.C.: The "Government Print ingf”DTTT*ce , 1915. 212 pp. Davis, Kenneth P., 'Economic Management of Western White Pine Forests ," Te chnical Bulletin N o . 8.30, United 3t a tea Department of Agri culture . 'Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1942. » History of the Deception Creek .Experim e ntal F o r e s t . P y F u b l i c a t i o n of the United States Department of A g r i ­ culture, Forest Service, Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Missoula, Montana.) 'Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Print ing Office, n.d.


Forest Statistics, Kootenai County, Idaho . Forest Survey Release No. 9 of the Northern Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Missoula, Montana. Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Printing Office, n.d. Hutchison, S. Blari, "Northern Idaho Forest Resources and Industries," United States Department of Agri cu l t u r e , Miscellaneous Publication N o . 5 0 6 . Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Frintiug Office, 1S42. Leiberg, John Bernhard, "Bitterroot Forest Reserve," (In) United States Geological Survey. 19th Annual Report, 1897-1898, Part 5, pp. 253-282. Washington, D . C . : The United States Government Printing Office, 1899. _______, "General Report of a Botanical Survey of the Coeur d ’Alene Mountains in Ida he during the Summer of 16 95," United States Department of Agriculture, Dlvision of B o t a n y , Contributions from the United States National H e b a r i u m . Washington, D.G.: The United States Govern­ ment Print!rig Office, 1897 . 5 Yols . "Lumber Industry ," Bureau of Cor pprat ions » United Sta te£ Departmen t of Commerce. Washington, D.C.: The Unit States Government Frinting Office, 1913. Mullan, John, U.S.A., "Report of the Construction of a Military Road from Fort da 11a-Walla to Fort B out on," Sxecutive Do cuments, United States Treasury D ep a rtment, S e c . V I , N o . 17. Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Primting Office. 1863. aier s and Travelers ’ Guide to Oregon, a da h o , Mon ta na , v*yomi >-ig , and Colorado, vi a the Missou ri and Columbia R i v e r s . New York: W.M. Franklin, 1865. 133 pp. Staley, W.W., "Elementary Methods of Placer Mining," Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geo l o g y , Pamphlet N o . 5 5 . Moscow,' Idaho; University of Idaho, 1931. 20 pp. "Standing Timber, January 20, 1913," Departmen t of Co mm er ce , United States Bureau of Corporatlons, Lumber In dustry, Part I . Washington, D.C.; The United States Government Printing Office, 1913.


"Summarized Data of Zinc Production, Economic Paper 3," Department of Oojnmerce, United States Bureau of Mines . Washington, D.C.: The United *5 tates Government Printing Office, 1939 . Williams, Albert, Jr., ’’Mineral Resources of the United States,” United States Ge ologica1 S u r v e y , 1685 . Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Printing Office, 1886.

C. MAGAZINE ARTICLES Modr,,3yrd, "Shadowy St. Joe," Overland M o n t h l y , 57:7-10, January, 1911. O g d e n , G .W., "Worid Af Ire ," Everybody1s_ Magazi n e , S3:7 54766, December, 1910.

D. OTHER PUBLICATIONS Id a h o j a Guide in Word and P i c t u r e . Library Edition, Federal Jr"iters * Pro jects'of the Works Progress Administration. Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1937. 431 pp. Mass, Fred H., The University of Idaho Bulletin, No. 32, V o l . 33, 1938. N.p.


Coe ur d ’Alene Summer, 1937.


(Idaho) P r e s s , Golden Anniversary Edition ,

(Idaho) N e w s , Vacation Edi ti o n , Summer,