CLEARWATER TRIBUNE HOME
APRIL 29, 2010
Threshing on the Nez Perce Prairie with Booth & Sullivan threshers on the Booth place. Pearl Mooers was the cook; she is standing by the cookhouse in the back. Charles Lynch is standing in the right with the men on top of the bags of grain. The photo was taken about 1910.
Orofino, a history to tell (Part V)
By Alannah Allbrett
“The corn was as high as an elephant’s eye,” but in this case it was tobacco that was towering over Isaac Buckley. He tried, rather successfully, to grow tobacco on the prairie near Fraser. He raised plants with elephant-sized leaves and won first place for one of them at the St. Louis Expo in 1904. With mule drawn hand plows, farmers also grew beans, and grains like wheat, grass, and alfalfa.
There was no Jolly Green Giant, so each family had to grow their own vegetables and root crops. They would load up their wagons once a year and head to town to celebrate their hard work for three or four days, at the big fair in Orofino. The Clearwater Tribune reports that people in town often put them up in their homes. They enjoyed picnics, dances, seeing old friends, and if they were lucky, taking home a blue ribbon from the Clearwater County Fair & Lumberjack Days. Back home, they were able to line their pantry shelves with a colorful display of fruits and vegetables that would see them through the winter.
The Nez Perce originally
inhabited the land in and above the
The pioneers added their families,
churches, and schools to the mix. What would surprise most people today is the
great number of schools that dotted the landscape. With names like Gray Eagle,
One school in particular, Ahsahka took the measure of how tough that generation was. In 1916, about 30 children, accompanied by parents and perhaps a teacher or two had to board a wooden ferry to cross the North Fork of the Clearwater River each day.
Consolidating schools is not
a new thing. In 1912, the Board of Education decided it was best to consolidate
the schools of Districts 23 and 31 to provide a more central location and cut
down on the number of schools needed. Bernice Pullen, Director of the
New fangled gadgets and sewing notions
The museum has a stereoscope,
a precursor to our 3D movies today and a Phonograph with music on cylinders made
by the Thomas A. Edison National Phonograph Company,
Socializing and learning
In the 1930’s a gentleman
She grew up in a small cabin, which stands today. And Marty has created a large stained glass window for it. Marty is also a member of the Red Hat Society and an artist in water colors and stained glass. She is also an author of an interesting book entitled: History of a Homestead (1901 to 2001), telling of her family’s own pioneering days in the valley. This book is one of several of which the museum may boast.
Another book, which I had the privilege to thumb through, is a large, tooled-leather volume entitled Illustrated History of North Idaho Counties by John P. Vollmer, published in 1903. This book is filled with engraved likenesses of the people who came to live their lives in this land. The book has a fitting dedication: “To the brave men and devoted women, those who have gone, and those who remain.” A copy of this book is also in the Clearwater Memorial Library reference section.
If you’ve followed our series
About 30 children, accompanied by parents and perhaps a teacher or two had to board a wooden ferry to cross the North Fork of the Clearwater River each day just to get to school.
Isaac Buckley grew tobacco
on the prairie near Fraser. He raised plants with elephant-sized leaves and won
first place for one of them at the
Bernice Pullen, Director of the Clearwater Historical Museum created a special exhibit, with a map and historical photographs, of the location and history of the prairie schools.
Some of the hand made quilts of the pioneer women are on display with a two-tiered wooden basket along with other handicrafts.
A collection in the
The old phonograph displayed
with music cylinders made by the Thomas A. Edison National Phonograph Company,