Down Memory Lane - High Water

WAITING FOR HIGH WATER – Nearly 11 million feet of lumber shown above are decked above Elk Creek waiting for the annual drive down the Northfork of the Clearwater River. The drive will be held this month depending on when the river is best for floating the logs to the PFI pond at Lewiston. The huge deck is nearly a mile-long and stands about 35 feet high and is composed of about 10 percent pulpwood and the rest is mixed species. All logs were put in by contract loggers since Camp Y ceases operations, including Carl Finke, Dexter Barnett, Floyd Kaminski and Frank Burch Jr. (Clearwater Tribune, April 2, 1959)

10 years – April 2, 2009

The Maniac cheerleaders traveled to Knott’s Berry Farm to compete in the National Cheerleading Association, U. S. Championships. The squad took first place in their division in coed competition. They also won top stunting team. *

Spring rains have greatly diminished the number of steelhead reeled in this week. Rivers are blown out and one could say, “have turned to chocolate.” Still there are a few to claim the fishing was worth braving the elements.

20 years – April 1,1999

Evelyn Olson was named 1998 Orofino Rotary Citizen of the Year during a special luncheon to honor Orofino’s Volunteers. Olson was nominated by Retired Senior volunteer Program (RSVP) for giving her talent freely and abundantly to the community.


Elvita Judd writes from Fraser…”I don’t think we will talk about the weather this week, The more I say about spring coming, the more snow storms we get.”

30 years – April 6, 1989

Results of a recent aerial survey of elk herds in Management Unit 10, Idaho’s leading producer of elk, show a marked decline in the bull:cow ratio which worries regional wildlife biologists. Unit 10, in Clearwater County produces more elk than any other unit.


Artic clothing and blankets were in vogue as fans sat through three days of frigid baseball weather as Orofino won two and lost two, ending with a 2-3 record for the young season. The best game from the standpoint of the shivering fans was the 6-4 loss to the undefeated Grangeville Bulldogs. It took the winners two extra innings to keep their slate clean.

40 years – April 5, 1979

Apartments for moderate and low income senior citizens will soon be available in the Orofino area if everything proceeds according to plan.

Charles F. and Jane Frensdorf have signed a contract with Adkison Corporation of Grangeville for the $600,000 construction project. The 24 unit, one-story building will be located just east of the Frensdorf home with access off 129th Street.


The names of Don Ponozzo of Orofino, Everett Lovell of Elk river, and Walter Zelinsky of Cavendish will be sent to Idaho Governor John Evans to choose one person to complete the term of Clearwater County Commissioner Howard Phillips, who has resigned effective April 15. Phillip’s term would have been completed Jan. 1, 1981. He represented Dist. 3.

50 years – April 3, 1969

About $7,000 is being spent to increase capacity, improve visibility and safety in the county jail on the second floor of the courthouse. New plumbing, wiring, toilet and shower facilities are being installed to replace those worn out and a new ventilation system will be added. Cell blocks were moved to create a holding area, allowing handling one prisoner at a time.

Capacity will be increased from 12 to 16 in the main block while women’s and juvenile detention areas remain at four each.


The new look at the big game winter browse situation, made in one of the most severe winters on record, should add a great deal to the base of information about the North Fork Elk herd and perhaps provide a more sensible program of land acquisition that will permit better multiple use of the area.

60 years – April 2, 1959

Light registration is noted in the city voting eligibility as the biennial elections approach, reports Mary Avery, city clerk. As of March 31, there were only 117 persons registered in the city in all three wards, lack of competition cutting down interest in both the 1955 and 1957 city races.


Memories of the fires in 1906, that caused so much destruction in Orofino, still linger with many of the older people in this area. According to an old newspaper the first fire started about 3 a.m. of Sept. 28, in the old Noble Hotel situated at the foot of Canada Hill.

While the flames spread rapidly, the townspeople awaken from their sleep, hurriedly formed a bucket brigade from the creek and manned the two small hoses, the town’s only fire protection then.

From the hotel the fire spread to the Clearwater feed barn situated just back of the hotel and then raced on to destroy the post office, L. A. Johnke’s saloon and the Orofino Tribune, all located across the street from where the fire originated.

70 years – Mar. 31, 1949

What was once believed to be just a dream has turned into a reality. Night ball will be played in Kamiah this summer. All of the 90 foot poles necessary for placing lights on the field were cut last week by Normal Clark and Cal Lang and donated by Leonard Floan, Axel Kludt, Dorrance Adams.

Besides this new lighting equipment, new bleachers will be constructed, the grandstand will be rebuilt, the entire park will be enclosed with a fence, and night baseball will have become an actual thing.


The old town fire bell, which has held sway for so many years in Nezperce, like all outmoded equipment is from now on to have second place in the arousing of the citizens to put out the fire. Its tinny, vacant clang won’t be heard now except when the electricity is off. Then it may sound forth again. A new and modern siren has been installed on top of the fire station.

80 years – Mar. 31, 1939

A log jam, estimated to contain eight million feet, formed at Big Riffle on the Northfork of the Clearwater river according to Thomas E. Kinney, Lewiston, assistant general manager of Potlatch Forests Inc. Early spring thaws caused the Northfork to raise and float some of the 25 million feet of logs that had been “winged” on the banks, gravel bars and in shoals, awaiting high water ordinarily expected around April 15. Three million feet reached the pond at Lewiston but the rest jammed at Big Riffle.


Mrs. Helen Monroe, who lost her house by fire recently is having a new one built by U. G. Worden on the continuation of Michigan avenue in Glenwood. It will be a frame three-room structure 18 by 20 feet.

90 years – April 5, 1929

C. D. McEachron, agent for the building in Orofino, which houses the Bank of Orofino, etc., received news this week of the death of J. S. Burns, part owner of the building. Mr. Burns died at his home in Santa Barbara, California March 22, from paralysis. He also owned the frame building at the corner of First street and Johnson avenue, in which is located the Little Grill Café. He is survived by two sons, C. C. and K. N. Burns, residents of California. His wife preceded him to the grave. Other owners of the building are Delia B. Griffiths and Mary Mix. The estate here will probably be probated by a representative in Orofino to be chosen by the two sons.

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