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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Maries in Benewah County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Timber Made This Town

 
 
Timber Made This Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 7, 2018
1. Timber Made This Town Marker
Captions: (top left) A big cedar on the St. Joe being felled by Charles Porret and Caesar Stauffer with the Ducommum boys helping.; (bottom left) Logs were grouped into brails at the "sorting gap" on the St. Joe River, and then towed by tugboat to mills in Harrison and Coeur d'Alene. During the busiest year, the St. Joe Boom Company processed one hundred and sixty million feet of logs through the sorting gap.; (upper center) Draft horses pulling sled of logs in winter, two men riding atop logs.; (bottom right) Men at a gathering place for the river-borne logs.
Inscription. The Saint Maries River Valley was said to have the largest single stand of white pine in the world. Homesteaders and lumberjacks flocked here by wagon road and boats to take advantage of vast stands of western white pine, fir, tamarack and cedar.
In 1887 the Fisher brothers built the first sawmill on the St. Joe, milling lumber for frame buildings, the railroad bridge at Chatcolet and for extensive docks along the St. Maries waterfront.
Winter logging was common. Lumberjacks wearing calked boots and woolen clothes used 5' to 7' long crosscut saws and axes to fall the giant trees. Rough camps sprang up throughout the St. Joe and St. Maries river valleys. In the winter of 1905 there were ten camps on Santa Creek alone, getting out 80,000,000 board feet of timber.
Water transported the logs from the remote mountainsides. Logs were stockpiled along the streams until spring breakup, then flooded (sic) downstream. For $3.00 a day log drivers, called "river pigs" risked their lives in treacherous currents. Some died in watery graves.
Timber Industry Remains

Over time, the railroads and roads replaced the log drive, but the timber industry remains the mainstay of St. Maries today.
 
Erected by Museum of Northern Idaho.
 
Location.
Timber Made This Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 7, 2018
2. Timber Made This Town Marker
The marker is on the left.
47° 18.98′ N, 116° 33.93′ W. Marker is in St. Maries, Idaho, in Benewah County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Avenue and North Sixth Street (State Highway 5) on Main Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 538 Main Avenue, Saint Maries ID 83861, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Maries - Steaming with History (here, next to this marker); Hughes House Historical Museum (here, next to this marker); The 1910 Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); The St. Marie's "Occupation" of 1918 (approx. mile away); Willamette Steam Donkey Engine (approx. one mile away); Splash Dam at Hobo Creek (approx. one mile away); Mullan Trail Road (approx. one mile away); John Mullan (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Maries.
 
More about this marker. The makers are located on Main Avenue
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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