St. Maries in Benewah County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Timber Made This Town
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.
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. 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. ¼ 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 & Commerce • Natural Resources • Settlements & 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 45 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.