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I love railroad trestles. They have enough angles and diagonals to make me think that my 10th grade geometry class may have had more relevance that I realized at the time. Some of the best trestles in Idaho are found on the Camas Prairie Railroad, easily seen from U.S. Highway 95 when driving between Lapwai and Grangeville. And if you take a short detour through Ferdinand along Old Highway 95, you can drive right through Bridge 40, which crosses the road more than 120 feet above the pavement. (Bridge numbers match mile numbers; when there is more than one bridge in a one-mile segment, they are numbered consecutively with decimals, such as Bridge 21.1, 21.2, etc.)
Those of us who live in the Idaho Panhandle refer to this area as North Idaho, as if it were a separate state. We live in the Pacific Time Zone, get our news from Spokane, and are more likely to follow Gonzaga basketball than Boise State football. We can drive to the capitals of nearby states more easily, and on better highways, than we can get to Boise. Sandpoint is 323 miles from Helena, 394 miles from Olympia, and 421 miles from Boise. Sometimes we feel worlds apart.
It's raining again in North Idaho. After a snowy winter and wet spring, the Pack River is running high. The broken pilings from the old logging railroad bridge near the store are covered with water, something that always happens during a high water year. This is not unusual for North Idaho, however, and other years have been much higher. Old timers will be happy to tell you about the flood of 1948 when water crept up the streets in Sandpoint almost to the courthouse. And that flood paled in comparison with the one in 1894 that washed out many sections of railroad tracks around Lake Pend Oreille and forced the Northern Pacific to ship passengers and freight via steamboat between Ventnor and Clark Fork. The flood that year set the historic high water mark that remains unchallenged.
Preservation Idaho is pleased to share the following Press Release issued from the Idaho Department of Commerce yesterday. The Main Street effort has been sustained for the last three years through a monthly phone call coordinated by Preservation Idaho and the Boise Field Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which culminated in representatives meeting with the Idaho Department of Commerce to share their vision. The meeting generated a lot of excitement and interest and was the spring board for several more conversations that lead to this monumental announcement. Preservation Idaho will continue to champion the Main Street program to enhance and revitalize historic business districts across Idaho by assisting interested communities and the Dept of Commerce in their efforts.
The 35th Annual Orchids and Onions Awards Ceremony was a great success, held on May 19, 2012 at the Masonic Temple in Boise. With over 90 people in attendance, Preservation Idaho celebrated those who have done so much to preserve and promote Idaho's historic and cultural resources, as well as highlight the insensitivity to historic preservation demonstrated by this year's Onion Award recipient.
Since the posting of Hurlbut Mansion on the Preservation Idaho “Threatened Sites” tab, the Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program (LCECP) has announced that they have recently met the match grant challenge sponsored by the Harry Morrison Foundation.
The Hurlbut Mansion in Lewiston has a long and elegant history as a private home, a Children's Home, and hopefully, in the future, as the site of an innovative learning facility. The building's architecture is a wonderful reflection of the Colonial Revival style and is the last remaining building of that style in Idaho designed by the renowned architect Kirtland Cutter.
There is a free two-day workshop on cemetery preservation sponsored by the Idaho Heritage Trust and hosted by the Idaho City Historical Foundation. Featured speakers are Sally Donovan and Bruce Howard of Hood River, Oregon.
To celebrate the upcoming sesquicentennial of the Idaho Territorial period, the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office and Preservation Idaho are working together on an initiative to identify and highlight 150 historic buildings constructed during that era. The final product will be a website page showing the 150 buildings/structures and brief information about each one. This will give our website visitors an opportunity to learn more about Idaho’s history through its built environment.
As much as I love architecture, I also love Americana tchotchkes, especially those featuring American architecture. The mid part of the twentieth century was perhaps the height of collectible memorabilia, as the automobile made tourism and travel popular and easy. Hitting the road was a favorite American pastime, and all along the way roadside stands offered tourists different knick-knacks to remember their travels by, from coffee mugs to refrigerator magnets. A particular favorite was the souvenir plate.