Huckleberries Online

New Paint Job For Old Steam Engine

Workers re-paint the old Rutledge Mill steam engine near the entrance to the North Idaho Museum. (Coeur d'Alene Today photo: Keith Erickson)

The 75-ton Corliss steam engine in front of the Museum of North Idaho recently received a fresh coat of paint thanks in part to a matching grant from the Idaho Heritage Trust. This engine represents the history of the timber industry in our region, according the Museum Director Dorothy Dahlgren. For close to 50 years it was the heart of the Edward Rutledge Timber Company. In 1910 Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties had 77 mills operating. In 1961 there were 70 sawmills and by 1965 there were 46 and today there are about eight mills operating in the 3 counties.Selecting the color to paint the engine was not an easy task, according to Dahlgren. Museum volunteer Dick Whitney contacted several museums and visited engine sites. In his research he found the Allis-Chalmers Company, the builder of Corliss steam engines, painted the engines a variety of colors such as blue-gray, red, green, black and yellow. The Museum chose to use green and a rust color for the accents/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Question: Did anyone in your family used to work at the old Rutledge Mill?

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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