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Posts tagged: Enaville Resort

Peak Has Snakepit Running Again

Joe Peak is still running the Enaville Resort – the Snakepit, as locals know it – along the Coeur d’Alene River north of Kellogg. As he’s battled cancer and mourned the death of his wife earlier this year, the 66-year-old owner found a way to bring the legendary Silver Valley restaurant and bar back to a five-day-a-week operation this summer. For now, he’s taking it day by day. The place is for sale and he’d like to retire and tend to his health, but Peak keeps going for the sake of his loyal customers. “You know, it’s a young man’s game,” he said. “We just need someone in here who’s got a little more pep and energy and is willing to put their lives into this place. We gave till we can’t give anymore”/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo of Joe Peak)

Question: When did you last visit the Snakepit?

Obit: Rose Mary Peak, 65, Snake Pit

Following is the obituary of Rose Mary (Poelma) Peak, co-owner of historic Enaville Resort (Snake Pit), as it appears in Coeur d'Alene Press today: “Rose Mary was born on Jan. 13, 1947, in Cheyenne, Wyo., and died on Jan. 20, 2012, in the presence of her loving family at Hospice House in Coeur d'Alene. Rose Mary was the second of four children of Jim and Eileen Poelma. She grew up in the rural farming community of Carpenter, Wyo., 20 miles southeast of Cheyenne. She lived in a community, school and family where faith and music went hand-in-hand with the hard work of farming. Her grandmother taught her to play the piano at an early age, and the rest of her family often played music together as a group, whether it was during informal family gatherings or for barn dances.” More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo: Enaville Resort)

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Future Of Snakepit In Jeopardy

Rocky Mountain Oysters have been on the menu at the Enaville Resort since the 1950's. Now, the dish, as well as the future of the Snakepit, are in jeopardy as owners Joe & Rose Mary Peak battle health issues. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Joe Peak (pictured) remembers the first time he walked into the Snakepit. “The bar was three deep with loggers and miners,” Peak said. A jewel- bedecked, elaborately dressed woman tended the bar. Paintings and stuffed animals and Western memorabilia covered the walls and hung from the ceiling. Smoke thickened the air. It was January 1978. “It was surreal, it really was,” he said. “A pretty rowdy bunch.” Within weeks, he owned the place with a partner. Since then, Peak and his wife, Rose Mary, have kept the Snakepit, aka the Enaville Resort, open virtually every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas – a place for a meal, a drink (legal or otherwise), some gossip, a dish of complimentary huckleberry ice cream and a blast of wood-hewn “atmosphere”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever eaten Rocky Mountain oysters?

Health Issues Force Snakepit To Shut

The future of the historic Enaville Resort (also known as the Snakepit) is uncertain now that owners Joe and Mary Peak are both battling cancer. Visitors to the famed eatery/tavern found this message on a whiteboard under the word “CLOSED” printed in capital letters Friday: “Due to ongoing medical issues we will be closed for some projects. It has been our sincere pleasure to serve you since 1978 - 2 days closed each year! Stay in touch … Rose Mary & Joe need your support.” In a Coeur d'Alene Press weekend story, Peak, who has operated the Enaville Resort with his wife since 1978, said he had a stem cell transplant in his battle with cancer and his wife is in Hospice care. He said quietly: “I don't know what we're going to do.” The Shoshone News-Press is asking readers for testimonials for a special edition to be devoted to the Peaks. You can read a 1997 SR story by Bekka Rauve about them here. And see a 2007 video by Annie Bishop here.

Question: When did you last visit the Snakepit (Enaville Resort)?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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