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Idaho Voices

Setting the record straight on history

Writing history is not what I innocently thought it was when I undertook the project of writing 100 years of the history of Bayview, Idaho. What I found was that history is what people remember from their own perspective, which can differ greatly from what actually happened, and from person to person, all of whom may have witnessed the same things.

First though, before I review what did and didn’t happen during the summer season that I wrote this four-part series, I’d like to correct a few silly errors. Two pioneer gentlemen got their initials reversed. The correct first names are Frederick Blackwell, and Daniel C. Corbin.

In describing the first steam ship that plied the waters between Pend Oreille City, just a stones throw south of Bayview, and the north end of Lake Pend Oreille, I somehow invented a train that didn’t exist in 1890. A pack train had loaded for a northern destination, and having that term in mind, suggested that the miners were getting off the train which was actually the pack train getting off of the sternwheeler.

Back to correcting history. I found that no matter how much research was done, when the segment published, I received contrary information from people who read the story, but remained unknown to me. I suspect that in the years to come, someone will attempt this same chore, only to find that the dead have been dead longer and fewer people remember the facts and start guessing. Still, the help given freely by so many was invaluable and for the most part accurate.

Since I was writing about Bayview, opposed to the entire area, many interesting features were either left out or minimized. I mentioned three steamships that sailed from Pend Oreille city to Thompson Falls in Montana in three stages. There were many more. At least 46 sailed up and down the lake at various times. To make my point, I once wrote a history of Lakeview and the mining endeavors there.

My editor at the time suggested, after reading my copy that if I wanted to write a story that long, I should find a book publisher. Chastened, I thereafter remembered that this is a newspaper, not an encyclopedia. Much of the area history in detail can be found in a book, “Bayview and Lakeview,” by Linda Hackbarth. This book and other records Linda had became my principal source for information when I came along. This book and other material can be ordered from: Linda@

In another case of setting the record straight, Rose Clark added this:

“My husband and I (Rose and Pete Clark) purchased J.D.’s in 1986 from Bill Krueger and three other former owners whom he had contracts with. After my husband died in November of 1990, early the next year I obtained an SBA loan and paid off all the previous owners and was sole owner of J.D.’s until I sold it in 1993 to Chan Karupiah. So, I spent seven years of sweat and tears owning and operating that business and am sorry that that fact was overlooked completely in your article. Bill Krueger died two years before I sold the business to Chan,”

The demise of Lake Pend Oreille was covered in previous articles, but to review, two dams were built in 1962. Cabinet Gorge on the Clark Fork River, just seven miles up river in Montana, and Albeni Falls Dam on the Pend Oreille River. This caused two serious disruptions in the spawning opportunities of several varieties of fish. For kokanee, raising and lowering of the lake level damages spawning beds. When they lower the level after the fish depart, the egg reeds or nests are exposed and killed. In the case of bull trout, rainbows and other species, the loss of 70 or 80 miles of spawning behind Cabinet Gorge was a disaster as well.

Today, kokanee fishing is closed. Actually not much other fishing takes place in this, one-time fishing mecca anymore. Bayview has retreated into a bay without a present, and the future is yet to reveal itself.


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