Jim Kershner’s this day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
The editorial page featured a touching eulogy to Peter Rhodebeck, a colorful old recluse who had lived in a cabin on the shores of Spirit Lake. The editorial writer said Rhodebeck was one of a familiar breed in the West, “men who love not men the less, but nature more.”
“Their solitary cabins are pitched by many a lake and mountain stream, and the smoke of hearthfire curls upward in many a mountain glen and forest depth,” he wrote.
Rhodebeck, 72, was one of the first settlers on the lake. For 30 years, he sat near his cabin by the shore and “saw the slow procession of the seasons, the miracle and mystery of spring’s awakening, the radiance of summer, the glory of autumnal color, and then the brooding silence of white winter.”
The writer urged that Rhodebeck be buried not in a Rathdrum cemetery, but in a grave dug “in the majestic cliffs that face forever the blue expanse of shimmering water.”
From the bear beat: The citizens of Wardner, Idaho, were in a panic over reports of big black bear coming across the gulch into town. The menfolk ran off with their rifles to confront the beast, and “frantic mothers rushed around to get their children into their homes, away from the double peril of a wounded bear and flying bullets.”
The hunters soon returned sheepishly into town. The bear turned out to be a “half-grown black calf, which was quietly feeding on young grass shoots.”