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Huckleberries: A centennial bash is in the works for Coeur d’Alene’s historic Jewett House

The stately Jewett House at the 15th Street entrance to Sanders Beach and Lake Coeur d’Alene is a favorite venue for weddings, anniversaries and other events. (Kathy Plonka/SR file photo)
The stately Jewett House at the 15th Street entrance to Sanders Beach and Lake Coeur d’Alene is a favorite venue for weddings, anniversaries and other events. (Kathy Plonka/SR file photo)

Almost 17 years ago, Mrs. O and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at the former home of George and Mary Jewett, a stately building at the 15th Street entrance to Sanders Beach and Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Beautiful day. Beautiful lake. Beautiful wife. Beautiful venue.

The Jewett House is to Coeur d’Alene what the Grace Campbell House is to Spokane. Now, the American Foursquare structure is used as a senior activities center and a venue for weddings and events. But back in the day, it was home to the Jewetts and their children, Margaret and Fritz. George Jewett, grandson of Weyerhaeuser Company founder Friedrich Weyerhaeuser, managed the old Rutledge Timber Company mill (current site of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course). Later, he became president of Potlatch Forests.

Jewett was known for his progressive ideas on forest conservation and, together with his wife, for philanthropy. The Jewett name remained on the house after they moved to Spokane in the 1937. In 1978, Potlatch deeded the Jewett House to the city of Coeur d’Alene to be used as a senior center.

Why am I telling you all this? The Jewett House Centennial Board is planning a bash on Sept. 10, to celebrate the building’s 100th anniversary. Construction began in 1915 and was completed in 1917. Event organizers are hammering out the details. But Huckleberries has learned that a book is in the works, compiled by the Idaho Writer’s League. Stay tuned to Huckleberries for more info.

Shoutout

Here’s a shoutout to an employee named Lyle at Napa Auto Parts, 2514 Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene. Lyle provided quality customer service for a purchase of less than $3. On Saturday, I dropped by to purchase a spark plug for my lawn mower. Only I couldn’t remember my brand of mower. It is a Craftsman. I said, “Lawn Boy,” which was the brand of the previous mower. Lyle looked through the computer for what he thought was a match. Sold me the spark plug for $2.75. Warned me that the plug might cause damage to my mower if it wasn’t the right size. And gave me his phone number in case I ran into problems. Ultimately, it was the wrong plug. I returned to provide Lyle with the correct info. And he found the right plug. All for less than $3. And he treated me as though I was buying an expensive part and wasn’t a mechanical klutz.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “In warm April sun/ while birds sweetly sing/ there – on that tulip –/ the first slug of spring” – a poem titled, “Spring Is Now Official” (from “The Bard of Sherman Avenue: Poems by Tom Wobker”) … On Sunday, a year to the day that he began a tough bout with cancer, Chris Guggemos of Handshake Productions walked the 5-mile course of Coeur d’Alene’s Spring Dash in 1:32:00. He got many hugs along the way. And, yes, he’s preparing for his 26th summer of free concerts in Coeur d’Alene and Hayden parks – 23 concerts in all … Jon Mueller’s “Private Park/Public Park: A Story of Coeur d’Alene and Its First Park,” is tracking for a mid-to-late May release. The 200-page book about Coeur d’Alene’s City Park will retail for $49.95, plus $6 shipping. Fifty percent of the proceeds beyond expenses will go toward an interpretive signage project for the park and one other project of a historical nature yet to be named.

Parting shot

Tongue firmly cheeked, Lew VanDeMark posted this at his Coeur d’Alene retirement community (The Grove at Orchard Ridge): “Please note that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the season normally occurring at this time (spring) has been delayed, and will now start on August 27. It will be followed immediately by summer on August 28, which will then give way to fall the following day. This will allow sufficient time for all of us to prepare, mentally and otherwise, for our next winter, which we all anticipate so eagerly. Thanks for your understanding during this difficult time.” And we soldier on.

Staff columnist Dave Oliveria can be reached at daveo@spokesman.com.