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Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene Mining District gold rush finally gets its due

Tony and Suzanne Bamonte tout their latest book of local history as a perfect gift for Father’s Day. But they’re being modest. “The Coeur d’Alenes Gold Rush and Its Lasting Legacy” is a swell gift for any student of history in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Any day.

The Bamontes provide 500 pages and 522 photos ($44.99 from Tornado Creek Publications, Spokane) about the 1883-84 gold rush in the Eagle City and Prichard/Murray areas, above Wallace.

Suzanne Bamonte tells Huckleberries: “It is a comprehensive perspective of the history of the North Side and not necessarily the type of book a person might sit down and read through from start to finish. However, from the response we are getting right out of the gate, including people placing orders for others after receiving their own copy, I feel comfortable in saying the book has appeal.”

The Bamontes intended to compile a history of the entire Coeur d’Alene Mining District but realized that they’d hit a rich gold vein in the North Side, one that hadn’t been explored much.

We know a lot about the southern part of the mining district and the lead, zinc and silver that were found there. But the Bamontes spent their energy digging out items about the birthplace of the mining district, the miners, the other colorful characters and boom towns long gone.

The late Judge Richard G. Magnuson, of Wallace, said of the book “ ‘The Coeur d’Alenes Gold Rush’ unearthed a bonanza of nuggets of long-lost history. It is a wonderful chronicle of men in their timeless search for gold.” Huckleberries agrees with historian John Amonson: “I fully expect this volume will become the definitive go-to resource on the early history of Shoshone County and the North Side portion of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District.”

Have you bought your Father’s Day gift yet?


Poet’s Corner: Packed with nutrients/so incredible,/it’s quite a shame/the stuff’s not edible – “The Bard of Sherman Avenue: Poems by Tom Wobker” (Poem: “Liver”) … If you’ve never gotten around to reading “The Street Agent” by Wayne Manis of Coeur d’Alene, you can cheat by picking up the latest issue of CdA (Coeur d’Alene Magazine). “Tales of an FBI Agent” should give you an idea of a courageous career of retired Agent Manis that spanned 28 years, from undercover work investigating the violent New Left in Chicago in the 1960s to a shootout with the The Order, an offshoot of the Aryan Nations … Nic Casey of Coeur d’Alene: “Two different people at work told me I look like Drew Carey. I think it’s time for me to lose some weight” … The numbers you need to know about the 2017 free summer concert series provided by Chris Guggemos of Handshake Productions are 24, 3 and 26. That’s 24 concerts in three locations (Coeur d’Alene and Hayden) for a 26th season. The concerts begin June 29 and end Sept. 10, according to Chris’ Facebook page. Comments Chris: “I have a cool job” … Props to Eden Irgens, of Coeur d’Alene, for reaching her goal of finally sitting on the popular swinging bench in McEuen Park that was dedicated to the memory of health/community activist Maj StormoGipson. And Eden provides a Facebook selfie video showing her swinging on the bench. She concludes her video: “What a treat for the community in honor of such a wonderful woman.”

Parting shot

Seems Sgt. Paul Twidt is the author of those swell Roll Call reports on the Kellogg Police Department Facebook page. And he came through for us again this week. The KPD used its nose to solve a mystery. First, the department fielded a call about a bad odor in Wardner. Then, one of KPD’s Finest found a rotting elk carcass in a backyard. The resident had helped himself to the road kill on the freeway. But decided to go camping before properly disposing of it. And voila. You have a public nuisance. Huckleberries will let Sgt. Twidt wrap up this item: “The Menace was given a citation and instructed to remove the carcass.” Later, Sgt. Twidt signs off: “Be happy. Be safe. Eat donuts.”

D.F. “Dave” Oliveria will be on vacation through June 24.