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Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene’s City Park focus of soon-to-be book

This is the view (circa 1906) of Blackwell/City Park taken from the East Great Lawn area of the park. Contemporary location is looking to the south/southwest from the corner of Government Way and Northwest Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of Museum of North Idaho REC-1-7)
This is the view (circa 1906) of Blackwell/City Park taken from the East Great Lawn area of the park. Contemporary location is looking to the south/southwest from the corner of Government Way and Northwest Boulevard. (Photo courtesy of Museum of North Idaho REC-1-7)

On July 4, 1890, soldiers from Fort Sherman gathered with Coeur d’Alene’s rough-and-tumble residents for a parade and picnic, games, swimming, fireworks and maybe “base ball.” Sorta like today.

Idaho had become a state the day before. The two sides met under the trees on the southeast corner of Fort Sherman’s grounds. Today, Coeur d’Alene residents call the place City Park.

In a 200-page book to be published in early May, landscape architect Jon Mueller provides the back story of Coeur d’Alene’s first park. Jon explains how this hallowed ground survived the development craze of the Lake City’s early days to become the cornerstone of its modern park system. The book is jammed with photos of the park’s bygone days. Jon, a Coeur d’Alene native and former president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, has had the itch to produce this book for some time.

In “Private Park/Public Park: A Story of Coeur d’Alene and Its First Park,” you’ll learn: How many of Coeur d’Alene’s community celebrations came to be. Of the many significant visitors who visited Coeur d’Alene from 1877 to 1919. How the early-20th-century version of social media – the postcard – was used to promote the area. And how the more cultured soldiers of the fort helped tame the rough timber town that grew up around it.

Stay tuned.

Thar he blows

Huckleberry Friend Brian Walker, of Post Falls, was eating at Carl’s Jr. on Coeur d’Alene’s Appleway recently when an old man at a nearby table blew his nose. Brian didn’t mind. But a middle-aged man dining with his wife did. He yelled at the 80-something to go to the bathroom to blow his nose (along with other comments that best not be repeated here). “Sorry,” said the Well-Seasoned Citizen, surprised by the verbal attack, “I guess I should have turned my head.” That wasn’t the answer Middle-Age Jerk wanted. When his wife couldn’t finish her meal, Middle-Age Jerk responded loudly: “I wonder why?” And Huckleberries wonders where Middle-Age Jerk was when they were handing out respect for your elders.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: April is near/ Explains my fear/ Of taxes due/ And riches few/ And solutions no where near – Remember The Bard (“The Tax Man Cometh”) … Marianne Love, a ha-huge Gonzaga Bulldog fanatic from Bonner County, is eager to see the real March Madness kick off. She’s tired of Mother Nature’s version … Poll: Fifty-three percent of my Huckleberries blog readers agreed with the failed attempt to raise Idaho’s smoking age to 21 … With St. Paddy’s Day approaching, a Huckleberries blog wag wonders: “What’s green and sits on your front porch?” Give up? “Paddy O’Furniture.” Badabump, onward to the finish … Item: The Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t want toothy smiles to appear on future driver’s licenses. No problemo, responds a Huckleberries blog wag. After waiting for two hours in the Kootenai County DMV, who feels like smiling?

Parting shot

On Thursday, Coeur d’Alene High teacher Bruce Twitchell remarked aloud in class: “I can’t wait until I am old so I can swear all the time and people will think it is funny.” Without missing a beat, a student replied: “You already are old.” (Insert frowny face.)

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