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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in North Idaho: An ‘alarming’ fire near Priest River threatened a lumber camp

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Forest fires raged near Priest River and “all available employees of the Humbird Lumber Co.” were engaged in fighting the fires.

“Two truckloads of men and supplies were rushed through here to aid in fighting the blaze that threatens Camp 12 with destructions,” a Priest River correspondent said.

Camp 12 was near Torrell’s Falls on the west branch of the river. The fire there was “assuming alarming proportions.” Another lumber camp, Camp 11, was also in peril.

Another fire was ignited between Priest River and Laclede, along the Great Northern tracks.

Meanwhile, fires were also growing just west of Waitt’s Lake near Valley, and about 3 miles north of Deer Park.

A fire two days earlier nearly obliterated the small town of Milan, near Deer Park.

From the Prohibition beat: A Sandpoint sheriff’s deputy encountered more trouble than he could handle when he tried to arrest a couple near Newport.

He arrived under cover, dressed as a lumberjack, and purchased a drink of liquor. Then he pulled out his badge and announced that Ed “Slim” Drummond and his wife were both under arrest.

The husband whipped out a “wicked-looking knife” and his wife pulled a gun. The unarmed deputy had no choice but to beat a hasty retreat. Unfortunately for him, the couple came after him.

Just when the deputy thought he was pulling away, he was struck hard by some cobblestones, which either broke or dislocated his shoulder. Drummond, it seems, had an accurate pitching arm.

After the deputy returned to headquarters, nursing a painful arm, several other officers went out and arrested both Drummonds. Two gallons of moonshine was confiscated.

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