Below is unprocessed text taken from a scan of our PDF document. It's messy;we know. If you would like to help us clean up these transcripts, please email Devin Becker at email@example.com
This conversation with GEORGE NICHOLS, FRANK HERZOG AND GLEN GILDER took placeat George Nichols home in Harvard on May 28, 1975. The interviewer was SAM SCHRAGER.
SS: Do you guys remember Joe Wells?
HERZOG: You mean up at Deary? Yeah, I knew him, Joe and Chuck and who was theother fellow?
HERZOG: Roy, I think. Roy was a sheepherder. erdiwg Sheep.
NICHOLS: Well, Frank knows a lot more about the country than I do, I left here,I was gone.
HERZOG: In 1917 I went by their place and over the hill and worked at Camp 7out of Deary there. Brush Creek.
NICHOLS: On Brush Creek?
HERZOG: In 1917. And then '19 I worked at Old Gil's camp out of Helmer towardPotlatch down there.
SS: That's Gil Pippin?
SS: What was he like as a foreman? I hear he was a man of few words.
HERZOG: He never said much. Great big guy, he was as strong as a bull. Heonly had one eye; the biggest coward you ever saw. A little bit of a guy chased him right out of the woods.
NICHOLS: Well, he had a camp just above the Flat Creek Ridge up there on thatflat, too, but I was here in the shop. I used to go out with George with horses. Take a horse out you know, that had been crippled and take him out and bring others back, and I had my own cayuse, you know and I used to go out and help him.
HERZOG: You mean out of Deary back toward the Vassar Meadows, don't you?
NICHOLS: No, we went in - back in there on the flat about, oh, as near as Ican remember about half way between the Ham place and the bridge. I never was in there but once, we took some horses in there for him.
HERZOG: I knew he had a camp back in there someplace.
SS: Big Gil was a coward even though he was a big man. I thought he wasjust a real tough guy.
HERZOG: When I was working out of Helmer there, they had a highline bringingin logs.
NICHOLS: Well, you see them camps was put in after I left here. See when theytook the headquarters away from here, they took it to Bovill- and that's when they went to donkey engines. They sold off half their horses, you know, picked out the poorest ones and sold them, because I helped take them to Potlatch, too. And they started Number 7 and Number 8 up there. Well, Number 8 was donkey camp and and Number 7 was horse camp, and I went up there and I worked a couple of months I guess Camp 7 and then I come down here 'z the Fourth of July celebration and that was in 1907. Then I left here, see, and I didn't come back for eight years. And this one camp over here was the first one- well, that and 7 was the only ones that I worked in. I come from this camp over here and into the harness shop and worked here in the shop til they closed that.
GILDER: How many camps did they have in this area? They had one back ofBennett's there someplace. That's the one you were- you carried lunch to.
Miohob: No, I carried for this up here. Went right over the hill there- theThompson place and down onto the river, followed the skidding trail. Had one horse and a sled.
GILDER: Now, was there one over on that place of Ben Stewart's, where thatspring is over there on the flat, on the old fcruNt Joe place? Was there a camp there?
HERZOG: Naw, there was an old fellow there just had a little tie camp. What'shis name now?
NICHOLS: That's what I was going to say, there was little tie camps around.
HERZOG: Lusk or—?
NICHOLS: Jimmy Lusk he run camp for-Where you used to live.
HERZOG: I can't think of it now.
GILDER: What camp did they log Jerome Creek from? Four? What camp loggedJerome Creek?
HERZOG: Oh, I think that most of 'em stayed up in the camp up Maple Creek.See, they had a road right over the hill, a little hump between the two of 'em. And I think that the most of 'em stayed there. They used to have a road, you know that run up through our place; and right that ridge clear through to camp. And they had a branch up Maple Creek, too.I was working for Camp here then and helped him scatter the ties across there, across the flat.
HERZOG: And that camp up where you folks used to live, there must have beensome sign of that there when you come here.
GILDER: Oh, it was all there. Barn, bunkhouse, cookhouse.
NICHOLS: There was one up there, well, on the Tom Eggers place.
HERZOG: Yeah. And this one up here.
GILDER: : That must have been about all of them in this area.
NICHOLS: That one on the Malcolm place, that was closed up the first year Iwas here. There was a fellow- had a watchman in there, but I don't think it ever run after that started up again, did it? I know a cou ple of the David boys, well, Pete and Henry and Fred Little and I, we was out hunting and didn't take no lunch with us, if we didn't get back figured we'd hit the camp over there. I don't remember who was staying there watching the camp, and we hit him up for some lunch.
SS: What time period is this that we're talking about? With the campsthat were running down here? About what year would this be? Years?
GILDER: 1906 to '08, wasn't it George?
NICHOLS: '05 to '06. Because I left here in '07, so I don't know anything aboutit after that.
SS: What about that? You came here when they first-
NICHOLS: When the railroad was going in, and that was in 1904.
SS: How did you happen to come here?
NICHOLS: Doing railroad work, I was too darn small to getAanything else to doand I lived over north of Spokane, over at Deer Park, so I come over and 1 got on in Palouse, leading carts there just out of Palouse, and they got them finished I come on up to Princeton, see, they had the grade camp down there on the Chaney place and you come in across French John's and then across there, you know, and the camp was there on that flat. See, we changed that river channel right there by used to come in there and the water backs up in there yet, comes in through there, we used to make that curve in there. Changed the channel there to do away with that just put that culvert in there.
GILDER: Took care of two bridges.
NICHOLS: And then we come from there- we come up here right over here on theCanfield place. It was right there on the flat below the hill just this side of the cut. Of course, the river it come over on the other side; it was just a little stream come*through there then and they had the camp, that is the cooktents and that stuff, they had them out on the flat and then on this side of the creek they had the stables and the skinners' tents in there and surveyors had camps there and Jim Ham was cooking for 'em at that time.
SS: Did you hear- was the company advertising then for men to come in andwork?
SS: How did you find out about the work here?
NICHOLS: Oh, I knowed a fellow that was over here. Heard through him. I wasjust a kid then. I don't know, sixteen, seventeen.
SS: Can you remember what it was like when you first came here? Was therea lot of activity, hustling and bustling around?
NICHOLS: Well, this town wasn't here then. It wasn't started til afterwards.That was the days when you went with your bed on your back. Things a lot different now today.
SS: Potlatch was just being built when you first came here then?
NICHOLS: They were just putting up the frame of the mill when I come from Palouse. I walked from Palouse up to Princeton with my bed on my back. Bed was bigger than I was! I don't know, I don't suppose I weighed more than 75, 80 pounds. I never did weigh 100 pounds til I was twenty-two! Wheeled scrapers in this dump, I couldn't look over the top of 'em! (Chuckles)
SS: Do you remember- were you here when the mill first came in? When itwas built?
HERZOG: Was I what?
SS: Were you here when the mill was built?
GILDER: He was born here.
NICHOLS: No, two years old.
GILDER: I thought you were born here.
NICHOLS: I did, too.
SS: What do you remember about that? What happened in the area?
HERZOG: Damn, I don't know.
SS: Was there a lot of new people coming in? Did they put the mill upfast? Was it over night or did it take a long time, or what?
HERZOG: No, if I remember right, it didn't take too long.
NICHOLS: No, it went up pretty fast.
NICHOLS: And they came in pretty quiet. They just came in, did their job.
GILDER: What they done, you know, that was the story anyhow; there was a feller come in, you see, Old Man Peterson had the place there where Bot cher used to live. He owned that land over there and there was pot holes all over it. About all it was good for was pasture and of course there wasn't much pasture then. They didn't have the cattle. And this fellow come in and he just looked like an average man, you know, and he looked the land over and went and talked to Peterson, told him he was looking for a place to start a mink farm, I think it was, and he said that looked like that would be a good place for them on account of those sloughs in there, you know and the water. Old Man Peterson told him, well, that it wasn't much good for anything else and if some body could make some use of it, why, guess they just as well have it. And I guess he sold it to him pretty cheap and just a short time after that, why, here they come in and started surveying for the mill! No, that darn place down there- you take all around that mill, all through there- like when they put in water pipes or anything, there was old slabs and all that stuff, that's the way they filled 'em up and then dirt on the top of that. The whole darn thing was a mess of sloughs. There was a fellow here the other night from Teko*, I can't remember his name- well, names don't mean much to me- he was- used to live out on the mainline there and then come back. I showed him a picture of just where the river run.
Oh, yeah, I can remember that, too.
SS: He drove logs there then before the mill came? Right?
Oh, yeah, they drove them to Palouse.
They bought out another outfit, you see. This other outfit had threemills; one at Palouse and one at Alverson(? and I guess the other was at Colfax, wasn't it Frank?
HERZOG: That's right. And the Potlatch had a dam in. They logs downto that dam and then loaded them out here on that track.
NICHOLS: Well, we used to drive on through before the tracks was there.
NICHOLS: Well, they did a couple of years afterwards. The only loaders theyhad see when I left here was them on the flatcars, them- oh, what the deuce was it they called 'em? They was on big skids, you know, and they just slid 'em along on the flatcars. Had donkey engine on 'em.
NICHOLS: Slide ass, thats it. The old slide ass.
SS: Did they do much logging before Potlatch came in here? Did Codd logvery much in this country?
HERZOG: Oh, they done some but not too much. Well, that's when they drove thelogs down to Palouse from the start. They had a mill in Palouse. And they had another one, too.
SS: Was Colfax the other one? I think it was Colfax.
NICHOLS: Yeah, and one at Elberton.
GILDER: Who was that? Codd?
HERZOG: I think that was the name. There wasn't too much logging going ontil the Potlatch come in here.
SS: What were these river drives like that they used to have? Was it alot of lumber and a lot of- did it take a lot of men?
SS: Then it wasn't anything like the Clearwater drives, of course?
NICHOLS: They used to have pretty good drives. See, they used to make that drivefor all three of them mills when they made their drive. These flats up here, they used to be all under water just like a big lake. I think 1907, wasn't it? That Potlatch made their last drive?
HERZOG: I think-
NICHOLS: They had quarters here. The track had a Y in there whereare now, to turn their engines. They had the little shay engines for the sidelines for bringing the cars into the mainline. That's one of the little shay engines down there in Lewiston, setting there in that little park, only they've taken the side drives off of it. It don't look like they did. See instead of like the big engines,Athey was geared down, you know. And they had pistons on the side and gears down there.
HERZOG: Was there a Vern Farris living up by the schoolhouse when you was here?Just across from where
NICHOLS: Well, there was two cabins in there when I was here and the one fellow,I don't remember what his name was- I can't think of the other fellow's name now- Margaret Benson and I was talking about it over there in the hospital- he used to work. See Davids logged up Maple Creek there, the Old Man David and Pat has a contract in their time and the Old Man pulled out. Travis or something like that was the guy's name. Him and-
HERZOG: I remember, he and his wife lived there, that Farris, and she decidedthat- see, the old shay went right by there and went up Maple Creek, and she decided she was going to raise some chickens. So she set three or four hens out there and that old shay going by! There didn't one of 'em hatch! (Chuckles)
NICHOLS: Them old tracks was pretty rough anyr , it was mostly handworklevel 'em up you know, did just the best they could. Well, a big engine wouldn't a stayed on the track.
SS: It's a wonder they did, isn't it?
NICHOLS: They'd squeal. When they was coming, you could hear 'em squealing fortwo miles! That's why they had the Y down there, to turn their en gines. They'd come in headed down, well then they'd go in from this way and back out on the other spur, you see, and they was headed back again.
HERZOG: They had one up at Bovill, too.
SS: Did these towns, Harvard, Princeton start out as soon as the railroads got in here? As soon as they got the track in town?
NICHOLS: Yeah, this- they started up pretty quick after that. Course, theynever made what they figured- they thought them mines was going to make a big thing at that time and they figured they was going to run a railroad up there to the mines, up the North Fork of the river, or up the main branch of the Palouse. But the mines didn't turn out that way.
SS: Did they think Harvard was going to be a real town?
NICHOLS: Oh, yeah, they figured it then, oh, yeah. It probably would have beena pretty good little town if the mines had turned out like they figured.
SS: Yeah, or if they'd left the logging operation here instead of goingon up farther.
NICHOLS: Of course the Gold Bug Mine and the Daisy Mine was running at that time,
SS: That's interesting, they came in about 1905; the mining was still pretty healthy, looked pretty good, the future of it.
NICHOLS: I guess the Gold Bug and the Daisy both was doing pretty good at thattime. I know there was a couple of fellows working up there at this camp out of town here and they had mined quite a lot and they left the camp and went up to the Gold Bug to work. And one of 'em, I tal ked him after he went up there and he said they was making it good up there. But I guess they lost the vein finally the vein run out.
HERZOG: I often wondered if they ever found anything to amount to anything inthat Gold Bug.
NICHOLS: He said they was doing good, said they was getting out pretty good atthat time. Whether they lost the vein or whether the vein run out, why, don't know. Course- what was his name that was there last? He was just right onto it-
NICHOLS: Pernell, he was going to hit it right away, he was just a little waysfrom it, but he never did hit it.
HERZOG: He never did have anything, I know that.How about the Miz pah, did that ever- They shipped out of there, some ore, but it didn't amount to much. The Miz pah, it didn't amount to much, they did ship some ore out of there, didn't they?
HERZOG: Yeah, a little, I guess, but not very much. You mean the Miz ,pah?Yeah, one year they shipped a little bit.
NICHOLS: Yeah, they built up, put that loading dock over there. And then theJews tried it, during the Depression, they shipped out some but they couldn't- it's rich in copper but there isn't enough other metals with it to make it pay, that's what the trouble was. You see, the they had a stamp mill and everything up there.
SS: There were Jews mining in there during the Depression?
NICHOLS: The Jew outfit in Spokane they bought up all those old mines and thatore that they shipped, that was taken out of the slag pile from what they'd hauled out, and Mizpah, young Mizpah, he said if they could even get the- enough out of it for the shipping, why they might get the thing started and make it pay. But I think he shipped two carloads and clidn't even get enough out of it to pay for the shipping. And then this other outfitithey had the same luck and they give it up and I guess they still own the mine as far as I know.
GILDER: Marvin Darrel, do you know him? Well, you knew his dad, Curley?
GILDER: He's up in the Coeur d'Alene and he's buying all thatAstock he can geteven yet.
NICHOLS: He is?
GILDER: Yeah. He had a lot of faith in it.
NICHOLS: Well, Curley he had a lot of faith in mining, too. I don't know, theyjust get the bug that way.
GILDER: Yes, I think so.
NICHOLS: Well, you know^on Gold Hill where they drilled for that steel and theyclaim that was good, with the core drills, you know. You remember here, well, it isn't too many years ago, I think Arch Kinman and sever al of them had quite a little in that. And the same way with that upftby the Mizpah and above that was two brothers lived up in there and one of 'em had a family, and they was prospecting around. Well, they prospected all up in that country and they claimed they had struck it rich up in there and so they tried to make a deal with the Kellogg outfit and they come down and looked it oyer. Well, these brothers they hadn't looked into the ownership of the land or anything, you know, they didn't know anything about that and the mining outfit remember that because there was quite a lot in the paper while that was going on. But they just went and got a lease on the land and these guys that had struck it they couldn't do anything, you know, didn't get anything, thought they was going to get a big dig and they didn't get anything. - Well, who was it- somebody was telling me just a short time ago that they hunted all over that country up there and they said there's cores just all over up there. They brought big outfits in there and core drilled, you know. And they give it up, but that don't mean anything, they might have it there and it like that til thye're ready to work it.
GILDER: Could easily be.
SS: Do you ever know of any of those mines that did hit it big? Thatyielded big in gold?
HERZOG: They sure did up on the Hoodoos in gold. That was placer mining.
NICHOLS: They pretty good, weren't they?
GILDER: Did them guys do pretty good in there?
HERZOG: Some of 'em done pretty goodAthere. Old George Stetnus made money.
NICHOLS: Yeah. Of course, they was placer mining. That's where the money wasmade was placer mining. Well, I guess the Chinamen made-
HERZOG: The Chinamens they got gold up there.
NICHOLS: One thing, them, I guess, couldn't get out of the country with it.
HERZOG: They got a story agoing- there was a bunch of Chinks out on CamasPrairie, you know, and they have a story going around that some guy went in there and killed the whole bunch and took their gold. Six or seyen of 'em, Gilder: I think that's right, we've all heard that.
NICHOLS: Well, that fellow that I was telling you from Tekoa was here the othernight. He was telling me that some oldtimer, whoever he got these pictures from, told him that they caught a fellow that killed a- some of them Chinamen and they had a trial in that log cabin for him and hung him.
SS: Here in this country?
NICHOLS: Yeah, down there by Potlatch, well, the cabin set right there wherethe mill is.
HERZOG: Iknow that Old Man Kinman up here}he used to haul oh, eggs and porkand a bunch of junk up there and sell it to them Chinks and Gus was just a little fellow then and they wanted Gus and the Old Man he was going to give him to 'em- and it. scared Gus to death! (Chuckles) But, gee, that was before we come here.
SS: Did those Chinamen come in after the Whites had taken the placer, gotmost of the stuff?
HERZOG: Those Chinks, I think was here with the first of 'em, along with therest of 'em. That bunch up there they was here before I was. But they done a lot of digging up there and there's still lots of sign of where they worked that creek all over up there and away back away from it.
NICHOLS: Well that Old Man Pierce, you know, he used to be in there on BoulderCreek and then he had a cabin up there- well, they said it was just about on the line between the- Ernie Shawver and Rams. You know, there used to be a spring back up in there, used to be a little creek run down that road all the time. When the timber was taken off, why, of course- well, there's quite a few of them creeks that dried up af ter the timber was taken of. Used to be one come down there off of your place, you know, in that pocket there, that used to run the year around.
HERZOG: They worked over every creek on this side of the river and didn'tfind hardly anything on the other side.
NICHOLS: Yeah that figures.
HERZOG: Big Creek- no, Strychnine, worked up it, but I don't think they foundtoo much on Strychnine. There was a place up there where they built a trench from one part of the creek clear around the hill to another. But I don't if they found anything or not.
NICHOLS: That was the funny part of it, the Chink never told anybody what hefound. He kept that quiet. While the White man,when he struck it he had to go and have a big hoorah out of it and let everybody know he'd made a strike. What was that ? mine, Frank, was that a gold mine or- you know it used to be up on the middle fork of the Palouse?
HERZOG: Yeah, the old man and his son was placer mining up there. There wasgold up there.
NICHOLS: Well, they had quite a tunnel in there. Had machinery in there, youknow, during the war they got the machinery out of that for scrap metal
HERZOG: I think all the gold they got though was out of the creeks. And thenthey was working that dredge and Kthey got down to Old Poor Man Creek where it come in, they done pretty good right there.
NICHOLS: Well, they claimed it was better on up the river but George wouldn'tlet 'em run up that way.
GILDER: I'm glad they didn't, they sure spoiled that valley they was in. .Thatwas sure a pretty place in there.
NICHOLS: Well, they gotthey had to put the land back like it was, put a channel through there for the river.
SS: That must have been some of the most beautiful picnic area in anywheres in this country.
NICHOLS: Used to be that the drive up that river this side of the North Fork,big cedars over the road there that you couldn't see the sun lots of times.
SS: I don't know, I just can't get excited about going there and picnickingand swimming, because I know that with all the tailings it just isn't natural any more.
No, that was covered with pretty nice timber. The old road didn't goup the river like it does now, it was up on a ridge, up on the top of the hill there and came back down to the river there right below Poor Man.
I used to make me quite a stake up there, come down and get me,you know, and I'd go in and drive the grader team for him. Make sometimes thirty bucks. Jesus Christ, that was big money for a kid. When I left the shop I went up- they sent me up with a surveyor to help sur veying out them Copper King Mines, you know, it was all over them hills. Boy, that was a job cutting trail in there and when the surveyors got finished they sent me out down to here to the livery stable to get a team to get them out. I walked down in the morning and went back in the afternoon with the team. Walked out from the Copper King.
GILDER: The Copper King, where was that? That was on up the ridge from theMizpah?
NICHOLS: No, it was below the Mizpah, just before you started up the hill.
SS: Did you ever hear stories about the lost mines and money buried in thehills?
HERZOG: I don't think so around here. I never heard^any.
NICHOLS: I didn't either. You can hear them stories most anywhere, it seems like.You know, if anybody got any money out of these mines by robbing it or working it or anyother system they spent it right away.
SS: I heard that Adam Carico was up in the mines for an awfully long time,even after he lost his sight eh stayed up there for years. He did. Then they took him to the poor farm and I know he tried to get Roy Guernsey to sign papers to get him out so he could go back up there, He was on the county and they used to get their groceries from Roy be fore they took him away.
SS: That doctor in Palouse he had quite a story going there for quite awhile on that Lost Wheelbarrow Mine.
That was just a promotion, a money finagling scheme, a That s what itwas, they was going to have a school in there and a town. Had that old wheelbarrow and the old rifle they found where one guy had killed the other and that was Johnny Browning's old rifle, he'd been out hunting and I guess it was an old army rifle, and the thing backfired, throwed powder in his face, and I guess he bent it over a stump and left it there! That was the rifle they had.
SS: What's the story on that? This doctor in Palouse was promoting themine I
Yes. The best place to get the dope on that is to go back to themold numbers of the Palouse Republic or the Daily Idahonian in Moscow. They even got it all down in black and white.
I remember when it was going on. »But I didn't believe in it and noneof it registered very good.
SS: You didn't belieye it at the time?
No. Did you?
NICHOLS: No. I didn't know anything about it. AThere was a lot of them put alot of money in that though.
Oh, sure there was.
I think Old George put a lot in that.
Yeah, could have.
I guess he was a convincing talker. Hell, he got a lot of money outI don't know where they got the skeleton. It was a doctor, probably one that he'd got through with and nobody would pick it up.
SS: What's the deal with being the Lost Wheelbarrow Mine?
NICHOLS: That's the mine we were just talking about.
SS: Yeah, but I mean, why did he have to have a gun and a skeleton and awheelbarrow?
NICHOLS: Well, they claimed that two fellows had this mine, was working it,and that one of 'em killed the other and left him in the mine and then he skipped the countryAwith all the gold. AAnd this fellowwhat was it? This fellow that was supposed to have skipped, did hewasn't he supposed to have come back again and he was old and he con fessed that he had killed the other fellow and tell them all about it? Seems to me that's the way it was.
I think so.
SS: And then this doctor discovered the mine?
NICHOLS: Yeah, they went up and found the mine and found the skeleton there.Well, they had the wheelbarrow down in the bank window down there, did n't they? In Potlatch. One of the old wooden wheelbarrows. Some of these old-timers in the early days they was just as full of b.s. as they are today.
SS: Oh, come on, it was as bad as today?
NICHOLS: Yeah, there wasn't quite so many of them then, they made it a littlemore realistic than today. Well, we had the mine fizzles and the logs pretty well played out, but by golly, she had a pretty good little agricultural area here. It's turned out pretty good for quite a few. Hasn't turned out so good this year, has it?
No, it isn't, pretty wet. .You got your crop in?Colder:
Yes. lucky, just by the skin of my teeth.
No garden to speak of.
Don't think anybody s got gardens around here.
SS: When did you work in the woods? Around here?
HERZOG: I didn't, not right here.
SS: Well, whereabouts? You were over working for Big Gil.
HERZOG: Deary and Bovill and Helmer. Yeah, you ought to seen that timber aroundBovill, You don't see no more timber like that.
NICHOLS: Three logs on a flatcar. Big white pine.
HERZOG: It wasn't nothin' to get ahold of a log of white pine clear 1,000feet in it.
NICHOLS: Hardly any brush in the country at that time.
HERZOG: Hardly any limbs on 'em, grew so dang tall and grew so thick. Itdidn't take 'em long to slaughter.
GILDERS: They just went through the country and took the face off of this andthen pulled out and went up there. I wonder why.
NICHOLS: Well, of course, this other outfit had logged around here quite alittle, I don't know, it was big timber here. I suppose they figured they had more timber up here. And I suppose later they got in here and some of this timber had growed up, got bigger, too. I don't know what there was around here, I don't know what the deal was. Well, like now, as soon as a piece of ground gets a tree or two on to make a toothpick or two, why, they log it again. Course, what they done then, at that time, you see, they couldn't log this steep land with the horses and then after they got into the donkeys, why, they could come back and log this steep land. Up there they used highline didn't they with the donkeys up there at 8? emitter: 8 and 14.
NICHOLS: Was one of them big donkey engines, they brought it over from thecompany, see they got them big donkeys first like they used on the coast in that big timber and they was too big for this timber here, the most of it. If they'd hit a stump or something when they was a draggin' in, why the chokerdcut it right in two and keep on a going. But that R.K. Orchard Company when they was a clearing that land over there they thought one of them donkey engines'd be great for clearing land. Come over here and bought one of them donkey en- gines and they unloaded it below Deer Park at a little town they called Pratt, there isn't much there any more, and started out there from the town with this donkey and I don't think they got any farther than from here to where Becker lives up there now with the thing, course that's gravel, you know, rocky soil over there and they just pulled the. anchor stumps they couldn't get nowhere, the anchor stumps wouldn't hold it. And that thing was settin' there- the last I ever knowed, it set out there for years and years.
HERZOG: Yeah, they left them old donkeys all around in the brush, k Oh, downtowards Marbel Creek and in there there was three or four settin' round. And then Blackwell logged on top of the hump there, oh, out from Fernwood, they logged clear around there and come down Crystal Creek with the shay. And when they got through on top they let the shays down the other side into Mica Creek and used them down there and the same way with the donkeys. And they got through on Mica Creek they left the whole works settin' there, shays and all.
Yeah, that's right. I seen 'em. Used to go back in there huckleberrying and fishin'.
That's probably one of their old donkeys that's in St. Maries.
HERZOG: That's such a road in there now, I think they cut the old shays upfor jumk. The donkeys are gone, too. There's one down around- there's still oen down on Bustle Creek.
That's right, it's on the little creek that they call Bear Creek rightback of the falls.
Yeah, I got a picture of my wife standing on it, like she was runningI ain't nothing it, but it's been so there but the boiler anymore. I think John East can tell you where all that stuff went, I don't know.
You ain't insinuating, are you?
SS: You worked for these first camps after the railroad was built in?You worked for them? You had work with the cooking?
NICHOLS: I worked out here in the first camp out of Harvard here. I worked inthe kitchen a while flunking and I couldn't stand to work inside, so then I was a corral hound. Took care of the stables.
SS: Did you tell us last time we were here about bringing out the mealsto the men, while they were working in the woods?
NICHOLS: Yeah, that^s what I was talking about a while ago, that's when theyhad the lunch grounds down on the- the one I said I had the pictures of- they had that down on the river.
SS: What would the food be?
NICHOLS: Well, they didn't carry lunches then like they do now, see, they tookout a hot meal to 'em all the time. And they had these big 50 pound lard cans. Well, lard and different stuff used to come in 'em, they had a lid on 'em, you know. And they took the meal right hot off the stove and put it into these cans. A different kind of food into different cans, see, and then in front of this sled they had a cupboard built up there with shelves in it. That was for the pies. There was al ways pies that they took out at noon. And they put the pies in there, well, these cans, they'd take an old quilt, called 'em soogans then, and laid one of them down in the bottom of the sled and then put these cans on top of that and cover 'em up with some more of them quilts and then the dishes was all tinware, you see. They'd have them in a box. Well, they built a table down there out of poles and they had a place for a campfire and a big kettle for that. There was a lot of French Canadians then in the camps and of course, they all wanted tea, so there was tea and coffee both for breakfast and supper, but for noon, why, it was all tea. Well, I'd take the tea out dry in a can too, and they'd send a man in from the woods about eleven o'clock and he'd start the fire up there and put the water in this kettle and when I- in time so I'd get out there just a little ahead of time, you know, well, I'd put the tinware all up on this table and then when the men come in, why, I'd throw the tea in the pot- they liked it strongit would float a wedge, and when they was all there and ready to eat, why, I'd just take these quilts off the top of the cans and the lids off and put one of them big, long spoons in each can and everybody helped theirselves. forked
HERZOG: I was trying to think where the hell it was that I. hauled the lunchout with the team. Can't remember where the hell it was at!
NICHOLS: They used to haul it out on the drive, too, you know.
HERZOG: Yeah. I know.
NICHOLS: When they was driving logs on the river. Every driver he had a littlesack that he carried between his shoulders with the lunch in it and then they'd have a certain place that they'd meet where it was handy for the bunch of ) to get there, you know, and start a fire there and they'd haul a hot meal out that way to 'em.
SS: Well, on those drives, would they log during the winter and haul 'emdown and deck 'em on the bank? Is that what they'd do?
NICHOLS: Well, they'd deck 'em out in the woods and sleigh haul 'em in the winter, unless they was close enough to the river that they could skid em or dray 'em in. Those go-devils. Well, they had dollies, too wheels on a two-wheeled dolly. They d make wheels out of wood, a chunk off the log the size, thickness through they wanted and then put iron bands around them. Bore a hole through the center for the axle.
HERZOG: Where in the devil was it I read in some book someone was telling aboutthe.logging and telling about those dollies, and they said they had iron wheels. That was all baloney, it was wood with iron hoops around 'em.
NICHOLS: Yeah, that's right.
GILDER: Yeah, well, I'll tell you, Frank, I was reading.lately about a wagontraveling across this area right here between Walla Walla and the Dalles and this writer was telling about having trouble with the brakes on that wagon? they were on the front wheels. Now when in hell did. see a brake on the front wheel of a wagon? (Chuckles)
writing up the country that had just been in here two or threeyears, and they knowed all about it.
Here, I guess it was just last year, just to give you an instance,there was a fella, he set down one day and I was talking to him and he was telling all about the Legion Cabin down there. Who built that and when it was built, the whole thing. And I never opened my mouth I just set there and let him talk and when he got through I said, "it so happened that I worked on that when they was building it." Well, he told what outfit built it, and I said, "That's the American Legion Cabin," and I said, "if you looked outside on the fireplace, you'll see the plate there that'll give you the year that it was built and everything." And I told him, I said, "I worked on that and worked on it all through when they was building the thing." Well, not all through, but putting in the foundation and all that. There was four fellows from St.Maries that done the log work, the wall work.
NICHOLS: No Sitkus didn't build it.
NICHOLS: No, they were four big Swedes from St. Maries that just made a business of that. And them logs are all v'd underneath, and then that heavy oakum and tar put in there, you, and when you turn 'em over on the round side, the more they settle the tighter they get. But that's just the way it is with a lot of this stuff.
SS: Glen, what was the name of that horsethief- was that Plummer?
No, Plummer was the head of quite a gang, yeah. Henry Plummer,it's told, had a route through this country. That old cabin at Camp, that old log cabin on the hill was supposed to belong to Plummer. Is that right?
GILDER: That old log cabin on the top of the hill
HERZOG: Oh, yeah, that was old- there was one guy stayed there, name was Robinson- no, it's somebody else.
GILDER: No,Robinson was down this side. Well, anyway-
HERZOG: I don't remember any beyond that, between Drizzle Camp- which road doyou mean? The old county road?
GILDER: Yeah, it was close to the old county road going to the Hoodoos. Thecabin was beyond the meadow east of the camp proper, you know the old meadow camp there? I've heard that that was a Henry Pummer outfit but I don't know.
NICHOLS: We do know that Henry Plummer made trips from up there, too, I don't knowif he had a cabin or not.
GILDER: Yeah, Bill and John and Ed- lived up there in the cabin for years.
Somebody jumped Bill's when he was in the Harvest, see, that's whathe told me and he never done a thing about it, just let it go and that's when they come down to that other place.
HERZOG: Just like the Canfields, you know. They used to live down here by theriver before they built that house up here. Down here on the river. And Old Albert Daly, he lived down in the flats.
NICHOLS: Yes, that's right, way down there.
HERZOG: Had a barn down there.
NICHOLS: There where the big barn used to be.
GILDER: Log cabin there.
NICHOLS: Well the Canfield house was over here right out thewhen they put the railroad in. It was still standing there when they went through that cut the railroad.
HERZOG: Uh-huh, some old apple trees set there yet.
SS: I've heard that Canfield is the one that named Harvard.
NICHOLS: He did.
GILDER: He owned this place up here.
HERZOG: Yes, it was his land.
He named it Maple Creek, he didn't name it Harvard, did he?
HERZOG: Part of his farm. I think he donated a lot to the damn railroad anyway.
NICHOLS: He donated ten acres to 'em. I know we was scattering ties out therewhen Bill Deary and I think it was T. P. Jones was with him, and they just come off the floatage up there, they was looking for a place to build a depot. Well, they had figured, you know on putting the mill up there and.decided they didn't have room, and anyhow they stopped there and they asked Canfield what he'd take for enough land over here to build a depot. And he studied a little bit and he said, "Well, if you'll build a depot there and warehouse," he said, "I'll just deed you ten acres." Well, there was a lot of 'em they all laughed at him, but he told me after they went on, he said, "If they'll put a depot and warehouse there, I figure that's the richest piece of land I've sold." He said, "Before if they wanted to go anywhere,, had to drive out, put the team in the barn and pay on that. come back again, no matter how long they was gone." And here, he said, "All I've got to do is walk down there to the depot and get on the train and go." He said, "And the same when I come back." And he said, "I can take my hay to the warehouse there and grain and put it in the warehouse, and I'Ve got a place here for wood, too, when I bring wood out." And he said, "I don't think I could do any better than that."
GILDER: Yes, actually, he couldn't.
NICHOLS: No, he couldn't.
SS: Right to his door.
Yeah. Well, he just brought that market twenty-five miles towards hisdoor, didn't it?
NICHOLS: Yeah, he used to haul the hay to Palouse, five dollars a ton. Haul cordwood to Palouse, they got two, two-and-a half.
HERZOG: remember, up here during that depression, they hauled itto Paulouse for two-and-a half dollars.
NICHOLS: That's what I say.
GILDER: .Have to work with four horses for two days to make two dollars and ahalf.
NICHOLS: He had to stay down there overnight.
GILDER: Yeah,and that cost damn near two and a half!(Chuckles)
SS: Did you ever talk to Deary?
NICHOLS: No, he wasn't a guy that done much talking. He was pretty much allbusiness. He was a rough old cuss. One thing, though, if a man had a grief he'd stick up for you. That's one thing about the old boy. But he was a guy that worked from the bottom up, he was just tough and ready to go, he'd scrap you in a minute if you'd sass him.
HERZOG: I never talked to - Old Deary. I've seen him a good many times.Old Laird, I've talked him a lot of times.
SS: Well, what was he like? Laird.
NICHOLS: That'd depend on who you talk to.
HERZOG: All business; that's all he thought about, the way it looked to me.He had Potlatch on his brain and that was it!
NICHOLS: Course, Laird a lot more for the little stump than anybodythey've had since. Laird said that anybody that had bought land from the Potlatch was entitled to graze their stock.over the Potlatch land. Well, as soon as he was out and that guy that got in there next, why he started right in, you see, to lease the land out. He said Potlatch didn't owe the people anything and there was no reason why they should have free pasture. I don't know, I went to Laird once about cedar, when I couldn't get cedar I needed for shakes and I went to see him about it and he give me an order right away, from the land department, 'fa give me an order for cedar.
HERZOG: That's getting .now, shake timber. Been putting it all into thesedamned fences.
NICHOLS: Always seemed such a shame that they tore cedar grove out. That wasone of the prettiest places in the country. And Bert sold it to a cedar savage and that ended the cedar grove in a hurry.
SS: Where was that?
NICHOLS: That was up Jerome Creek.
HERZOG: Meadow Creek.
NICHOLS: Or Meadow Creek, I should say.
HERZOG: Yeah, you could walk up that creek before they cut any of the timberand it was just dark in there. Cedar and white pine.
NICHOLS: Well, Big Creek was the same way.
NICHOLS: And old Brunk when he logged in there on Big Creek, you know, a lotthem great, big white pines he felled if they was a little bit doty why, some trees they never took a log out of 'em. Sure a lot of good timber wasted there.
SS: Sometimes I get the feeling that if Potlatch had been more careful,thought ahead more when they were cutting there would still be a lot more timber left nowadays than there is. Seems like they have a hard time finding timber today.
NICHOLS: If they'd a done different, it'd been different in a lot of ways. Ifthey'd a seeded in the timber like other companies before them did on their skid roads and all that stuff they wouldn't a had all the wash. I know up there north of place, you remember that road used to be right north of me? You could drive clear back up in there, and there during the war they went back in there and logged that, was using them pans, you know, and that was all J they'd a seeded that when the fall rains come it would a growed up.
GILDER: Yes, it would have.
NICHOLS: And the last time I was down there, that was washed out the fullwidth of that road and some places it was as much as ten feet deep. Well, everywhere they logged, it was just the same way.
HERZOG: Do you remember that old log chute up-
HERZOG: Ruby Creek? Dad built that. Hued
SS: They didn't use log chutes that many places, did they?
NICHOLS: Oh, yes, they did. They had log chutes-
HERZOG: They didn't have too many around here.
NICHOLS: There was one the river and then there was one below.
HERZOG: Elk River was a great place for log chutes.Gilder: Yes.
HERZOG: had to have fairly steep ground, you know, And then if it wastoo steep and they wanted to slow 'em up, why, they put them goosenecks in the chute. Bored the hole and it set like that, cut up like that and come back here and went down through the chute. Didn't you ever see one?
GILDER: Yes. We've all seen 'em.
HERZOG: The logs come around and they'd hit that and it'd slow 'em up, see.Tear the bark off of 'em, the wood,
NICHOLS: Never had any of 'em on this chute over here. That'* where Vern Halllolt his foot was over here on this one.
GILDER: I guess that's right.
SS: How did that happen?
NICHOLS: Oh, there was a jam. The thing come around, made a curve in there;instead of being so's it would throw the logs out into the current go down, it would throw 'em out agin the current and they jammed in there and of course, they signaled back to hold the logs and they was breaking that jam out and this fellow, he was a standing on a log; see if they could get a log loose they'd pry it down with the peavy, get it started and he was standing up on a log and they had the other one just pried away aways and the guy on top, why he got in a hurry, he didn't wait for his signal and he started the logs down, course they didn't see 'em coming and they hit all these behind, you know, and they hit that'n, why they said it just throwed him up off the log and he come right down with his foot in between them two logs; just smashed the foot to a pulp.
GILDER: Moore, lost his arm about the same way up there on that slide,at Avon Featherstone.
NICHOLS: No, that was Old Frank that caused that. He was hookingon the jammer and Frank signaled before Sylvan had his hook set where it should be; just caught the edge, you see and raised the log and of course that just throwed Sylvan off his balance and the log come down right on his arm. And Old Frank, he had no business giving any sig nals at all. That wasn't his business. He was an important son of a gun.
GILDER: Well, he was like Old Josh Helmer when Josh was running that warehousein Bovill. I was in after a load of hay and he said- he was the only man the Potajltch had that would work, he was gyppoing that warehouse in Bovill, and hell, he didn't do a day's work in a month! (Chuckles)
NICHOLS: Well, see, Frank was under T. P. Jones. And he come in the shop thereone day and they d set a bunch of ties down the river and they jammed over there on the flat, and he come in the shop there and he told me to go over and break that jam. Gee, I didn't have no shoes, just light shoes, you know, and not used to being out in that sun, either. And Old T. P. found it out and he told Frank Featherstone to keep his nose out of it, that I was working that harness shop, I wasn t driving. Frank never had no use for me after that!
SS: Well, was he the same man that had the employment agency in Spokane?
Yup. He finally got out here to Potlatch someway, I guess they let himout. Well, however- he got out. But he got into a pretty good thing up there, too. Got 'em coming and going; dollar or two each way. I think he was broke at that, though. I expect, I don't know. I saw him up there once, but I don't know he knowed me or not, I didn't jog his mind any way, met him on the street and kept agoing.
SS: What were the camps like; the first camps?
HERZOG: Yeah, yeah, that was something! Yeah, them great big old stoves,just a log shack; no floor. Great, big, old stove in the middle; woodstove. And the bunks was straw on the ground and then they'd come in all wet and everything and hang them old socks around that stove.
NICHOLS: That was nice if you were sleeping in the top bunk, wasn't it?
HERZOG: Bedbugs and lice! I tell you the Wobblies done something when theystraightened out that mess!
Yes, they did.
NICHOLS: They didn't even have a tub and a washboard to do your washing withif you wasn't where you could get it done by somebody.
HERZOG: No place to take your bath!
NICHOLS: If you wanted a bath you got a bucket of water and stripped off inthe bunkhouse and took a sponge bath!
HERZOG: It was awful!
NICHOLS: If they wanted men, you was walking in, towteam come along they couldpick you up and give you a ride in, but if you quit or got canned you was walking out, why, if the towdriver picked you up, he'd get canned!
HERZOG: And they worked ten hours a day, too. And in the wintertime you gotout there before it was daylight, even if you couldn't see to do any thing.
NICHOLS: Yeah, you stayed the same, at night. At night when you couldn't see todo anything you still had to stay there.
HERZOG: Yup. Ten hours a day.
And six days a week. And lots of us used to work on Sunday so thatwe didn't have to pay board for a dead day. That board went on the same Sunday and all, whether you was working or not. And if you was off a day your board was charged just the same.
HERZOG: I don't remember what the hell they paid. It was two and a half aday, wasn't it? Around here then? Gilder Echols'-
Well, I expect about that. .It depends on what you was doing.
HERZOG: Yup. I mean the general wages.
NICHOLS: I know when I was out. swamp,. , we got a dollar and a half and thehook man, they got two and a half. Depended pretty much on— and I don't know what the sawyers did get, I guess about two or two and a half.
HERZOG: I worked up at Bovill once on the cat landing, when they first got theCats, using the cant hook and I got double time. I jumped him for more money; hard work and just two of us handling 90,000 feet a day, and "Oh, he says, Frank I can't raise your wages," he said, "but I'll give you double time." So I stayed there all summer.
Who was running it then? Radcliff, or was that before Radcliff's time?
Who was running the camp, Frank? Was that Radcliff or was that beforeRadcliff's time?
HERZOG: You mean what age was I?
GILDER: Yeah, what foreman did you have there?
HERZOG: Old Tim Fitzpatrick. That's another one in that book. Did you readthat, what is it ..? Trees?
NICHOLS: No, I haven't got to see that. Got to get ahold of that, that's reallypretty good.
HERZOG: That's another one they mentioned a lot of foremens up there at Bovill,a whole lot of 'em and then she left out Old Tim Fitzpatrick and he was one of the oldest ones of the bunch.
GILDER: They never got these from these camps around here either, Lacy or themfellows.
NICHOLS: Big George LaForce was running this one up here when I was here.
SS: Where did these early formen come from? Did they come from the Midwest when Potlatch—?
NICHOLS: There was a lot of 'em come out with Potlatch from back in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
HERZOG: Yeah, lot of 'em come. Hell, some of 'em even come from Maine.
NICHOLS: Yeah. Yes, there was some skinners up here in this camp that come from-I think they was from Minnesota. And they'd worked for Potlatch, I guess, ever since they was big enough to work. But they used to tell how old Weyerhaeuser got his start. He come out from Germany and he worked a couple of years in the woods to learn the logging and then he bought forty acres. And they logged on that forty acres til the government finally stopped him. He just logged everything around him! That's where he got his start.
GILDER: That forty acres was seven miles wid! (Chuckles)
NICHOLS: That's what they used to tell all the time.
GILDER: Well, I don't doubt it a bit, because he did the same damn thing here.I didn't know until just a short time ago how they got all that timber up on the Clearwater. Somebody was telling me about that. I don't know, maybe it's in th book that you was speaking about. They got a man to go in there and take timber claims and then when they proved up on the timber claims, why, they- well, I suppose they staked 'em while they was on the claims and then paid 'em so much for the claims, when they Caved up.
A hundred dollars for a million or two.
SS: Well, how did they get land in here?
SS: But a lot of this land was being homesteaded at the time, wasn't it?
NICHOLS: Well, they bought Hornby out. Shallup out. Hightman, Wuhrman and Commodore Hall.
HERZOG: A lot of 'em was homesteads 0$A then some of 'em bought- like that oldMan Kinman up there, he owned half of the river up there at one time and that depression come along and he'd borrowed money on a lot of it and he lost the whole shebang, excepting that place there on the river.
NICHOLS: Well, a bunch of 'em up Big Creek- see Fred Kinman he was upBig Creek and Waleiders, they was up Big Creek. And the place I had up there, there was two brothers was homesteaded up there and then they- when they proved up, well, one of them had the Hornby place out here, and he lost that during the depression.in 93. Way I knowed that, there was a well up there on the place, part of the old cabins was left there and Dale Sexton he'd been telling what a good well that was. Well, along in the summer it went dry. So, I was going to go down a little deeper in it and see if I could get water. I was working in that and there was a couple of fellows come up the draw and one of 'em told me, he says, "No use of your-" He asked me what I was doing and I told him the well had gone dry and I was going down deeper, "Well," he said, "won't do you any good." And he told me that that was their old home, that his father had homesteaded that and his brother had homesteaded west of there, and he said they used to- they dug that well and they used to use that while it lasted and then they hauled the water up from Boulder Creek. Boulder Creek and Lost Creek was in there together, you know, that was right across from where Hummelson lived there,Nup that draw. There used to be the two creeks run down there, you know the year around. Two little creeks run together and they dried up after they took the timber out. And that Old Pierce, he had a cabin right there in the forks of the— well, that was there til we logged in there, and there, I guess they dozed it out.
SS: Do you have any idea of what the Potlatch paid the homesteaders tobuy the land from them?
GILDER: $150 I heard was about the limit.
SS: People were glad to sell for that?
Well, I don't as they were glad; ghat's all they could get.
SS: Well, Imean, you could hold the land if you wanted to, couldn't you?
NICHOLS: Yeah, but they had to live. There wasn't very, very few of 'em did,but there was damn few. Lenharts up here.
HERZOG: Just like the fishing that was here when I first come here. You godown here to the river and set down at one hole and catch all the fish the whole family could eat.
HERZOG: That was native trout. Wasn't too damn long before they was all goneand then the rainbows took over.
Now about the only rainbows you got is what they plant.
SS: Did people just go and buy land back after Potlatch logged it and soldit off?
NICHOLS: Different people mostly, got it.
GILDER: Yep, a lot of different people.Yes that's right. George, my dad. Well, just the whole country. They logged it and then they sold it. They were done with it. What did that bring?
oh, they were selling a 40 for $650 dollars, but I paid $800 for mine.See, there was a little log cabin on it. GeorgeKbought it, or he had bought it first, had a little log cabin on there and he cleared a little so they charged me for that, too.
SS: When was that that you bought?
I bought it in 1915.
I think my dad bought it at the same figure.
I didn't stay in here then. I bought it for my mother's stepdad. Theold man always wanted to get back up here and he was going to stay and get a little piece of land, so I asked him if I come up and got a forty if he'd move up here and stay. Yeah, he would. He just moved the family up and then took off for Montana. Well, the family stayed here quite a while, didn't they? Isabel and Tom, went to school.
Let's see, they moved up here in the spring of '16 and then they leftin
NICHOLS: You know, it's really too bad that Gertrude didn't make bigtime, shewas one of the sweetest things I ever heard. Yeah, I guess it broke her mother all up when she married Little Bob instead of going to college.
Yeah, had the voice to do it. Kate Smith didn't have a damn thing onher.
SS: You know, when you talk about these conditions in the camps being sobad; did most of the men that worked there, did they- you had to stay in the camp, it was too far to go home.
HERZOG: Yes, they did, unless they lived right close to it.
NICHOLS: You had to walk anywhere you went. . They didn't care if you went out.But the most of 'em lived at Spokane or Palouse or Garfield or what have you, and so they'd just stay there, for, hell, three months- lots of 'em.
SS: How could the men stand it? What did they do to make it liveable? Aplace like that? How did they stand it?
GILDER: Did you ever see one of these oldfashioned hogpens? They had a pigfenced in there and he couldn't get out? No matter how dirty it was, he still couldn't get out. And that was just about the same damn thing, they couldn't get out] Didn't matter how dirty they were! Alec Meeks told me that if you took your underwear of and took a bath and thro^ wed the underwear up against the door and it stuck there, why it was time to wash it! If it fell off, hell, there's no use washing it this week! (Laughter)
The Lenhart girls used to do the washing for any of the boys up atthis camp up here. They done my washing all the time. They'd come down ahorseback, pick it up, bring it back Saturday nights.
SS: You say 1917, was the year?
GILDER: Yeah. IT
HERZOG: They. little ft«r?on shacks, and hell, they had she ets on thebeds and bathroom and a place to wash their clothes and a toilet,
NICHOLS: A clean place to eat.
HERZOG: They straightened things up. And if a guy come to camp that was realdirty or looked like he might have lice or something he didn t get in the bunkhouse til he cleaned up. Remember that Old Patty.
HERZOG: He run around with three or four pair of pants on and four or fiveshirts and he come into one of the camps up there and he slept out in the barn! Wouldn't let him in!
SS: The conditions just changed overnight. They changed all at once?
HERZOG: The IWWs is the ones that went on strike and changed it. Wouldn'tgo back to work until they straightened things up.
SS: Were you in camp when they struck?
HERZOG: Yeah. Then the company they was a going to bufifc the IWWs, see, theyUp there, out of Deary, started this Four-L bit. .Old Push come to the bunkhouse door one morning and he says, go in and sign up for the Four-Ls or go to town." he says. There was two guys stayed in camp, all the rest of us went to town. And gee, boy, that evening they sent word in right away, "Come back." you wouldn't have to sign up for the Four-Ls. It was that way in every damn camp.
NICHOLS: That's right.
HERZOG: They was going to put a to that IWW business.
NICHOLS: Well, that Four-Ls, you see, you couldn't be an officer of the unionunless you was a boss; same as it was down at the mill. We had it down there. All the head guys was bosses you see.
HERZOG: It was just a big scheme by the company, in the woods, anyway, I don'tknow about the mill. Like the AF of L when they come in there. See, the company wouldn t let 'em have the hall, that was the AF of L Union you see, and they wanted the hall and Potlatch wouldn't let 'em have it, so they got 4*1"c- Jover to Onaway and they had their meeting over there. You taping this?
SS: I've been taping most everything you say.
Guess I better not tell this then.
SS: Go ahead.
The guy that was out here trying to organize, you know, he was makinga speech to the fellows and he told them, he said, "What you fellows been getting here with this union you got, is like when the little boy when he saw somebody take the cow into the bull, and he went and peeked through a crack and he said, you been getting just what that cow was getting!" (Chuckles)
That's right. I wasn't there. Roscow Timmel was there that night andhe told me about it.
SS: Well, the IWWs; when they came into the camps, where did they come from?Spokane? Did you know?
HERZOG: Just an organizer. Just the same as is in the unions now. Idon't know where he come from.
NICHOLS: I don't either. Portland. Spokane.
HERZOG: I suppose.
SS: Did everybody sign up and get cards?
HERZOG: About 90 percent of 'em did.
NICHOLS: Yeah. Well, they pulled a raw one when that CIO come in here. Thatwas in '35?
GILDER: Yeah.They hired guards, armed gaards, put 'em in all the camps. We had the AF of L, you know. And the AF of L and the CIA they had to both sign a pledge that they wouldn't strike during the war, and they wouldn't run in on the other union. Well, they went down in Oregon and they run 'em out of Oregon and then, what is the name of the head guy in Lewiston then? Anyhow, he went and got 'em to come up in here because they was in the mill there to try to get signers. And when we voted on it why each unit should have been allowed to stay with whatever union they had voted for, but instead of that, of course, they knowed in Lewiston that Clearwater was strong for CIA and they just lumped the whole bunch you see, Potlatch and Coeur d'Alene and the Clearwater and all, they bunched 'em all together and that way they CIO won out. We'd have stayed with the AF of L down here if they hadn't done that. Billingsly, that's the guy.
SS: Yeah, Billings.
Well, during World War I when they struck, did everybody strike at thesame time? Did all the camps get struck in here at the same time?
Just about. The whole works.Yeah, they had to, to make it work theyhad to. And they did.
HERZOG: I don't think they got a jump in wages, because I know in 1917 theywere paying two and a half a day, that's just common labor and ninety cents a day board. And of course, the next year or the year after wards they started this gyppoing. And the Wobblies started that right in on Marble Creek, too. Everyone in the camps over there was Wob blies and they started gyppoing. Hand logging for eight dollars a thousand on them steep hills, couldn't put a team in there or any thing.
SS: Why did they do that? Why did they gyppo?
HERZOG: More money.
NICHOLS: One man take the place of two men.
HERZOG: Yeah. Gyppoing in the camps up here, us young fellows we'd take ateam and go out there and skid logs and make $400 or $500 a month, 'that was big money then.
NICHOLS: Sure was.
HERZOG: We put ten swampers out of a job. Them old fellows they lined thatbench in front of them buildings there in Bovill and you walked down the street and they knew you, "There goes that son of a bitching gyppo!" You had put all of them out of ;. They was right, too when you come right down to it.
SS: You say then the wages got cut down?
GILDER: Yep, they did. They fixed the gypo next. That's right.
It used to take over 600 men to run that mill down there, now theysay less than 100 runs it.
HERZOG: Yessir, I seen ten of them old guys- and that was big yellow pine, youknowjin there on Brush Creek. Big stuff. Ten of them old guys out there a swamping, and the skinner and he had a chainer, he didn't even hook his tongs to his chain, he just drove the team. I was the chain in there then-A Colder than hell that winter, gee, 32, 35 below zero and I had to build a fire to keep from freezing.
And down here when they was gyppoing I know my brother, that's whenhim and Johnson was skidding together, two of them skidding together and Yark Compton he was swamping for the two of 'em.
Yeah, well, you know in the big yellow pine logs like was on Mountor where you're talking about, a man actually didn't need a swamper, he could kill a team and do his own swamping.
HERZOG: Them big limbs, they didn't have no chain saws then, they had to usean axe on 'em.
Chop them big limbs off, but you could give a team all the damn logshe wanted in a day, them big logs, because there'd be two or three of 'em that didn't have a limb on 'em, and by golly, by the time you got them out your team had up a good sweat. And he needed a limb
HERZOG: Yeah, them old guys they'd be limbing those big limbs and you'd hearem, hah, hah' and wouldn't be hitting hard enough to hit a fly! (Chuckles)
SS: So a lot of those guys were just putting in their time and gettingtheir pay? They were past their hump.
HERZOG: They was a limbing 'em alright.
They did all they were supposed to. Oh, I don't know. Now you go ina camp where they're getting logs- they got a chain sawyer and a choker setter, maybe, and a Cat skinner and that's it. Truck driver, and that's it.
HERZOG: And a loader, man running a loader.
Well, truck driver-
HERZOG: A guy to saw the logs on the landing, did everything three lengths.All the faller does out in the woods is to fall the timber and limb it with the Cat and top it. If he can't get to it to do it, why, they' drag her out the way she is. And thep pull 'em in full length and cut em up on the landing, long logs. They don't have no hooker anymore.
I was working in the woods when Iwas sixty-five,falling. I drove a logging truck five or six years.
SS: What was the town like? What was it like in Harvard.
HERZOG: When they was logging here?
HERZOG: Oh, there was a lot; livery stable, two blacksmith shops. Old Smith,he had one but it didn't amount to much. Old Al Cartins. Oh, I don't know, they had two stores for a while.
NICHOLS: Confectionery; Uncle Ben.
SS: Were you close enough in age that you played around together when youwere kids? You two?
SS: How'd you get in trouble?
NICHOLS: What trouble?
SS: Well, come on! Atell me you were ^oo* boys.
HERZOG: Hell, you ever see kis that didn't fight a little?
SS: Why sure.
HERZOG: Take on these. Hell. They're worse nowdays than they was then,I think. The damn kids nowdays, they haven't work to do. All they got to do is get in trouble! Just look at papers, chuck full of dope and stealing and everything else. In Lewiston Athere speed ing and banging cars up.
SS: When you were kids it was just knocking over the shit houses andthings like that?
HERZOG: If we got in trouble we got our rear ends tanned! Now they pat 'emon the back, "Just go to it!"
NICHOLS: That's right.
HERZOG: Damn right!
SS: What about dances? Did they have many dances around that you guyswent to when you were young?
NICHOLS: Yeah, every week.
HERZOG: Lot of dances. Had a dance hall here, the store.Baseball games. If they didn't have a dance hall they danced in the schoolhouse or someplace.
Or someone's home. Remember the old log schoolhouse up there and they danced in there.
HERZOG: My first year in school was in that. I got a picture of the teacherand the whole bunch that went to school there.
NICHOLS: That was where I learned to dance, in that schoolhouse.^ Kids didn'tget in trouble very often. Very, very seldom. Did they?
HERZOG: No.Because if they did they got the hell whaled right out of 'em. Most of 'em.
My folks told me from the first day I went to school until I got toobig, "If you get a lickin' at school, you're going to get another one when you get home."
That's what I heard too, what little schooling I got. Most of mykids and I know all of my grandkids never did^ a lickin .
SS: I'm sure though when you played around with your friends you musthave pulled tricks on each other, pranks all the time. Just honest fun.
Yeah, they never hurt anybody. I don't know, the worst we ever did
GILDER: I was steal chickens a couple of times! FritzLenhart, he put a stop to that when he got to be justice of the peace, didn't he?
SS: Did he?
NICHOLS: Boy, that was a big joke. You know a bunch of us was all in there forelection and Al Carpenter, you know, he was such a strong Republican he'd rather cut off his right arm than to vote anything else and your dad got around to some of us and he said, "Let's have a little fun today, fellows." He said, "Let's vote for Lenhard, he won't never take the office," he said, "just to have a little fun." Of course, that just hit us right. So we all voted for Lenhard, and God, he just broke his neck to get over to sign up. He was in some kind of an office always after that. Roads or something.
SS: Did he put a stop to chicken stealing?See, he had Old Pete and I don't know who the others was, he had them- got out a warrant for them for stealing.AWalt Horby and Oliver Daly. Was Frank Herzog big enough to be in that? I don't know.
NICHOLS: Oh, Frank was doing—
HERZOG: He was talking about Old Pete Panke. I remember when Old Pete andBuck up here sawed logs for forty-five cents a thousand!
HERZOG: My dad was good with the broadaxe, and he was hew ing ties for thethe railroads, you know. Old Pete he come along and he watched him, "God damn it, if he can do that I can too." So, Old Pete he goes to work and gets him a broadaxe, a peavy and an axe and he started in and hewed one tree and turned it over, (CHUCKLES) ? He Stuck the goddamned axe in the stump and went to town. Waded the river and went to town. (Laughter)
NICHOLS: That was the way a lot of 'em made their living, you know, making ties.All the side lines- well all the mainline was all hewed ties at that time, everything was hewed ties.
GILDER: Yeah, that was quite a business around Troy there and here and everyplace else.
NICHOLS: Davey he _ ties at one time I guess. I know he give me afour-pound doublebitted axe one time, and he said he had that for scoring ties when he was hewing ties.
HERZOG: Old Albert, he never did hurt himself^much. He's done a lot of surveying for the Potlatch.
NICHOLS: Yeah. He was careful about his surveying, though. The county surveyors wouldn't go over a line that he surveyed.
HERZOG: Yeah, he was good.He had to be perfect before he quit it. He quit it over this deal up here, you know. Old Bill had him survey the lines up there and John ston- Old Man Johnston he had cleared a piece, well, they had it in cultivation that he thought was on his and when they surveyed it through, well, I guess there was about two acres was over on Bill's and the Old Man Johnston he blew his top and he accused Albert of favoring Bill and running the lines wrong so's. could get that land from him. I know we come down and tried to get him to go up and run lines for us and he wouldn't go. "No," he said, "Johnston got mad. and thought that he was crooked on that, that he favored SeXton," And he said, "I don't want trouble with my neighbors, Best I leave it alone." He said, "I'll loan you any equipment I got you can use," he said, "I won't go out anymore myself."
SS: What about Bill Helmer? He's got some reputation for all the surveyinghe did. Did he do a lot of surveying? I have the feeling he did over at Deary and around here, too. I think he was as accurate as a man could be.
HERZOG: Who was that?
SS: Helmer. Bill Helmer.
HERZOG: Oh, yeah, I knew Old Bill Helmer well.
NICHOLS: He was a cruiser.
HERZOG: Yeah. Timber cruiser at Potlatch.
SS: Was he really good, as far as being able to estimate the timber?
HERZOG: Yeah. Yeah, he was.
HERZOG: He had to be or he wouldn't a held that job down so long.
NICHOLS: What was that other feller that come out here? Jeslie? Used to bewith Helmer, they come out here together from the East and they cruised together all time.
NICHOLS: No, the other fellow's son used to be in the timekeepers office therein Potlatch. Lester. He went to Lewiston.
SS: Oh, say, I was thinking about something: I've heard from Princetonthat there used to be quite a little rivalry between Princeton and Harvard. You remember that?
NICHOLS: Every little town had a ball team years ago. And the girls at the dances,them Princeton guys- Baseball.
SS: The Princeton guys didn't want the Harvard guys dancing?
Talking to their girls. That's about all, a little rivalry there, butnothing too much. They got along. But the baseball games, that's what took up their time.^Princeton guys used to come up to the dances and try to get the Harvard guys drunk so they couldn't dance.
HERZOG: Yeah, Princeton had three saloons at one time.
NICHOLS: Yeah, beside the Old California Winehouse.
SS: What was that?
NICHOLS: Well, that's where the Grange Hll is now in Princeton. I got a fullquart of whiskey from one of them dances up there at the old school house. Course it was all the teams and they JustA their teams in there and I guess they'd taken just one drink out of it, just what was in the neck, and they must have stood it up in the snow under the sled and Fred Little and I happened to go through there Sunday, see, there was a road went through there- the David place- and I see this bottle of whiskey setting up there in the snow; just see the neck of it, the snow wasn't quite as deep as the bottle. They got a little too much on, I guess, and forgot where their bottle was! Do you remember the night that Harry Smith and I guess Bill Edison was in on that one- they stole the cakes at the dance up there? Probably you was too young to remember that. But they had the woodbox, you know and had a hole in the wall of the schoolhouse and the woodbox was just in the woodshed and they could reach through and get the wood. Well, they had their lunches. Course, the women'd bring the sandwiches and stuff and then they'd brought cakes, too. And they'd put cloths down in this woodbox and put the stuff in there. And Harry Smith and I think Ed Edison, there was two or three of 'em was in on the deal, and they stole the cakes- stole one, anyhow- I guess there was a cou ple of cakes and we stole one, I think. Made the women so mad they wouldn't bring no lunch there for two or three dances after , til they got in kind of a good humor again!
HERZOG: I couldn't have been there. I don't remember that. Was that up atthe old log schoolhouse?
SS: When the 1930 depression hit here, was that felt real strong in thiscountry around here?
HERZOG: I wasn't down here then.
NICHOLS: It hit pretty hard. It hit out here about the time it was slackingup in the East.
HERZOG: Yeah, that was when the WPA was working.
SS: Do you think it was anything like the '93 one was in here?
NICHOLS: Oh, I don t know. ^Must have been pretty similar because nobody hada dollar and couldn't get one.
HERZOG: You couldn't sell anything. Wheat, logs, any Goddamn thing!
NICHOLS: The mill was shut down, everything was shut down.
HERZOG: I was up at Colville. I had 120 acres of timber and five years toget it off on, and that damned depression- Three miles to the railroad.
SS: How much did you get?
HERZOG: Fifty-five cents for a seven by nine eight and a half foot tie. Well,all the rest of the people around there in that country they was on WPA. Supposed to've been working, you know, but hell, they didn't do nothing, just stood around, I know one fellow, that built a fire in the same place for two months.
NICHOLS: Well, I got out wood as long as I could get wood.
HERZOG: And I didn't.
NICHOLS: Hauled it down here, two dollars and a half a cord.
NICHOLS: And then I got beat out of a lot. They come in at night and hauledit out. They tried to jew me down. Had a few cord piled over there and they wanted it cheaper than that. I told the guy, I said, "If you could show me where I could go down in the woods and get them logs out and bring 'em in here for less than two and a half and manage to exist." "Well," he said, "I only get six dollars when I haul it to Moscow and buzz it into sixteen inch wood." So, I figured he was making a little better than I was. So he come back at night then and loaded up and got pretty close to the last of it. See, Wiedmark was collecting for me, and he come back after Wiedmark was closed up at night and loaded up the rest of it and left. And Old Harry Almstead he done me the same stunt.
GILDER: Yeah, I had a couple of cords cut up here and piled down there at thelower end of the place, you know and the house was back almost a quarter of a mile and a truck drove in there and , loaded up. I was out in the woods working someplace and the missus seen 'em, so she went down there. She knew who it was. She knew I hadn't sold that wood to them. They tried to make her think I had, she knew damn well I didn't. She made 'em unload it, and go on out.
NICHOLS: That was Old Harry?
NICHOLS: The only one that's ever got even with Harry was Buck Pahnke. Buckhad his^ had Harry's rifle borrowed. He thought a lot of that gun. He'd got posts from Buck, Buck couldn't get no money out of him. Buck caught a ride with him one day coming out from Princeton and he said, "Well, going to sell your gun." And Harry said, "Don't.sell that gun." "Got it sold," he said, "fellow coming up to get it to morrow." And Harry says, "Don't you sell that gun!" "Well," Buck said, "you better get here with that money for them posts then or it's going." And he was down there that night with the money for the posts! But that's the only one I know that ever got even with him. With him, I just kept even, I knew what the scape was and when he took it out, I knew before he took it out I was going to get my money right then or he didn't take it. Christ, I had to have it, that's all I could eat on.
Well, I knowed what he was, you know, I'd worked with him down at themill, that is, him and his brother was working on the dock and then when things started to get slack, they had too many on the dock and they brought them and put 'em in the shed.6 And he'd steal tickets from us and steal loads from us. Now, his brother wasn't that way though and they was twins, too. But his brother, he got it into the company I guess pretty heavy before he left there. But from one of the working guys he wouldn't steal a thing; Harry would. He'd take his family to the show^a couple of times a week and then his wife dressed in silk. He was making it good just stealing off of others. Old Shallups ., you know, he stole a bunch from Shallups and the old man had drove shingle nails into the ends of the wood and he had it ricked up here and him and the Old Man Vern went up there one night and Harry was there. And the Old Man told him tht he was stealing his wood. "Oh,no," he'd bought that wood. And the Old Man told him he said, "That's my wood." And he said, "I can prove it to you." And showed him the shingle nails in the end of the wood. He'd never spotted then (Chuckles)
HERZOG: Was you here when they had the post office up at
Me? No. That was before my time.
They moved it down here right after the railroad got here, didn'tthey?
Not that I know of.
Post office, no the post office- see the first store was on this lotthen they had the post office in the store. Two fellers named Whitaker and Steele was running the store. And Whitaker was married, had a wife and two small children and his wife's sister stayed with them. He built that house over there. They lived in the back of the store the first year they was here and then he built that house and they moved in there and it was in there when the store burnt down. Store burnt down in 1906.
HERZOG: Who in the hell- was it the OldMan Cross- store?
NICHOLS: Cross? I don't-
HERZOG: He owned it at one time.
NICHOLS: How about that? Did he built it? I think he did. I can't rememberwhat the fellow's name was. Charley Cross.
NICHOLS: The fellow that was running it I think when I come up here -Fellow by the name of Caskey bought Cross out.
SS: I was going to ask you, Mr. Nichols, about- You said after you workedwith the cooking, you started working with the horses?
NICHOLS: I was working in the barn, feeding and cleaning out the barns, andthen I hauled the lunch out, too.
SS: What kind of horses did Potlatch have when they started in here?Were they very good stock?
NICHOLS: Oh, yeah, they had some good stock. Used to cripple up lots of 'em.
HERZOG: Had the best horses in the United States.
NICHOLS: Used to go out and buy most of the stock, among the farmers; the beststock they could get.
HERZOG: They went and didn't buy anything but the best. It had tobe good or they didn't buy it. Big. Young.
SS: When you say they got crippled up, did they work them hard?
NICHOLS: They'd get pinch between logs. Where they was on steep ground thelogs'd run onto 'em a lot of times, they couldn't get it out of the way in time. Mash a leg up.
HERZOG: Get somebody, a greenhorn skinner ahold of one and a car come and he'dinterfere with one foot and another, pull 'em on the swing or some thing like that. But anybody that was good with horses, why be like old Bob Jones up there in Camp- Old T.P.'s brother- he wouldn't let anyone drive his team for him unless he knew they was good. Old T.P. I heard him just give Old Bob hell about that. Old Bob says, "By they ain't going to ruin my horses."
NICHOLS: Old Bob was running Camp 7 when I was there.
HERZOG: Yes, I went there to f camp once, sent down there to load drays onCat. And he had one of his prize teams in the barn, and made me take them out. I says, "Alright, but-" I didn't want to drive team, I'd been loading drays and working on the landing,, cant hook, but I took 'em out and I didn't kill myself over working 'em either. I was mad about it.
SS: This was Bob Jones?
NICHOLS: He was a stubborn old cuss.
NICHOLS: I was swampin' up there for a team and^another fellow was chaininfor this team and he was crippled in one foot. He'd had his foot mashed or something, and he asked me if I'd change off with him. It was- going down to the landing it was pretty steep ground there and ihaT climbing up and down that hill got him, and he asked me if I'd change off with him and let him swamp and me chain. Well, that suited me^the better, and so Old Bob come along and he caught me chainin' and the other fellow swamping and he wanted to know what the hell I was doing chainin'. And I said, "Well, the other fellow wanted to change off, it bothered his foot. Him swamp and me chain." And he said, "Well, by God, when I put you on a job that's what I want you to stay at." He said, "You get back on there and swamp."
HERZOG: Yeah. I never did have any trouble with Old Bob. But if you coulddrive team, and he knew that I could drive, I'd been at it a long time, gyppoing, you know. And if he had one of his prize teams that wasn't working, you had to take 'em out.
SS: What was a 'prize team'?
NICHOLS: Special. Extra good. Young,husky team, and weighed 1,800 apiece.
NICHOLS: I never tried driving- skidding but once and that was up here at thiscamp; I was too light for that heavy rigging, I couldn't hack it.
SS: Did you know Gus Verdun? The guy that had that- he had some kind ofplace there in Bovill. Gus Verdun. It was a meeting place, a lot of the lumberjacks met and he had a poolhall there. It burned down. This place burned down about '17 or '18.
HERZOG: I don^t think I knew him. I might haye seen him.
NICHOLS: The firstAthey had in there, Jack Mallory and-
HERZOG: And Parker and Allison. AndhBilly Watts.
GILDER: Billy Watts, yes and Green Chambers over across the street.
HERZOG: Beer parlor. Oh, there could be fellows in there
HERZOG: And that old- what was that other- Old .- wasn't it, or Graw-
HERZOG: Ran the store up there.
SS: When were you first at Bovill, Mr. Nichols? Working.
NICHOLS: I went up there in the spring of '17. Then I left here in July. Afterthe Fourth I took a notion I wanted to go harvesting and it took me eight years to get back.
SS: Long season!
HERZOG: I wasn't right around Bovill there too much til about 1920. I workedat Deary and Helmer at Camp 6 and Camp 10. Then I went on up to Bovill and worked up there.
I never can figure out, been up through that country, where Gamp 7was. It was right on the creek, I know. Well, one time it was on Shay Meadows, at the head of Shay Meadows on what you call Erickson Meadows.
HERZOG: Which one?
GILDER: Where in the devil did it come from to there, I don t remember.Well, it wasn't too far out of Bovill. I think, as near as I remember about a mile and a half or something like that out of Bovill. Might have been over on Moose Creek. That was the first camp, when it was in there, new camp there.
SS: Was this a car camp?
Yeah. Yeah, it was when I was there. .1 know they had a little pondthere and had a little trestle out over this pond and they were skidding logs down into this pond and loading out of the pond. But I can't remember what kind of a darn loading rig they had.
HERZOG: That's when they had the old log shacks.
HERZOG: That's when they had the old log shacks.
NICHOLS: Yeah, they was log buildings.
HERZOG: After that, after 1917 they went to marion shacks and railroad cars.
NICHOLS: Yeah. Well Camp 7 up on the Erickson Meadow, that was a marion shack.But Camp 11 was down farther. That was still log. Ten was on down below that, and that was marion shacks.
HERZOG: Do you remember Old Prune Joe?
HERZOG: They had us up to Bovill working with him one winter. See, he went upthere and worked all winter and then it seems like he'd come down here and run the farm. The Potlatch owned that farm over there then. i Bill Helmer owned it.
HERZOG: Huh? I worked with him one winter up there in Bovill one winter.Why did they call him Prune Joe, Frank?
HERZOG: He'd planted a whole bunch of prune trees up there in the corner nextto the brush. That's where they got the Prune Joe. He'd wear them old rubber shoes all the year around, summer and winter. Rubber boots No, they wasn't boots, just regular rubber shoes.
NICHOLS: Yeah, he had the Stewart place up here after Davids left it. Mrs.David come to town here and had the boardinghouse here. They quit the place out there and? Old Prune Joe had it, was farming that. I think he bought their- he bought one team, an old team that they had, I know he bought them. I think I worked two or three days for him, that was after they'd closed up the shop here and I had a saddle cayuse and had her over there. And I was feeding the horses and she was raising the devil, Ihadn't been able to get any grain for her yet and when I was feeding these other horses why, she was raising the devil so I give her about a quart of oats and I was going to tell Old Prune Joe about it, and he'd charge me for it, but he happened to walk in the door, and God, he liked to had a fit over that, you know. He can ned me then because I was feeding my horse out of his feed!
HERZOG: I remember we was baling hay over there once and we was eating dinnerand he had that old woman cooking for him, her name was Nell,
NICHOLS: He was baching at that time.
HERZOG: Yeah. He had this woman there, I think she was an old chippie! Andyou know Old Charley Shallup, he used to come to town once in awhile, but he wouldn't walk down the road, he'd cut through, over that way. We was eating dinner and I happened to look out and here was Charley sneaking through there-, hollered at him, "Come in Charley and get something to eat." Boy, he took off; he run clear to the river.
NICHOLS: Didn't Old Prune Joe marry that woman he had?
HERZOG: I'll be darned if I know. I don't remember.
NICHOLS: I know, I've heard guys talk about him here a few years back, andthat's what I udnerstood, that he married her.
SS: Why was this guy running away from a free meal?
HERZOG: Oh, he was half nuts. There was three of the boys up there and theirmother was nutty, too. That's where they got it. Just— even if they knew you, pretty well acquainted with you and you talked to them they wouldn't look at you.
NICHOLS: Well, I guess the start of the whole thing- when they come out here,see, they moved into Moscow and the old lady was off and the neigh bors complained about her and so I guess they tried to have her sent to Orofino and the judge wouldn't send her, he said she was just childish. So they come out here and rented this piece of ground^and moved out there. Well, the way people felt about her at that time, you know, and everything an^iobo«ty'dvisit 'em or anything, they just got so used to being by theirselves and not mixing with anybody- Bill was about the only one to go out there. I come up there one night with Earl: Pahnke, he come up to get a rifle, I brought him up, and God that- what was that oldest one? Henry, wasn't it? fcCharley and John-
HERZOG: John was the oldest.
NICHOLS: And that guy'd just talk an arm off when you got in there. He wasfiguring on going to Canada, he said the trapping was no good around here but as long as his mother lived - that was just a year or so be fore she died. I never did see her. That used to be quite a joke with Sexton, if he had somebody riding for him that didn't know any thing about her and they'd see her out, she was working in the garden or anything why he'd send them over and ask her about if she'd seen cattle or anything, and she'd come for 'em with a hoe. He thought that was a big joke. To my notion, he wasn't as smart as she was or he wouldn't have done that.
HERZOG: Yeah, it's too bad to see somebody like that. The only time theywent out and worked- Charley and Bill used to work for Gus Kinman haying. That's the only time- I don't see how the hell they ever lived. Gus and Claude
HERZOG: And Bill- And Bill Sexton occasionally. ,jfeah, they worked for Pat Davidson,too.
Bill worked quite a little while?
GILDER: That's right. But ill years back, he used to go down to the wheatcountry harvesting. I guess he gve that up on account of the rest of them. But he used to go out there and make money for 'em to get through on.
SS: You mentioned trapping and that reminded me: Didn't you tell me,Glen, that his dad used to be quite a trapper in this country?
GILDER: I still say it.
HERZOG: Quite a what?
HERZOG: Oh, yeah. And I used to trap quite a lot, myself.
SS: What did he trap mostly?
HERZOG: Oh, bear and lyn* and coyotes, mink and muskrat. There used to bequite afew lynx here. There isn't any anymore. Just cleaned em out.
Curley and I went up the river had a deer season on, must be three orfour years ago now, and we was right up there by the Stephen place, just up beyond^Mllings aways and in the road there was adarned lynx come up below the road and crossed right up in front of us. But we didn't have any chance to get a shot at it. I got - finally hit the snow as deep as I could go with my rig and got out and Curley was looking around to see if there was any deer tracks and Iwas looking for a place to turn around there and this darned lynx, I guess was down there after a rabbit, probably, or looking for one-
HERZOG: You sure it wasn't a lyn cat?
NICHOLS: Yeah, one of them with the tassels on his ears.
HERZOG: Was he all gray?
NICHOLS: Yeah, dark gray, he was.
HERZOG: Areal lynx is light gray- and in the wintertime the bottom of theirfoot is covered with hair, just like asnowshoe rabbit and when they make atrack in the snow it looks just like you'd stick your fist in a sock and run it there. Where a lync cat or abobcat or a cougar, they leave you atrack. There's that difference in 'em. There's kind of across between abobcat and alynx, they're about half between, they're alot bigger than abobcat, but they're still kind of dark and got a few spots on 'em.
NICHOLS: This one was darn near as big as acoyote we saw up there that day.Ihad one up there after Imoved out to the fi place, Ihad the old log barn at the back, you know, had hay in there. And Iwent over there with a team after a load of hay and the snow was pretty deep and just before Igot up to the barn, Iwas breaking, road in as Iwent and Ispoke to one of the horses a little loud, Iguess, and this darn lync cat come out of the barn. There was alot of cottontails around at that time, Iguess he was in there- it was al falfa hay and Iguess the cottontails moved in and he was in there living off of rabbit because he had been in before that heavy snow come, and he hadn't been out til he come out that day. But Iwasn't fifty yards from him when he come out and took for the timber. But he wasn't as tall, he was more broad and not as tall as that- course, Iguess he was fatter than that other one was up there, and he had the tassels on his ears, too.
SS: Did your father make pretty good money trapping for the skins?
HERZOG: Oh, not too much. Hell, furs wasn't- just like everything else,they wasn't worth much.
GILDER: what Was that he had in the back of the woodshed? You know, on thechain? A cat?
HERZOG: A what? What would that cat be that he had in the back of the woodshed there?
HERZOG: That was a little lync. That's what I thought.
HERZOG: He used to put the dogs on the run.
NICHOLS: He was a feisty little devil.
HERZOG: He had the old lync in one side and this little one in the other, sowe put the little one in the sack and brought him home. Tied him up. Gee, them damn dogs would come there and snoop around, you know, you know how nosey they are and that damn lync cat, he'd get back to the end of his chain and he knew when they got just so close and boy, he'd get like that on their back and the fur would just fly! They never come back again. (Chuckles)
SS: Is that what those cats would do? Jump on the back?
HERZOG: That was alync. Little lync, he never did get very big. We didn'tkeep it too long. him in the winter and skinned him. And we had that old bear, too, you know. Us kids we used to see a yellow jacket nest hanging on one of them- hanging from the trees, you know, and you'd see one of them, we'd take him out there, we used to lead him around on the chain, take him out there and show it to him and he'd stand up on his hind legs and whine then we'd get a stick and knock it down and run and he was right on top of it, and them danged yellow jackets a stinging him We used to cut a lot of bee trees, you know. And had that danged thing tied up there and we went over here on Moon Hill and cut it that old Stewart place down in there between that and the other place, and that damn bear could smell that honey that far and he'd just start crying and hollering! Oh, they're crazy after honey.
SS: How would you get the honey out of bee trees?
HERZOG: Cut it down and take it out!
SS: What about all those bees? Did you get stung?
HERZOG: You got to put on a veil and a pair of gloves and tie your pants legsdown. Don't want 'em to crawl up your pants legs. Cut the tree down and cut it open. Cut in above the honey and blow it and then split it out. You know just about as much now as you did before!
SS: A little bit more.
It used to be a favorite place to go, over at that old John Hightmancabin; you remember there was a lot of thistles there? Used to take our cigar box there and start.
SS: Used a cigar box?
Yeah. Yeah, had a little honey or sugar and water and a little anisein the box and we'd feed 'em and sometimes we'd mark 'em with a little flour or cornstarch.
HERZOG: We never did mark. just get em to working with sugar and waterand a piece of old honey comb in a cigar box, there was a lid you could put on and get 'em to working and watch and see what direction they went into^ then catch a bunch of 'em and go in that direction quite a ways and then turn 'em loose, they'd come right back and you watched 'em again and if they still went on you'd go farther. When you got past the tree they'd go back this other way, see. And then you knew it was right between where your two last stands .. Course, you had 'em here and they took off this way, you'd know the tree was over there, you was right close to it. Hell yes, as high as three, four trees in a day. And then again you'd get a stand and go a long ways and it'd take you all day.
HERZOG: And like up Ruby Creek, there, beyond that old Shallop cabin that wasup there, you went up there- a great, big, forked yellow pine, big son of a gun, they went right in the crotch. I was justa kid then, but my dad tell a bunch of 'em about it and so one Sunday there was a whole bunch of 'em got together and they took a hack and a team- there was an old road run up over the hill there- and a whole bunch of 'em went up there and they cut that tree down. And I know my dad.he laughed at 'em, they took along a washboiler and a washtub and a whole bunch of buckets, and gee, they ain't going to get that much honey. Anyway, they went up and they cut it down, and by God, they pretty near filled all of 'em! No telling how long those bees had been in there.
NICHOLS: Well, during the war, you know, when they was loading the logs outover here, they brought a load of logs down there one day and when they dumped 'em there was one log split open and that thing was just full of honey. They went over, I guess, went over to Grace's and they got washboilers and everything they could get there and got the honey out of there, what they could get, there was a lot of it wasted on the ground. Now they'd cut that in the woods and skidded it and everything and loaded it-
HERZOG: Was it in the wintertime?
NICHOLS: No, right in summer. Never found any sign of honey, hadn't showedup, you see and of course, it busted when they dumped it off.
HERZOG: I don't see how they could cut a.tree like that without knowing itwas a bee tree, those bees come out there and sting you! Some of 'em, they aren't so bad, and then again, you'd get a swarm that, boy, they're wicked. They'll go a long ways and hunt you.
SS: So sometimes you'd find trees and you wouldn't cut them down and youjust mark 'em and get 'em later.
HERZOG: You can put your mark on 'em and cut 'em later on.
NICHOLS: You usually cut a cross on the tree. . Some of 'em would have a bigload of honey and some of them wouldn't have any.
HERZOG: Yeah, hardly any. I think they DD^ too much, there isn'ta damn one. Killed all of them.
NICHOLS: Well, they was so thick, you know yellowjackets was so thick for acouple of years there they had to shut the camps down for the yellow jackets. And after they sprayed that first time, bees, yellowjackets and everything was gone. The yellowjackets are getting back thick again, but the bees don't seem to come back. I used to see quite a few in the summer there on my lawn, but very seldom do I see them anymore.
SS: Were there different kinds of bees, or was it just the one- the bumble bee?
HERZOG: They was regular honey bees, they wasn't bumble bees.
SS: That's what I meant.
HERZOG: There was two different kinds. One they called them the Black Italian,the rear end was dark color. The others is kind of light. But damned if I know what they called 'em, or what they was. But there was two different kinds.
NICHOLS: Them Italian ones, I guess they was the mean ones, weren't they?
SS: Were there any grizzly bears in this country, or was it all black bear?
HERZOG: There was no grizzly; black and brown. There's three different colorbear in this country. One is black and the other one's auburn brown, and then there's a real light brown, or there used to be. They were lanky and long and the fur was always rubbed on the sides here. Used to hate it whenever we'd catch one of 'em. The hide wasn't worth much.
SS: Ever trap any wolves in this country?
HERZOG: Never has been any wolves here since we've been here. Lots of coyotes.
NICHOLS: The only time there was any wolves here, they claimed they strayed infrom Montana. There was one up there on the place one time, that was back there- I guess that was during the depression. I got a shot at him. I didn't know what it was, he was over on the sidehill from where the cabin was; a long shot. He was a digging and just the rear end to me and I got a shot at him and I just overshot him, and it was just a little ways to the woods there and he come out of there, he was going he didn't run, just them long strides, you know. And so I walked over that way with the rifle and I thought there was a chance I might see him. And I don't know, I had a feeling that something was watching me when I got along there by some trees and I looked around right quick and the son of a gun just had his head around one of them trees watching me, and he was just gone like that. But he was a regular old wolf, had them white stripes down his face. And . Webster he come up the draw up there right after that and he wanted to know what I was shooting at and I told him a wolf and he said he crossed the trail right in front of him just down below. He got a good look at him, too. Then here two or three years ago Curley and I was- turned up Big Creek and that meadow of Deercups it's on the left side of the creek going up, there was two wolves there. They was a kind of a brownish color, and they went on up just about even to where the old Malcolm barn was and then they just stood there and turned around and looked at us. We just had shotguns, but we stopped there and watched 'em for quite a bit, but they never run then they just walked on up there, wasn't scared at all. That's the only ones I've ever seen in the coun try.
GILDER: I never did see one.
HERZOG: There is some awful big coyotes, overgrown coyotes.
NICHOLS: These wasn't coyotes, they had a white stripe down their face, just1ike a woIf.
SS: There is one thing I want to ask you, Mr. Nichols, before I forgetabout it and that is; when you were first here and the logging you did the first few years after the Potlatch came in, what was the kind of logging that they were doing? The way they were going about logging?
NICHOLS: Well, instead of power saws it was all done with these crosscut sawsby hand. And they was cut into the log lengths right in^ the woods, oh, mostly from twelve to sixteen foot, some up to twenties, as long as they cut. And if they was back away from the river, why, they decked 'em, at that time, put 'em up in high decks, you know and then in the winter they'd sleighhaul them to the river and deck 'em^ . the river bank or out on the ice and then when the ice broke in the spring, why, they'd have these dams shut, the ones that was above this dam, so they'd hold the water back up there and as soon as the ice would break up, then they'd break these rollways out and drive 'em down the river.
SS: Were they using donkeys in the first few years here? Did they havesteam donkeys or was it just horse logging?
NICHOLS: I think the first donkeys, I think the first of them was in 1907.
HERZOG: I never knew 'em to use a donkey around here.
NICHOLS: They never had any donkeys down here. The first donkeys they had wasup at Bovill.
HERZOG: Horses. Horses and railroad tracks.
SS: So, it was all horse?
HERZOG: Dray the logs. Horses hook onto a dray, you'd haul three or four logson the dray. And those dollies, they used some of them. And like he says, haul 'em in the winter on sleighs. Put a big log on a sleighor a big load on a sleigh, haul 'em to the river.
NICHOLS: Yeah, well, since I come back to the country there was two of the bigsleds up there by the Deercup place, set out there the side of the road. I don't know who they belonged to. They was there for years. Ten foot bunks on 'em.
GILDER: Probably Old Bronks.
SS: What about go-devils? Did they get much use?
Oh, yeah. That's what we called a dray.
SS: That wasn't the same as one of these long sleds?
NICHOLS: No. They're just two runners with the front end wasA ., they'dgo out and find the red fir trees, say, about so big through and right down at the roots where they'd curve, you know, why they'd cut them and- the length they wanted out of them and put one bunk on them. The bunk was bolted through so's it wasn't solid, they could give this way and that , turn it so you didn't have to slide it, and when you'd go on a turn why they- the outside runner you see, would come around faster than the other.
HERZOG: You had a roller between- in the front end, the chain went throughand fastened into the roller and there was a ring on that. Then there was a chain wide off and hooked into to both runners, come up to a T and then that single chain run through that ring, that ring would work on the roller.
NICHOLS: The ones they had at first they had two rings; one on each of themcrotch chains and then they had about so much chain out ahead there that you'd hook onto.
SS: What about the big sleds?
SS: What did they make the sleds out of?
HERZOG: Blacksmith shop made 'em.We used the same system on em.
HERZOG: Hewed the runners out, hew 'em with a broadaxe and the bunk and theblacksmith fixed up the chains and the rings.
NICHOLS: The shoes for 'em. ASome of 'em.
GILDER: They didn't use the sled here that they used in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but they used logging sleds a hell of a lot in later years. They had a spur at Maple Creek at one time, but later on sleigh hauled out of there, get a hundred days out of there
SS: Out of where, Glen?
GILDER: Maple Creek. Just the first creek up here, back into Gold Hill.
NICHOLS: Well, that hill up there right by Coons Holler, you know, right theother side, that used to be called the high landing. And a lot of that timber from back up in the country was saved and the n dropped down over there. And in winter when they was hauling hay and wood in lots of times they had to wait til they'd get the road open for them there. But then they had a small donkey engine across the river there and had posts in the ground to hold it and they used to break them rollways out with that. I know one feller that was in one of the camps, he got caught between the skids when they was breaking rollout way out there one day, he laid under there all day before they could get him out that evening. Never hurt, never scratched, the skids was high enough that he just laid flat. Fellow by the name of Brady.
Do you remember the old Bradys? One was a tall, slim fellow and theother one had a crippled shoulder? Crippled arm. That used to be here in the woods?
HERZOG: Oh, damn, I don't think so.They wasn't related, just the same name. Tall fellow, he was a lot younger than the other one was.
SS: In those first few years that they were logging in the country here,were they just getting the prime timber; the biggest trees; and the easiest stuff to get? Were they working very hard to get their wood?
HERZOG: They was taking the easiest, that's sure. They did. After they'dmoved out of here, hell, they've been coming back and cutting timber in this country ever since with the trucks abringing it out.
NICHOLS: They just skidded the lowlands. You see, they've come back through after they cot the Cats where they could get on the hills and skidded all these mountains and stuff. They couldn't do. with horses.
HERZOG: They go way back, sixty, seventy miles from here.Well, they did have an idea that they couldn't get that steep run with horses, but by golly, up there at. Elk River and the Queener camp up on Jackson Peak. By god, that was steep and they still got 'em with horses. I drove one of them teams in there for three years. You'd get that old team up to the log as close as you could get and turn 'em around and get them tongs, you know, and the doubletree, they a no-see-'em would only weighed about five pounds- I mean 500- ancUhit that old horse, and dammit he'd go down the hill about that far and you couldn't hook the tongs, you had to go all through it again.
HERZOG: In the early days when they was logging with horses, they didn't hurtthe ground or the timber like they do now. The small trees, only where they was skidding, you see, but you go out now and they're skidding tree length. They'll fall a tree and hitch onto it with one of them big Cats with a winch and everything in the country comes with it, just tearing everything all up. Building roads and they wash. It's rotten, just ruining the damn country, they should force 'em to skid with horses to the Cat roads and then take over.
By golly, that's right. 100 percent.
They did up here, up the river there during the war when they was working there in the woods, you know they was hollerin' about conserving timber for future generations; well at that time, they didn't have blades on the skid Cats like they've got now. I don't know, they had two or three of them big Cats, you know, that done the dozing. Well, they'd go up around and make the roads out on these ridges and then these other Cats would do the skidding, God, they'd plow right down through there, nice white pines up there, a lot of 'em twenty feet high and higher, you know and they'd just plow right down through there and everything went down. Well,then instead of skidding maybe a quar ter of a mile to that place, why probably a hundred yards or so from there they'd just plow right down through again. They didn't try to save any timber theirselves, but.they wanted the little fellow to help.
Potlatch's tree farm, we've seen the pictures for years, but we've seendamn little of it here in the woods. We seen it in the magazines, but Nichols'.
we didn't see it in the woods.
Well, that paper they used to put out during the war there, they'retalking about how they was a doing with their logging up in the Clear water country, that they was marking the trees, just certain trees that they was cutting and how they was seeding the roads afterwards, so's they'd grow back to grass. Well, I've talked to a lot of fellows that worked up there and they said they wasn't doing any different up there than they did here.
They didn't. I was working up in there with my hunting business andit wasn't any different up there than it was right here. They only cut all those trees that were marked and that was 100% of
HERZOG: Goddam Forestry; they don't amount to two cents. They go right inand- now like up on Big Creek, there was the nicest stand of second growth white pine, about like that, that you ever laid your eyes on and a lot of it, too, they go in there and let Bennett cut every God- dam bit of it. And they'll talk about conserving timber! And go in there and ruin the best second growth stand of timber that there was in the country.
Yeah, and these clean burns that they talk about, talk about that brushgrows up and that holds the snow. Did you ever see that low brush hold snow? That timber's what used to hold the snow and they didn't have these floods like they have since.
HERZOG: Big, rich corporations of the country is ruining it absolutely fromone end to the other.
But Bennett sure learnt Potlatch a lesson; all these small patches oftimber Potlatch wouldn't bid on 'em, so they'd get them at their own forestry price then that's what Bennett buys up. So they haven't got it as soft now as they had it before.
SS: Why do you think it is that they don't give a damn about it?Just like most of this big business, they don't give a damn as long as they make the money.
HERZOG: Big corporation, they do as they Goddam please, they're running things.Absolutely.
They don't care about the country after they get what they can get outof it.
HERZOG: Everything, I don't care what, you mention it, they're into it. TheU.S. has had it.
We know there's something wrong but we don't know what to do about it.
SS: You know when I've read about history, I've read about when you guyswere young, I mean back in 1910 and in there, they were talking about busting the trusts and the big corporations, about how they were going to run and ruin the country if they didn't do something about it. Well, they didn't do anything about it.
HERZOG: Yeah, too late now.
NICHOLS: Well, why?
GILDER: Well, I'll tell you why, you can elect a man to an office and hecan be as honest as the day is long and he's in there one season and he's crookeder than a Goddam snake.
NICHOLS: That's just what I was going to tell you; if he isn't, why he's outof there.
HERZOG: Yeah, just like these big oil business, you know, oil corporations; look what they done in California. They go in there and they buy up all the streetcars, so, General Motors is along with 'em, there all together, see, so they could put in buses. General Motors sell the buses, see. Big oil companies make money out of the oil. And now they haven't got any oil, where they should have the street cars.
Well, they've still got the oil, I think, but there was just thechance to put prices way up. Like a lot of the shortages.
SS: Were the politicians as crooked when you were young in the early days?
GILDER: You know, if a politician had been as crooked then as he is now, he'dserve one term and he would get out. And I mean that, wouldn't he?
NICHOLS: Well, I'll tell you, back in them times, you had politics a couple ofmonths before election and then when election was over, politics was over til a couple of months before the next election. Now, you've got politics stuck down your throat from year end to year end. They're preaching politics to you all the time through the year til election comes and as quick as election's over they start right in again. Since television and radios got on the air, that'. where it is. Before they had to get out and ride the train to make their speeches. AndAthat they make the excuse that they've got to go to see what their constituents wants; well, they're off having a party somewhere, they're not there half of the time to vote on things and then when it's about time for election- for the winter vacation, they've all got to get there in a big hurry and sign up these bills. They haven't had no time to look 'em over instead of being there when they should be and taking care of this stuff. They're a laboring man just the same as any of the rest of us. They're paid a salary. They're elected for that office and they're paid a salary, and if something comes up with labor for a raise they're again those, but every once in a while they want a $10,000 raise.
HERZOG: The whole damn country is just crooked, rotten. Look at Old Nixon.Look at the CIA.
Well, there is one thing I don't think is right now, they can investigate every branch of the government but the Congress and the Senate. I don't see why they should be immune from it any more than anybody else. They're just like a bunch of horsethieves, each one's got too much on the other- unless they get a guy out of there, want to knock him, why, then they've got plenty to say.
SS: Did the guys that represented this area in the early days, were theyokay? Did they look out after the interests of the local people?
NICHOLS: Yeah, I think they did then. Did all they could, if they didn't Sam-
HERZOG: about Old Borah.
SS: You said if they didn't do agood job they'd better not
GILDER: They'd be unhappy as hell there if they didn't.
HERZOG: I do think that Church is a good man. Tries to do something.I believe that's right, I'll agree with you on that. Well, I think that Taylor, that used to come through here on the pinto horse. I think there was a man that was trying to do right, but look what they done to him.
Kicked him out of the state.
Yeah, he finally got in and he went down south there, you know, andthey jumped onto him and beat him up and then they got that guy to come in and swear that he was a communist, that he'd been a communist himself and had seen him at meetings and all that stuff. Then after wards they found out that he just quit because he couldn't do anything, and he wouldn't stay in there. Well, then afterwards they investigated that guy that swore to this stuff, well, his own exwife told about him being in an asylum.
SS: This Glen Taylor?
Yeah,he got a dirty deal.
Well, he had ambition enough to go out and make a campaign and seeeach and every individual one of us if he could. And other than that I've seen a few politicians on the street there in Troy a day or two before election and that's the extent of it.
NICHOLS: He went to California after he quit and went to school teaching again
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
20:00 - Harvard originally had a good future because of the Hoodoo mines, but didn't pay; Gold Bug and Mizpah mines
Direct segment link:
30:00 - Chinese mining in the Hoodoos; Various mining operations; Dredging on the upper Palouse River
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
56:00 - Hauling logs to the river; uninformed newcomers write about the country; rumor of gang on Palouse River
Direct segment link:
60:00 - Why Canfield donated ten acres at Harvard to Potlatch for depot; Cheap price of hay at Palouse
Direct segment link:
64:00 - Bill Deary was tough; cutting cedar grove on Meadow Creek; Potlatch fails to seed after logging
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
79:00 - How Weyerheauser got his start; how Potlatch acquired land, buying homesteads; decline of prolific fishing
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
92:00 - Improvement of conditions by striking IWWs; company pressure to get one union for all the men
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
110:00 - Fritz Leinhart elected judge as a joke; Pete Pahnke tries to hew ties; hard feelings over a survey
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link:
Direct segment link: