Friday, March 4, 2011


"Some of my first memories of the mountains are of them burned clean in two great fires; the late 1890's and in 1910, Maurice McKay said. "Most of it was burned off from Thompson Falls, down the valleys, through Hope, ID. The black snags that were left behind soon became prized wood logs and were cut out in later years. By 1918 the valley had little brush and small short thickets of green timber. I could look out from any hillside and see the whole valley."1.
The forest service was a wee little force. At Noxon it had only the ranger station; a rough lumber dwelling where Ranger Saint lived, and a little barn where he kept one horse.
"That's all they had except for a little warehouse in the back of the house for keeping the pack sacks and a few pick axes for fighting fire; and canteens and so forth," Maurice said.2.
The Modern Woodsmen and Royal Neighbors held a picnic on Prospect creek. Men stood around talking about timber prospects, logging camp conditions, and wages. Bindle stiffs outnumbered family men, although they felt uncomfortable. Opportunities for socializing were few for them.

Slim Mahoney and Edward Hartman, who were employed by the Cabinet Forest in road construction on Bull River, returned home. They were working on a piece of road to go up over a hill towards Squaw Peak. Cap Berray put in a bid on it.3.

Missoula - The ranger course given by the State university ended March 27,
"and soon the big hats, stag shirts and loud handkerchiefs of the ranger gang will disappear from the campus... special requests for trained foresters have been received from national forest headquarters all over the west ... ranger students who are leaving this week will find plenty of good jobs waiting for them in various parts of the country."
The forest service's optimism burned brightly in only a few hearts. Truth was that during the past four years fifty percent of the experienced rangers quit because of low pay set some ten years ago by congress.4.
"And nobody liked the forest service," Bob Saint said. "Nobody. Because this was a country where if you wanted timber you simply went out and you took it. You didn't bother to ask. You simply went out and took it. So the ranger was just about as popular as any game warden."5.
Bill Getske made his meaning plain as day when he threatened Hill, the game warden,
"You look just like you got antlers."6.
(insert photo)
Ranger Ben F. Saint and his family. Back: Ben F., Montana, Fern. Front: Bob, Don, and Alice. Courtesy Ben. F. Saint.
Local settlers also condoned stealing from the forest service, like bootlegging and moonshinging.
"Old Brockway was a bootlegger in Noxon," Lanky Jamison said.
"There were some pretty rough characters here. Old Brockway he lived next to where Maynard's barbershop was and he was bootlegging the forest service stuff from down off the lookouts.
"Jim Duffy tried to rob him. He had a .44 or .45 revolver. And everyone knew who it was. Brockway had a .32 pistol. He shot up in the air and Duffy run."7.
Ranger Ben F. Saint's son, Bob Saint said, 
"My Dad always, for years, he never went any place without a rifle on his saddle. He simply packed a rifle. People just didn't like him. I don't think anybody shot at him. He was supposed to have been an extremely good shot so I think if you'd shot, and you didn't get him, you were packin' trouble.
"And, yeah, well, he used to laugh about Cliff Weare. He said Cliff Weare would buy a section of timber. Then, you'd better watch him because he'd cut every section around it before he ever moved in on his own. Dad said Cliff Weare simply stole more timber than anybody here."8.
Granny Gordon worked summers for Ben Saint. Granny had been the first ranger up Bull River but he gave it up and worked only periodically for the forest service afterwards. Saint had his own opinion of his helper.
"Granny, if you want to ride that saw why don't you hike down to the barn and get a saddle," Ben told Granny once when they were bucking wood with a crosscut saw. "Yeah, Granny worked for my Dad for years and years," Bob Saint said.
"He was good for two jobs. You could put him out in the warehouse and he'd probably find something to sleep on; or you could put him in the station as cook. He was a pretty fair cook."9.
Ranger Saint believed in using the "shanks pony" God gave you. If he could avoid horsebacking it he walked.
"Dad used to figure if he didn't have more than 20 miles to go, that it wasn't worth while saddling a horse. He wouldn't bother to catch and saddle a horse. He simply walked anything under 20 miles. If it was over 20 miles, then he'd go catch a horse. But less than 20 miles he walked," Bob said.10.
Forest Service pack string packing the crated components of the Loveland Lookout, 1930. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.
April 8, 1920

"Supt. Harry Lee Baker of the Cabinet Forest gave one of the most successful and enjoyable stag parties since prohibition came into effect last Saturday evening at the Baker home.
"The musical program in which all of the guests took part was a howling success. Even the names of the participants were musical. Rollo Older rolled like a nightingale; Howard Drake-well we all know what a noise a Drake can make; F. C. Brown, like David of old, was the sweet singer of Israel; James L. Adams, a relative of old Adam of Garden of Eden fame sang like he was courting mother Eve; George Buxton, who like the last syllable in his name, has considerable ton(e); and R.(sic) F. Saint who, like all saints, full of joyous music, with Prof. Chas. Smith, like the first smith and manufacturer of musical instruments, Tubal Kan (sic – Cain) *( of Bible fame, added his skill on the violin to the enjoyment of the evening.
"Everything from "Sweeping Through the Gates of the New Jerusalem" to "Sunshine of Paradise Alley" was on the program. Quartets, solos, and piano music helped to pass the hours. When it comes to stag parties, Baker is there."
The editor of the weekly local newspaper delighted in informing readers about US Forest Service activities in Sanders County, Montana whether serious or frivilous. Establishing buildings on mountains to house firewatchers was an especially notable achievement. He took great pleasure in providing the details for his readers.

May 13, 1920

"Forest Superintendent Harry L. Baker, Fred E. Brown and B. F. Saint of the Cabinet forest, accompanied by D. C. Delavan of the Coeur d'Alene forest returned from a location trip on which they ascended some of the highest peaks of the Bitter Root range for the purpose of locating look out points for that part of the country.
"It was decided that 80 Odd Peak, used as a look out point by the Cabinet Forest, was more suitable for the Coeur d'Alene section of the service.
"The new peak selected for the Cabinet forest has no name so far, but we hereby baptize it Baker Peak for the excellent service Supt. Baker is giving his work. It will be used by the Cabinet forest and a cabin will be erected there and will be connected with the outside world by telephone.
"The gentlemen who were in the locating party had a hard trip on snow shoes as the snow was 16 feet deep in places. The first day they got as far as the Holbert mine, and starting at 7 o'clock for their destination it took them until 8 p.m. to return to the starting point. The highest point reached was about 7000 feet."

(insert photo)
Caption: Tabletop Lookout, Thompson Falls, Montana was photographed by Loren 'Lanky' Jenkins, circa 1980. Courtesy Loren 'Lanky' Jamison collection.
Governor S. V. Stewart proclaimed the week of May 20-29 Forest Protection Week in Montana. Eighty percent of the 139 fires on and adjacent to the Cabinet National Forest the previous summer were man caused. They burned 16 million feet of timber having an estimated stumpage value of $31,000. Every thousand feet of green timber is worth at least $10 in wages besides its stumpage value. Burned timber pays no wages. On every thousand feet of timber burned the people bear 80 percent of the loss. Last year this amounted to $128,000. Fire prevention was the major interest of the forest service. "Forest Preserve", in the vernacular of that body's first chief, Gifford Pinchot, mean to preserve the trees from fire for use of the settlers for the benefit of all the citizens of the United States.*11.
Cabinet National Forest became more heavily involved in the transportation routes in the valley. Fires could not be fought successfully without them, they said. Pleas going to Washington, DC urging that more money be made available for this purpose were heeded.

According to reports to congress, the federal government was joining county government more and more. Their goal was better forest preserve management as interpreted under the principles originally set forth by Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot,
When Forest Supervisor Baker, County Commissioner Maynard, B. F. Saint and Ed Fitzgerald, Jr. went over the road between Troy and Noxon the editor reported,
"The county, with the help of the forest service, will put this road in good condition this summer.
"This road will prove to be great help to the rangers and woodsmen who are very much in need of better road conditions. It also opens up one of the best hunting and fishing countries in the Northwest. Bull Lake and Lake Darling, only locally known, are among the most scenic lakes in the country and are located on the boundary line of Sanders and Lincoln counties."
"Ed Fitzgerald, Jr., of Thompson Falls oversees re-construction of one and a half miles of road between the lower Bull River bridge, about five miles from Noxon, and the Bull River ranger station. $1,000 was spent by the forest service in cooperation with the county, which will spend a like amount on Upper Thompson river road. Several Thompson Falls boys were in the work crew."*12.

(insert photo)
Caption: Loveland Peak lookout on the Cabinet National Forest. Circa 1930s. Courtesy Stewart and Agnes Hampton collection.

May 27, 1920
"The Cabinet forest has a truck on the way here of the newest type with a ton capacity. It will fill the long felt want in facilitating the transportation service."
Now the forest service could be of even more service to the people. The road between Missoula and Thompson Falls was almost impassible from spring mud.
"At Magpie on the reservation they found nine automobiles stranded and several had to have the help of the government trucks to pull them out of the mud. As long as this condition exists we cannot expect tourists to take our roads."
Fred Wuerl drove the G.M.C army truck from Thompson Falls to Bull River to do the hauling for the road crew, and the repair of the forest service telephone line. Loren Shove, another forest service summer employee, made the trip with him.
(insert photo)
Caption: A forest service crew, 'The Tree Planters,' circa 1920-21, Cabinet National Forest. This photo was also in Wanda and Lyle Younker's collection. It has been identified as taken on Martin Creek, 1920, listing (L-R) John Erickson, Paul Fishe, Cass Fisher, George Gross, Tom McGloughlin, Walter Robb, Carl Holmes, Neil Eplin, Len Ross, Frank Ross and Kimmie Saint. Courtesy Walter Robb collection.

The weekly paper also reported the details of reforestation activities in the western end of Sanders County.
"Tree planting just completed on Pilgrim Creek consisted of approximately 550 acres of western yellow pine, western white pine and western red cedar. Approximately 900 trees were planted per acre at a cost of $9.50 per acre. The transplants were from two to four years old, and with the favorable weather that has prevailed a large percentage of living trees is anticipated.
"The work was done entirely by local (Sanders County) men. R. R. (Kid) Ross carried off the honors in setting a fast pace in the field, while Edward Hartman, (The Peace River Kid) stood ace high at meal time. Frank Dixon, king of culinary artists, saw to it the crew had proper nourishment. The "Palace of Chance" also did a thriving business, and no one was barred. The following ex-service men were with the crew: Hubert S. Bushey, Fred Thayer, Arthur Thayer, Victor Dahlstrom, Fred A. Wuerl, Joseph Marksbury, Charles Thayer, Frank Hagel, W. H. Beckman, Will Robb, Frank Thayer and Francis Larson."
The a fire on the lower Bull River near the Lindquist ranch interrupted a road building crew in that valley. *13. Again, in the first week in July, the men were called to a fire that burned approximately 15 acres near Smeads. The crew returned to their pick and shovel work building road, but stopped for hay-harvesting the last week in July.

Fred Proctor, who'd filed for homestead before World War I called him, returned. He didn't move back to the log cabin he'd built on Bull River. He and Clarence Foote were assigned to the Cabinet Forest. Both men, injured in the army, were detailed to the forest service
"to receive practical training until the Forestry School opens at Missoula University."
The Vocational Training Department of the army paid their salaries.*14.

(insert photo)
Caption: Fred Proctor, homesteader on Bull River. After returning from World War I, Fred left his homestead, taking employment with the Cabinet National Forest at Noxon, Montana. Courtesy Ruth Mercer McBee collection.

Mr. and Mrs. Rollo Older of Trout Creek moved to Plains. Rollo became the Forest Ranger for the eastern part of the Cabinet Forest.*15.

In 1919 the forest service had started building a new house for the Ranger's family. This would be the first separate living quarters to be established at Noxon. To assure a water supply for the horses they began digging wells. County residents were able to read about the problems encountered in the newspaper.
"They dug three dry wells," Bob Saint said. "Over by the barn above the old ranger station. And I think Ray Gage was the supervisor. He didn't believe in witching. He said that was just all a lot of malarkey; that if you wanted a well you simply dug a hole.
"Well, they dug three, all hand dug down to sixty odd feet. He finally decided that maybe there was something to witching. So, Anthony Wayne Saint witched the well for them that they put in back of the ranger residence. And at 55 feet they got water there ... at least it was called water.*16.
"Andy Sandy who has been digging the well struck water at a depth of 49 feet. A three-horse power gasoline engine will pump the water from the well to the concrete reservoir on the hill above the station (just below the cemetery) to secure pressure. The engine will also furnish power for other purposes at the station."*17.

(insert photo)

Caption: This picture is posed in the front yard of the new Cabinet National Forest ranger's home at Noxon, circa 1921-23/ Tje residence was the firt home separate from the Ranger Station, to be built at Noxon. Kneeling in back: Unknown, Montana Stock and Bob Saint. Front: Don Saint, Alice Bannister, unknown, and Bruce Saint. Courtesy H. R. Bob Saint collection.

A ranger's wife was expected to support her husband in all his labors, just as other wives did for their men. For Fern Saint there were frequent callers to provide for because the family lived in the Ranger Station.

In addition, there were meals to provide for any men her husband might have dealings with. Timber buyers, tourists, homesteaders, sheriff's officers, etc.

Being a young mother also kept her busy. Fern never liked horses and had little to do with the family's livestock.

Ben and Fern raised an average sized family; three boys and two girls. Fern's life was much like other women of her era. She was Ethel Weare's midwife when Freda was born. She also nursed one of Ethel's babies, along with her own baby daughter, when influenza put Ethel to bed and her baby boy was starving.

(insert photo)
Caption: This deer is a typical white tail moocher at the Forest Service camp cook at the Bull River Ranger Station, 1933. George Harvey Austin was cook. Charlie Herman was a cook at Paradise, Montana for the forest service. Walter Lake also was a forst service camp cook. Courtesy Keith Austin collection.

Tana and Bob Saint, being her eldest children, "felt that Noxon was the greatest place in the world to grow up, just one big playground. If fears there were, they seem to have suppressed them well.
"Alice Saint, on the other hand, remembered all the cooking and putting up food by her Mama and was aware more of the drudgery in her life.
"Often she'd be rinsing wash in the creek long after dark.
"I suspect that the life of a ranger's kid wasn't that different from a logger's kid. Dads would be gone a lot, long hours, but there was always the possibility that a Ranger-dad would take you with him to restock a look-out, etc."*18.
(insert photo)
Caption: Keith Austin spent summers with his dad who was Forest Service camp cook at the Bull River Ranger Station. Deer were very tame and came into the]camp to become pests. Circa 1933. Courtesy Keith Austin collection.

Ranger Saint also shipped cream.
"We had to milk never less than three cows and sometimes as many as five," Bob Saint said. "Normally we kept one horse during the winter that you had to clean the stables for. And, always, we had pigs and chickens. My job was the milking. I was stupid. I learned to milk when I was five years old and they simply just turned it over to me from the time I was five up until we left there. I guess I was probably fifteen when we moved from Noxon. Until we moved to Thompson, why the milking job was mine.
"We sold milk. Grandma Fulks kept cows. Aunt Ethel had cows when she ran the restaurant. Well, she always kept a couple of cows because she had her own milk and cream there. Of the people who lived in town, that's about the only ones who had cows.
"We were raised with horses. It was all horse and sleigh logging.*19.
(insert photo)
Caption: Porcupines often were regular pests to forest service crews. This 'porky' made frequent raids of the garbage cans aat the Divide Peak lookout. Courtesy Laurence 'Larry; Cox collection.

In 1921 game wardens received a dubious assist when Montana, in a cooperative agreement with Washington, DC, decreed all Forest Service Rangers would, henceforth, become guardians of Uncle Sam's game population as well as its other natural resources.

Some Forest Service Rangers were tobacco-chewing, whiskey-drinking characters while others were suave, diplomatic and God-fearing individuals. All were much respected community leaders, jacks-of-all-trades and doers.

Ranger Ben Saint, whose district was headquartered at Noxon, was a real diplomat, judge, jury and advocate. In those days of manual performance he knew how to inspire high performance from the few men under his direction, including Ivan Anderson, who was a newly arrived, straight from college, book trained technical forester.

In the fall of 1921 Anderson was helping Saint cruise a few small tracts of timber. Winter had set in with about eight inches of snow up and down the valley. Saint and Anderson loaded their gear on Saint's buckboard and left for the Harker place near Heron, about 12 miles downstream over barely passable roads on the south side of the river.

The wagon road on the north side went west to about two miles beyond the mouth of Bull River so no bridge or ferry existed at Heron. The Lauderdale Lumber Company had built a tramway crossing near Harkers in 1918. Leaving the horse and buckboard at Harkers the men crossed the Clark's Fork River by the cable crossing.

A small cage dangled from the cable suspended more than a hundred feet over the river and had quite a sag in it. The cage picked up speed until it got about two-thirds of the way across. From there on, Saint and Anderson hand lined their way up to the anchor tree on the north side of the river.

On the north side trail, it was a hiking chance. So they hiked on down river three or four miles and then up on the mountain where they cruised their proposed timber sale. It didn't take very long. In fact, the job of getting there and back to the ranger station was much the bigger part of the job.

Finishing the timber cruise they started down the mountain towards the cable crossing. In a short distance they came onto a bloody trail where somebody had recently dragged a deer down the mountainside. Anderson, having just received his game warden status, was rather proud of it and thought, 'Aha, here's our chance to exercise our prerogatives as game wardens.'
"It looks like we'll get somebody here without much trouble," he said to his superior, "with a trail like this to follow!"
Instead of being interested, Saint seemed agitated. Nevertheless they started on the hot trail down the mountainside, slipping in snow here and there.

Within a quarter of a mile they were looking down on one of the homesteads, a rather humble looking affair with log barns and an all-log house. The trail led across a small clearing just on the uphill side of the barn.
"I wouldn't be a bit surprised but what that deer is hung up inside the barn," Anderson said, excitedly. "Maybe we should go in and pick it up so we have the evidence!"
Neither men thought about a search warrant as search seizure laws were pretty much ignored in those distant days. Saint was draggin' his feet and looking uncomfortable about the situation until finally he halted.
"Yes, Andy, I think probably we'll find that venison in there. But before we go in I want to tell you something about this family down there."
After giving their name to his tenderfoot forester he said,
"You know Jim has had terrible bad luck the last few years. His wife took sick a year or two ago, had to go to the hospital at Sandpoint. Then to the doctor at Spokane. And she came back here and died.
"You know there's only a 12 year old girl keeping house for Jim and two other kids. He's trying his best to keep the family together. I really think it would be a terrible calamity if we went in there and made an arrest.
"Furthermore, I doubt very much if we'd have a Chinaman's chance of proving their guilt at the JP court at Thompson Falls."
Anderson began to see the light. "You're the boss, I'll follow," he said soberly.
Saint discreetly led them around the clearing and down to the road out of sight of the place, and backtracking to headquarters. Like many of the early day rangers, Saint truly was judge, jury and advocate, all wrapped up in one package.*20.

(insert photo)
Caption: Devastation in northwestern Montana from 1925 forest fire. Taken by a member of a Cabinet National Forest fire-fighting crew. Courtesy Chalres Ellis collection.
When it was available, Saint would take a truck over the mountains. There were lots of upland game birds; grouse.
"One August he knocked on the door," Dan DeLong said. "Mama was cookin' dinner. Saint was the ranger. Rangers were also game wardens, then. Ma was worried about eating grouse.
"But after he got done eating he got up and said there was nothing he liked better than barnyard chicken. And he left a can of pineapple, which was a big treat. Ben Saint was a peach of a guy. Everybody liked him."*21.
(insert photo)
Caption: Swan Swanson's hunting party came upon these two whitetail bucks near Whitepine, Montana. The deer had locked horns in the struggle for mating supremacy. One was dead. They shot the other. A coyote had eaten on the dead carcass, but had mot harmed the live buck. Courtesy Rena Swanson Wagener collection.

Lookout points had been established soon after the Forest Service entered the area. A rock cabin was built on Squaw Peak in 1907; 80 Peak was established in 1908, with a spring 1,000 feet below the cabin reached by a mile and a half of trail. It tied in with Idaho's firewatchers. Smeads Peak was established either 1926 or 1927. McFarland from Sandpoint, Idaho was one of the first people to man it.

In mid-July Ranger Saint installed the Squaw Peak and Gem Peak lookouts.*22. George Harvey Austin was lookout on Sex Peak, 1915-20, which he claims was known as SIX PEAK originally. George also was lookout on Cougar Peak later.*23.

(insert photo)
Caption: Unusual sights are seen in northwestern Montana, to be sure, but I suspect someone did some prickly handling of this porcupine, psed for his picture on this Cabinet National Forest service sign. Courtesy J. Randall 'Buck' Beebe collection.
August 19, 1920
"One year ago the Forestry Office at Washington (DC) authorized the construction of modern lookout cabins at the different lookout peaks in the Cabinet forest as fast as money was available for that purpose."
(insert photo)
Caption: Squaw Peak lookout on the Cabinet National Forest in northwestern Montana. Note the original shake roofed rock cabin on the slope below the lookout. Courtesy Cabinet Ranger District, Kootenai National Forest collection.

The models furnished by the department called for a 12x12 frame with a 6x6 lookout tower; the sides of the tower and cabin to be of glass.

Charles Wicksell purchased the Thompson Falls schoolhouse, erected in 1892 on Upper Railway Avenue, and converted the two-story frame building as a shop to manufacture the lookout orders. He also took orders for window frames and doorsills. His shop was one of the best of its kind between Missoula and Spokane, Washington.

There he manufactured the first cabin according to the plans. The different parts were packed to Twenty Odd peak. High atop the mountain expert carpenters from the shop put the first cabin together.

The 12'x12' cabin with an all glass sided six foot cupola gave the lookout ranger an opportunity to observe without going outside the cabin. The editor praised its functional aspects and lauded the success of the project.
"From that peak on a clear day, one can see about one hundred miles in all directions. Last year a modern trail eight feet in width was constructed to the cabin site. The view is one of the grandest in America. One can view the mountains near Spokane and can recognize certain peaks in the Glacier Park. Being easily accessible it will prove one of the big attractions for tourists. We understand that as soon as appropriations can be obtained a number of similar cabins will be erected on all lookout stations of the Cabinets."*24.
"This building has given such satisfaction that adjoining forests have ordered some from Wicksell's shop and at least six of them will grace the peaks of western Montana."*25.
(insert photo)
Caption: Charles 'Billy' Ellis, 'Taking A Five' on a forest service job at Trout Creek, Montana, Cabinet National Forest, 1925. Courtesy Charles 'Billy' Ellis collection.

(insert photo)
Caption" Charley Ellis had the first freight line from Thompson Falls to Spokane, Washington. Here, Charles 'Billy' Ellis poses on the forest service job out of Noxon Ranger District, Cabinet National Forest, Noxon, Montana 1925. Courtesy Charles 'Billy' Ellis collection.

By August, forest service trails were built to the mountain top lookout location points.
"This innovation will not only serve the lookouts but will encourage the tourists to climb the high peaks of the Cabinets and Bitter Roots from where an unsurpassed view can be obtained on clear days for 120 miles each way.
"As an example, from Twenty Odd peak one can see the Selkirks in British Columbia, Mount Spokane near Spokane, Coeur D'Alene Lake in Idaho, Gunsight Pass in the Glacier Park and the Bitter Root range in Idaho. Each peak presents a different panorama of views so grand those who have enjoyed it no longer wonder why this is called "God's country."*26.
Walter Robb said,
"In 1920 I went to work as a packer under Howard Larson at Trout Creek. Neil Eplin was his assistant. We moved up that fall in the Martin Creek planting job."*27.
(insert photo)
Caption: Neil Eplin was Supervisor of this forest crew, 1925, Cabinet National Forest, Trout Creek, Montana. It includes the camp cook for the crew -- a forestry student from the University of Chicago: Ben Saint, Neil Eplin and the mascot dog. Courtesy Charles 'Billy' Ellis collection.

(insert photo)
Caption: Part of a Cabinet National Forest fire crew at Trout Creek, Sanders County, Montana. 1925. Courtesy Charles 'Billy' Ellis collection.

(insert photo)
Caption: 'Billy' Ellis and his 'cushioned' rest stop in Cabinet National Forest camp, Trout Creek, Montana, worked on the 1925 forest fire serving under Neil Eplin from the Trout Creek Ranger District. Courtesy Charles 'Billy' Ellis collection.

Earl Engle took first place, March 1921, in the First Annual Guard Training Camp held by the forest service at Trout Creek Ranger station. It was a combination between a training a school for smoke chasers and lookouts and an examination to determine the applicant's fitness for the position he is to occupy this season.*28.

Billy Ellis returned to Montana, found work and in about 1921 went to work for the Forest Service under Neil Eplin at Trout Creek. He, with a young helper, built the first telephone line over the divide to Orophino, Idaho.*29.

As soon as fall rains moistened the ground a fifty man planting crew would begin work on Pilgrim creek out of Noxon. Ranger Siria started setting up camps. As of September 15th it was still too dry to plant.*30.

Foreman Frank Hagel's crew completed the Tuscor Hill telephone line.
"This eliminates the only bad stretch of telephone line between Noxon and Thompson Falls and assures first class long distance service to each community."*31.
On the open slopes, cleared of timber by the 1910 fires, rich grass turned the western Montana mountains into grazing pastures of excellent quality. One more job was added to the forestry department.
"Rangers Eplin and Dahlstrom are camping out these frosty nights helping Ranger Anderson and Guard Matthews map the timber and grazing resources of the Trout Creek and Noxon districts. 25 degrees."*32.
"Mr. Nye who is ranging a band of 2,500 sheep at the head of Swamp creek 15 miles north of Trout Creek had his band badly ravaged by bear who are unusually plentiful in the Cabinets this year. He reported a loss of over 200 head. Earl Hartman, the noted hunter and trapper, left for the sheep camp Saturday to put a stop to the mutton loving beasts having been engaged by Mr. Nye for a two weeks campaign against them."*33.
The summer of 1925 sheep were grazing on the Gem Peak Division. Divisions consisted of Steven's Creek, the headwaters of Martin, Pilgrim, and Elk Creek.

Authorization was given to graze 1200 sheep there; to be rail headed to Furlong and loaded out there. The forest service bought their supplies from Henry A. Larson and Company of Noxon, giving the store a good deal of business.*34.

Cabinet Forest Supervisor Harry Lee Baker signed a free use permit for Noxon Cemetery Association August 9, 1920.*35.

  1. Maurice McKay, oral history July 1, 1987. 
  2. Carmen Moore, tape-recorded oral history January 1988.
  3. Frank Berray, tape-recorded oral history March 6, 1970.
  4. Sanders County Independent Ledger, April 8, 1920.
  5. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  6. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, tape-recorded oral history December 26, 1986.
  7. Loren "Lanky" Jamison, tape-recorded oral history December 26, 1986.
  8. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  9. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  10. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  11. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 13, 1920.
  12. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 27, 1920.
  13. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 27, 1920.
  14. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 8, 1920.
  15. Sanders County Independent Ledger, May 27, 1920.
  16. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  17. Sanders County Independent Ledger, September 23, 1920.
  18. I. R. Garrett, letter, June 29, 1987.
  19. H. R. Bob Saint, tape-recorded oral history, November 18, 1983.
  20. I. V. Anderson, article, Cabinet National Forest records.
  21. Dan DeLong, tape-recorded oral history May 26, 1987.
  22. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 15, 1920.
  23. Keith L. Austin, letter March 4, 1990.
  24. Sanders County Independent Ledger, March 25, 1920.
  25. Sanders County Independent Ledger, August 19, 1920.
  26. Sanders County Independent Ledger, August 19, 1920.
  27. Walter Robb, letter February 8, 1988.
  28. Sanders County Independent Ledger, June 2, 1921.
  29. Billy and Edna Ellis, letter June 1, 1987.
  30. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 8, 1921.
  31. Sanders County Independent Ledger, August 21, 1921.
  32. Sanders County Independent Ledger, December 15, 1921.
  33. Sanders County Independent Ledger, July 8, 1921.
  34. Cabinet National Forest records.
  35. Sanders County Commissioner files, March 15, 1961 - Petition for the Creation of a Public Cemetery District; Commissioners Journal, July 6, 1961. Cemetery Board appointed: Stewart Hampton (1 year), F. E. MacSpadden (2 years), Al J. Kline (3 years) to the first board. The county commissioners combined District #3 and District #10 , on August 28, 1962 into Heron-Noxon Cemetery District. March 15, 1961 funding was begun by taxes for Heron-Noxon public cemetery district. Embraced approximately from Montana-Idaho state line, to Lincoln/Sanders county line, and eastward to Stephens Creek and Rock Creek.  

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