"WHATEVER THE DAY SHALL BRING": LIVES OF WOMEN IN A NORTH IDAHO
Sullivan, Gwen Ellen
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This is a focus on the history of the small rural town of Pierce, Idaho, where gold was discovered in 1860 in what was then a part of Washington Territory. Although an illegal action, as the land belonged to the Nez Perce tribe, Captain Elias Davidson Pierce and a small party circumvented the law, thereby opening the area to an influx of miners and instigating the establishment of Lewiston, Idaho, at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. The gold rush lasted only a short time and newer discoveries led miners further south into the Salmon River drainage, leaving behind a few Chinese and white miners who kept Pierce alive until logging brought new life to the town.White pine logging in the Inland Northwest began when timber barons from the Great Lakes region exploited the available timber in the Palouse region of eastern Washington starting in the late 1800s, leading to the establishment of the towns of Palouse, Washington, and Potlatch, Idaho, a company town built and managed by the Potlatch Lumber Company. As resources were depleted on the Palouse, the timber companies began moving east into Idaho, specifically the Clearwater River drainage where Pierce, Idaho, is situated. The former mining town became another company town of sorts.vIn addition to a brief history of the logging industry in the area, included here are the stories of women who have lived and worked in proximity to the timber industry. While few women have been directly involved in logging, their lives are an integral part of the history of logging in the Northwest, and their stories provide a window into rural community life. Some of them are collected here along with the author's personal recollections of nearly a decade spent living in Pierce. Also included is an examination of two dissimilar memoirs of women whose early lives were spent in the area near Pierce: Kim Barnes's In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country and Betty Lynch Husted's Above the Clearwater: Living on Stolen Land.