Down Memory Lane

From The Miner’s files



110 years ago 1911

When the governor came to visit Pend Oreille County, his special train out of Spokane stopped at every station. He had a lunch in Ione and dinner in Newport’s Martin Hotel.

Newport High School’s graduating class consisted of Florene Kilpatrick, Ruby Lusher, William McKie, Milton Moeser and Talcott Moore.

A pound of coffee cost 35 cents.



100 years ago 1921

The Ruby ferry sank in the river and carried down with it a large truck and a load of supplies belonging to Diamond Match.

An inside dike of Calispell Creek gave way and flooded grain fields in the upper Calispell Valley.

Cleon Carter suffered a double fracture of his left leg while playing ball.



90 years ago 1931

A bronze tablet was unveiled at the Newport Cemetery to mark the completion of a 14-year project by Mrs. S.H. Neil in memory of her husband, a war casualty.

Dust storms from the Columbia Basin were unusually severe.

Mining men again were investigating diggings in the Metaline district.



80 years ago 1941

When the U.S. government announced a 25% reduction in the number of CCC camps, Usk residents asked Rep. Charles Leavy to help keep theirs open. It was the only organized firefighting unit in southern Pend Oreille County. The government closed the camp anyway.

Rainfall in May broke all previous records: 4.68 inches.

Old age pension leaders didn’t care about President Roosevelt’s war emergency; they demanded larger payments.



70 years ago 1951

Newport dedicated McNeil Memorial Field for the 10-year high school principal and Kiwanis club member William McNeil, who was killed in World War I.

A rainy weekend slowed down the job of poisoning ground squirrels.

Jimmy Henley was hired as a lookout on Stone Johnny.



60 years ago 1961

Mayor Robert Owen’s annual gymkhana drew more than 1,000 onlookers to Newport. About 125 horses and riders registered for the events.

Oberg’s Tavern, one of Newport’s oldest, was sold by Beryl Burkhart to Mr. and Mrs. Duane Mounds of Spokane.

Bread sold for 32 cents a loaf; ice cream for 59 cents a gallon.

50 years ago 1971

Faced with dire financial needs, Cusick School District directors told the county auditor they would resubmit their failed levy in a special election.

Newport High counted 55 honor roll students, 11 of them with perfect 4.0 grade averages.

Diamond Lake residents elected to form their own water, sewer and fire districts.



40 years ago 1981

Opposition to locating an animal shelter at the old Diamond Lake sanitary landfill mounted at an informal hearing before the county commissioners.

Rainfall so far was 11.17 inches, which was above the 10-year average of 10.61 inches, according to the Newport Ranger Station. Although 2.21 inches of rain fell during May, that was far below the 4.61 inches form May of 1941, one of the wettest months on record.



30 years ago 1991

Members of the Oldtown City Council agreed to table action on the annexation of Idaho Hill and put the proposal to a vote of the people.

Chris Wyrobek, a freshman at Newport High School, received certificates of commendation from Newport Ambulance, Newport Police and Pend Oreille County Sheriff for his quick thinking and actions, which may have saved the lives of his family. He was riding in the passenger seat of the van his mother Bonnie was driving, with his brother Greg and sister Melissa seated in the back. They were three miles north of Newport when they were broadsided by a large truck. His mother was knocked unconscious and the van sent over a 25-foot embankment. Chris grabbed the steering wheel, and stepped on the brake. The van hit the trees below but not as hard as it would have without his quick response.



20 years ago 2001

The Usk Community Club was to hold Good Neighbor Day, including a potluck and children’s games Sunday, June 10. It’s a chance to have fun with the community coming together, said Barb McGill, president of the club. The Usk Community Club was first formed in 1918 to build a gymnasium for the Usk school.

Since the first of the year Areocell had been quietly moving into production of both raw and finished products for airplanes. With 29 employees, the plant had been selling products each month from its plant in Newport, formerly a Keytronic keyboard manufacturing facility.



10 years ago 2011

It’s been an unenforceable rule for years but now boats with internal combustion engines won’t be allowed on Yokum Lake and law enforcement officers will have authority to write citations for violations. The 47-acre lake is located east of the Pend Oreille River north of Ruby.

Washington’s youngest county was 100 years old and local officials marked the event dressed in period clothing to celebrate Pend Oreille County’s centennial June 1 in ceremonies and dinners throughout the day.