Cottonwood to celebrate 150th year in 2012, area history included
(History continued from last week)
As we reach the halfway mark in the celebration of our 150th year here in the shade of Craig Mountain’s now famous Cottonwood Butte – so much change mixed with really so little change in the history of these mountains and the thousands of years it took them to develop. Everything is truly relative – our universe to our solar system, to our earth, to our country, to this western part of our niche in the northwest, to our location on the Camas Prairie here in north central Idaho.
Over the years our connection to the mountains and the rivers and our part in the settlement and development of farms and ranches, the lumber and mining industry, has brought us to this celebration of 150 years of what has been a remarkable period of time.
We have over the past 40 weeks, tried to put the pieces all together. Our forefathers, the next three or four generations and our efforts to make things a little better with help of our God and all the blessings He has given us.
Wouldn’t you say that so far this has been a typical Idaho spring? All the worry and usual concern for the weather has seen our country transformed into the beautiful sight we see now today. Patchy clouds floating in a blue spotty sky. The winter crops are in their distinctive color of dark green and the spring crops in their shade of lighter green  mixed with the slambang yellow color of canola and the spring bloom of hay crops. And here all this is surrounded by the Bitterroot Rockies making a scene found nowhere else in the world! Truly, How Great Thou Art!
We all like to think (and rightly so) that this is our country even though we share it with many others. When our extended families and worked and lived for so long we have developed a claim to all this. All these stories coming up in our Vol. I and Vol. II (about 400 of them) tell about many people of this area and why they came to call this home! Besides the ones that took the time and effort to be in on this determined effort to make a record, there are many others who have been a huge part of this and they make their mark elsewhere in this area.
This week we pause to take time to kind of put the pieces together and really appreciate a concerted effort to draw this celebration to include both those featured in the articles and all the many who lay at rest in the area cemeteries.
As we stand by their tombstones and recall some of the unwritten stories with a tear in our eye, we thank all these many people who helped lay the groundwork for some really great things we have today. Each of us have our own set of memories or stories of others who did their part to hold and preserve our traditions.
Sometimes, when doing these weekly sketches, I fell that I’m a little too long-winded (and so do you!) but, sometimes it also seems that words are not enough. Some of our predecessors really deserve a “statue” for the things they did for family and the community where they lived. What an example they have been and when we meet some young tow-head who looks and acts just like their ancestor, maybe that is the statue we are talking about! Some day these people will be part of the group that will find a way to preserve the story of their generation.
Through the years we have had the pleasure of meeting people from back East or even other countries in Europe and Asia. They can’t say enough good things about the splendor we have come to take for granted. It has really been gratifying to see the people who live here join in the weekly exodus to the large areas of recreation in out mountains and along our lakes, streams and rivers. Our central Idaho is widely known for hunting, fishing and other activities such as hiking and just plain camping and sightseeing.
In our own family I see a formation of the next two generations starting to make their preparations for their personal attack on the Clearwater or Nez Perce National Forests. When I’ve spent a lot of time in these areas and hear of the stories of several thousand people who once lived and mined in the Hump and Florence area and how hard you have to look to find traces of all these people I’m personally in favor of keeping these areas accessible to the general public with reasonable road and trail maintenance. I definitely don’t want to see these areas locked up for just hiker special sorts to enjoy. I’m in favor of cutting the management back to the local people and not a huge building full of desk jockeys. Instead of moving the Nez Perce Forest office out of the area, bulldoze 60% and hire more field workers! Someone went to sleep at the switch again – common sense went to ground!
We’re getting a little far afield here but, there is a great connection here between keeping what we have and losing control to people who “have a dream!” and run the show with a D.C. computer.
Back to the ways that made this area stand out and how the people who lived here learn to pass on the best and latest of everything to enjoy all the different things they had – peace and quiet – great splendor all around them – great neighbors and friends to enjoy all the good with and the same to share their grief over the sad things. Because we find this kind of “country living” to our taste and liking doesn’t mean that it will appeal to everyone. Sure some have come and gone after time here. They aren’t cut out for living off the main road and I sure don’t like living next to people who don’t care for this. I hope they find what they want and expect where ever. After many years of living here and taking the family out almost every weekend, we just can’t get enough of this area. We have traveled elsewhere and always, after our time was up, we were anxious to return back to good old Central Idaho. Another thing we often talk about is after 50 odd years we have only to get that feel for adventure and there’s always someplace to go that we haven’t seen or been there before. After all these trips elsewhere, most of the “warnings” we’ve received for speeding have been on the way back home!
Another thing we can talk about with quite a bit of experience is our weather and the speed of the change in the patterns. The old timers often said to “Look outside and see what it’s doing. If you don’t like it, wait 20 minutes and it’s sure to change.” We often ran into adverse weather with out trips down to the river or up to the mountains. We finally just went according to plan and two-thirds of the time it was okay. 
Just think how you and your family got started going on these one-day, two-day and week long trips. I’ll bet you went a time or two with another family before the bug got you! We have all learned that the best things in life are more enjoyable when shared with and by others.
This has been a big project and has involved a much broader area than intended when started. Because of all the material gathered and the costs we now face, a lot of the outlying area is going to be left out. The 150-year project has come a long way from the original plans and estimates. Each week brings us closer to the final project and we are working diligently to get the book put together. When we first me our vision was 200 stories in a book with 5”x7” pages and we thought we would contact people for the stories. As time went on we learned people came to us and brought wonderful memories and photos to share. We are now up to 800 pages and still more to go! The layouts are being finished and placed together. The current plan is to have two volumes of stories, each approximately 200 sheets or 400 pages of typing sized pages. We are approximately done with the first 200 pages. The 150 year committee is very excited to proof read and edit the first version mockup which most of the committee members with see for the first time at the meeting this Thursday, June 21 at 2 p.m. at Hoene Hardware. We are beginning to look into price estimates but are unsure on the prices yet. We will let you know as soon as we have any information.

The Delmar Rad place now owned by Eddie Rad with Cottonwood Butte in the background. Photo by Don Hoene.

The old Bosse Homestead later owned by Frank Konen and now owned by Drs. Jack Secrest and Haley Minnehan. Photo by Don Hoene.

Holy Cross Church and Keuterville Butte looking due west from near the Keuterville Cemetery. Photo by Don Hoene.

Looking out across the Prairie from the Convent Road. Photo by Don Hoene.

The old Ferdinand Bank Building.  Photo by Don Hoene.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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