Hardships and Happy Times

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In their own words what it's really like to be struck by lightning in a forestry lookout, to be a housewife suddenly left to boss her husband's logging outfit, to be caught beneath a crowning forest fire and survive where over 50 men perished, to make illegal moonshine, to drive logs down a swift running river, to be postmistress 33 years with a burning desire to catch trout, to lead a packstring into a flood swollen river, to walk a hundred miles in 24 hours to help a sick man... the lives of packers, fightfighters, trappers and women in the wilderness of Idaho's St. Joe River from before the 1920s through the 40s.


Bert Russell was born in Harrison, Idaho and worked as a logger, river driver, shipyard electrician, timber cruiser, rancher and writer. Bert passed away in 1997. Marie Russell continued to keep the stories told by these pioneers alive by making the books available to the public. Marie donated the books she had on hand to the Museum of North Idaho. Marie died Dec. 2014.


"Russell has given the stage to the old timers. They tell in their own words of log drives and logging camps, "wobblies" and "working stiffs", traplines and packstrings, lookouts and lightning storms, fires and gunfights... carries the punch of their own language to the account of a bygone era."

Diane Pettit, Lewiston Morning Tribune


Applegate, Wash
Bentley, Muggs
Cressler, Don
DeMerit, John
Dennis, John
Hanson, Ern
Lindow, Ruth
Oliver, Andy
Porterfield, Andy
Procopio, Lois
Procopio, Savvy
Renshaw, Wolfard
Resor, Paul
Scibner, Charley
Scribner, Mabel Louise
Shepherd, Mansfield
Shepherd, Della May
Theriault, Cliff
Theriault, Harold
Thomas, Barney
Uttley, Herb
Uttley, Violet
Zobec, Dan

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