Swiftwater People

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Product Details
ISBN: 0-930344-05-7
Author: Russell, Bert & Russell, Marie
Pages: 448
Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Type: Hardcover

Swiftwater People is a collection of tape-recorded and edited interviews with more than 40 homesteaders, log drivers, railroad men, flunkeys, mule skinners, gamblers and Wobblies. In their own words they tell what it was like to be one of six girl flunkeys in a hundred man logging camp; to be a single woman homesteader and lost; to be a storekeeper's wife and expected to be the midwife for the neighborhood; to escape from your flooded home in a rowboat across a half mile of streaming river that had been pasture, to the safety of high land with your husband, two kids and only a box of chocolates; to be a log driver clinging to a high limb while two men drown and another makes a magnificent ride on the crest of the Marble Creek flood; to be driven from home and sweetheart by the Depression and almost freeze in a boxcar while looking for work; to be caught in a tug by a wild storm on Lake Coeur d'Alene; to ride a runaway sleigh load of logs. These are the lives of homesteaders, woman flunkeys, lumberjacks and firefighters in the swiftwater country of the St. Joe and St. Maries rivers.


Together, Bert and Marie Russell collected interviews, information and photos from old-timers over many years. Swiftwater People is one of six books produced by the couple. Calked Boots, Hardships and Happy Times, North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, The Sawdust Dream and Rock Burst all reflect the lives of working men and women in the Coeur d'Alene region.

Bert 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 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.

The Museum of North Idaho reprinted Swiftwater People in 2001.


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Applegate, Wash
Avery, Genevieve Maher
Bellows, Annetta Kellom
Bottrell, Stella Patterson
Boyce, Charlie
Brebner, Jim
Brebner, Anna McMillan
Brickle, Roy
Brickle, Ruth Bottrell
Broderick, Jerry Conroy
Brown, Dave
Daniels, Wallace
Darrar, Art
Degen, Bill
Dittman, Mamie Sietzer
Ebert, Howard
Ebert, Lena Hedrick
Ells, Carrie Laws
Ells, George
Farrell, Doris Latham
Fleming, Perry
Glidden, Harry & Inez
Griffin, James
Griffin, Josie Scott
Gunderson, Josie
Isaacson, Josie
Johnson, Arvid
Johnson, Pete
Krone, Anna Johnson
Lindstrom, Sadie Brayton
Onthank, Wade
Ramey, Ed
Ramey, Hazel Ogden
Reynolds, Florence Bruun
Robinson, Bill
Russell, Bert
Author Fill-ins:
Blake, Oscar
Straalsjoe, Ben
Theriault, Harold
Woodbury, Harry
Russian Alec
Shay, Clyde
Tom, Rose
Myrtle Tom Kienbalm
Trummel, Irene Scudley
White, Wash

Yager, Neil

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