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Sanders County Historical Society Photo

D.V. Herriott's original store before the fire

50 YEARS AGO • JUNE 6, 1968


Larsons and Greens, Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide 2,450 square feet of floor space for new Forest Service offices in two buildings it owns between Motors Garage, Inc. and the Saint Building. The new ranger station is scheduled to be ready for occupancy in early September.

Kelly Green said the interior of both buildings will be bared to the walls and combined into one structure. In addition, two rooms and a covered three-car carport will be erected on the rear. Additional parking space for the ranger station headquarters will be provided on a lot the firm owns on the east side of the Ledger building.

Green said a new concrete stairway will be built for the second floor of one building, which is now occupied by the Forest Service.

Turk Cabinet Shop will be the prime contractor for the remodeling. The renovation project will be accomplished to make both buildings appear as one with new windows and a central entrance.

"When our extensive remodeling project is completed, the new headquarters for the ranger district should be adequate for a number of years," Green said.

New concrete sidewalks will be installed in front of the building.

This building now houses the First Baptist Church. In the early 1900s there was a wooden building on the site that housed Herriott's General Merchandise. In January of 1909 some drunken men were raising hell in the saloon next to the store and overturned a kerosene lamp which ended up setting fire to the whole block, burning all the buildings to the ground. One of the burned buildings was the first site of First State Bank. D.V. Herriott salvaged what merchandise he could from the fire and immediately re-opened his business in the I.O.O.F. building (The Barber Shop). After that disastrous fire, which wiped out an entire block of businesses, the city council passed an ordinance that all new buildings on Main Street had to be constructed of brick or concrete. Herriott had a new brick building built on the lots where his store burned down and moved his stock of goods into his new building in September of 1910. This is the building that is standing to this day. D.V. Herriott was the first school teacher in the raw frontier town of Thompson Falls in 1890. He also planted the horse chestnut tree that is below the Odd Fellows Hall. It is a venerable tree, and probably one of the first deciduous trees planted in Thompson Falls, along with the ancient maple tree that the first mayor of Thompson Falls planted at his house on Preston Avenue. I find it amazing that these two trees are still standing, over 100 years later.


Fans of the Thompson Falls Blue Hawks have recognized a need and now are acting in unison to fill that need by building a new athletic field on a 30-acre school owned tract of land in the old golf course area north of the city dump.

Clearing and leveling of the field with bulldozers was completed Tuesday. Al Wulfekuhle started the dozer work Wednesday of last week. E.J. Muster, dozer operator moved two of his dozers in and completed the job by working the two machines Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday. Muster ran one machine and Harold Heater the other part of the time.

Hersh Butte donated the fuel for the dozers.

With the bulldozing completed Tuesday morning, Norman Williams, Coach Wayne Ward and James Langley began laying out the field and setting grade level stakes. The stakes will guide operators of graders in smoothing the field and grading out the regulation quarter-mile track which will surround the regulation gridiron. Steve Vulles has volunteered to operate the road maintainer.

Sanders County Historical Society Photo

The new store building

Norm Allen has volunteered to use his farm tractor and equipment to prepare the field for grass seeding after grading is completed. And Langley has located a five-horsepower pump which can be used in the old city water well, which is no longer used by the city. Paul K. Harlow has offered the use of pipe from his sprinkler irrigation system to water the field this summer.

Bill Chisenhall, president of the newly formed Booster Club, which has construction of the new facility as its first project, declined to predict how soon fertilizing and seeding will be accomplished. But, the way things have been moving the past few days, it won't be long and with continued cooperation of many more volunteers it's just possible that Coach Ward and his Blue Hawks may be operating from a new field for their four home football games this fall.


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