Sanders County Ledger - Your Best Source For Sanders County News

Remember When?


105 YEARS AGO • APRIL 21, 1916


Spring is here, the snow has gone and the mud dried up, the annual season has again rolled around when it is full time for you to get out that garden rake and clean up the yard, prepare the ground for a little garden and burn up the trash that has accumulated during the winter. It is to be hoped that the mayor and city council will speedily lease or buy a small tract of ground, not too far from town that can be used for a city dumping ground. While it is true that old boards, paper, dead grass and the like debris can be piled up and burned there is sure to be a large accumulation at each home that will not burn, such as tin cans, winter socks and ashes, and must be carted away. Mr. Preston is on hand to haul all this away if there is only provided some place where it can be dumped. Please City Dads hurry and get us that dumping ground that has been talked of these many years. The people want it and want it this very spring.

Other towns are doing it. We are rapidly growing and must keep up with our neighbors and awaken to the importance of proper public sanitation. In the past the municipal health authorities have not only been accorded little public support in their efforts to improve conditions, but have encountered considerable opposition, (a fact which the writer can vouch for, having formerly served on the town board of health for some two years) which has made difficult, if not impossible enforcement of rules made by the state board and demanded by even the most elementary regard for the public health, with the result that today Thompson Falls is far behind many of the towns in the county and state in sanitary conditions. We refer particularly to the toilets in the business portion of the town and many in the residential portion not connected either with the sewer or cesspool.

Just as health is the most priceless asset any individual can have, so is perfect sanitation the most valuable asset any community can possess.

From my reading of over a hundred years of The Sanders County Ledger, sanitation was at a loss in Thompson Falls’ early days. Before a water system was developed for the town, of course the only toilets were a privy in the back yard or behind the town’s business establishments. After running water and indoor toilets came about most of the sewage below the tracks was piped into the river. Most citizens had garbage piles in the backyard that grew and grew. When my dad tilled his garden he constantly turned up “artifacts” from the past in one particular area by the alleyway. Obviously, the site of someone’s dump pile. The cliffs along the river at what is now the Rimrock Lodge served as a dumping ground for the citizens of town. They would just heave it over the cliffs and I am sure during high water most of the garbage was carried downstream.

40 YEARS AGO • APRIL 18, 1991


Travelers to Spokane and Coeur D’Alene can now travel the shortcut route of Thompson Pass now that Idaho has succeeded in plowing the road open from their side.

Early travelers of the pass route, which has been open for over a week now, encountered tight one lane travel, with mountainous snowdrifts to each side.

With warmer weather and the opening of the road, the lane is widening and in some places two lane travel is available.

Snow depth on the pass itself is from four to eight feet and higher where the snow has been bulldozed into a pile.

One traveler remarked that this year the deep snow extends farther down the road than most years, with the snow heavy from the last bridge across Prospect Creek.

Road conditions on the Montana side are good, with an all weather surface up to the pass. Idaho’s side remains a two lane gravel road for the nine miles from the pass down to Murray.

Still, though, the shortcut route cuts about 40 miles off a trip to Spokane. The time savings may not be as great, however due to the winding nature of much of the road and the nine miles of gravel. The route is a popular one in summer because if its scenic nature.


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