Your Best Source For Sanders County News

Carl and Linda Haywood

In 1992, Carl Haywood met Linda Lou DeBlois in Spokane, where he was speaking at a geology conference. On the last day Carl called Linda, inviting her to the ball. She eagerly accepted, and went out and bought a new dress just for the occasion. They were married shortly thereafter, and in the 32 years that followed lived a wonderful life together, full of adventure and achievement.

Linda was born on Oct. 25, 1946, in Lewiston to Harley DeBlois and Mildred Dover DeBlois. She had an older brother, Gary, who she was very close to. The family lived in the Lewiston Orchards and Linda attended Lewiston High School, graduating in 1965. Linda then attended business school but decided to attend the University of Idaho and graduated with a degree in geology in 1972, doing her geology summer field camp with the Colorado School of Mines. Prior to meeting Carl, Linda worked for the state of Idaho for about 20 years and was in charge of all the mines on Idaho state land. She routinely was at mine surface locations and also in mine shafts and deeper underground working areas.

Carl was born on July 12, 1942, grew up in Miami, Arizona, and graduated from Miami High School. After seeing the movie "Red Skies Over Montana" as a boy, he knew that Montana was where he wanted to live. He earned a degree in forestry and from 1966-1972 worked for the US Forest Service in wildfire and timber management and later as a service forester, mostly in Montana. During the mid-1980s Carl served as a staffer (with having a Natural Resources portfolio) for Senator Jim McClure of Idaho. While living in the Washington DC area, he found an outlet for his interest in both history and for the outdoors, by joining a fur trade period 'buckskinner' group. He attended organized 'rendezvous' events, and when back in Montana would trek alone in the mountains, wearing and using only 1820s era clothing and equipment.

Carl and Linda lived in Loveland, Colorado before they moved to Montana in 2001. While in Colorado, Linda, with her keen eye for antiques, would love going to antique stores, and weekend yard & estate sales looking for that special find. Linda was full of adventure, traveling to several foreign countries, including Central America, a three-month research project in Australia, and her more recent trip to Italy, where she climbed the long narrow passage steps up and down the Vatican City's St. Peter's Basilica dome!

Sharing the love of geology, they started an online company in 1995, while in Colorado, that provided rock, mineral and fossil specimens for educational purposes, and continued it when they moved to Montana. Everywhere they went, Carl and Linda would have sample 'sets' of rocks and minerals to hand out to educators or gift stores. Once in Montana, Linda had her own little "Rock Shop" in the basement where she filled and mailed out orders on a daily basis. In 2016, the business was passed on to one of Linda's close friends.

When Carl and Linda moved to Montana, they built their 'retirement' and forever home on 20 forested acres that teemed with wildlife. They both loved the history of the area and the great outdoors, and they became part of a group that started the Thompson Falls' "David Thompson Days" celebration. Later they traced the route of the "Road to the Buffalo" (the original path traveled by native peoples in the Northwest to the Great Plains where bison could be hunted, and which was traveled by every early explorer in what is now western Montana). They were instrumental in convincing the Montana Highway Department to place signs marking where modern highways follow that trail.

Responding to ongoing confusion among authors and historians about the actual location of the "Saleesh House," (David Thompson's trading post that he established near Thompson Falls in 1809) Carl, with Linda's help, meticulously research Thompson's journal and other historical literature, and wrote the book 'Sometimes Only Horses to Eat". It traced Thompson's travels in the area, and fixed the location of the post at an area near the mouth of the Thompson River. His research and conclusions have not been credibly challenged, and are now widely considered to be accurate. Despite his status as an 'amateur historian' Carl was accepted as a peer by leading David Thompson historians both in Canada and in the US. He also authored several other books: one about a similar search for the location of the first Hudson's Bay Company trading post in the region, one on his earlier search for the famous "Lost Dutchman" gold mine in Arizona, and a historical novel. Linda not only helped with the research of all of Carl's books, she also did the proofreading and editing for them. Carl and Linda maintained a website ( containing information relevant to the history of the area.

Despite dealing with illness, Carl continued his historical research until the final days of his life. On April 5, 2024, he passed away with Linda and his son David, by his side. He was 81 years old.

On June 3, 2024, Linda sadly passed away as well. She was 77 years old.

They are survived by Carl's sons from previous marriages, Carl Jr. "David" Haywood, Charles "Chuck / Chaz" Haywood, and Robert Morris, all of Virginia. In addition to their three sons, they also have four beautiful granddaughters, one grandson, two great-grandchildren (and one on the way). Linda is survived by a nephew, David Wolff, of Texas, aunt Pat Dover, of Lewiston, and several cousins. Both Carl and Linda leave behind many friends and neighbors in the Thompson Falls area who will miss them dearly.

Respecting their wishes, no formal funeral or memorial service is planned.


Reader Comments(0)