JULIAETTA

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               The first people to inhabit this fertile valley were the Nez Perce tribes, who used this area as winter camping grounds.  In fact, some claim it was a burial ground.  Once Juliaetta became settled, the Indians were commonplace and usually friendly.  However, that was not always the case.  Early settlers found themselves at times having to protect their cattle, homes, and lives with violence.  The earliest settler on Fix Ridge, Eleazor Fix, discovered an Indian on his land who had broken his leg and was unable to travel.  He took him home and his wife nursed him back to health.  That Nez Perce man returned later to caution the Fix family of an impending raid and danger to his family to give them time to escape.

             The valley’s spring growth provided abundant camas root that the tribe used as food.  Game was plentiful.  The Nez Perce thrived in this valley, using it as a spring camp.  Many arrowheads and Indian artifacts have since been found by Juliaetta residents.

                Juliaetta was first known as Schupfer and later as Schupferville, in honor of Rupert Schupfer who homesteaded the land in 1878.  He plotted one-half of his homestead as a town site.  S. R. Southwick, an early homesteader at Southwick, was the surveyor.  Schupfer operated the first general store.  Homesteaders found the valley and its ridges fertile and productive, providing abundant harvests of fruits, vegetables, and crops.  By 1878, the town boasted a population of 200.

                In 1876, another civic leader settled on American Ridge.  Charles Snyder saw the need for a Post Office.  He acquired land next to Schupfer and named the property Pleasant Home.  He established a Post Office and named it for his two daughters, Julia and Etta.  Snyder became Juliaetta's first Postmaster in 1882.  Snyder also carried a stock of merchandise in the same building as his Post Office.  Mail was brought by horseback twice a week from Genesee, a sixteen-mile trip each way.

               Noyes B. Holbrook and Lavett established his                                                  flour mill in 1885.  It was constructed by “Three-Fingers”                                                  Charley  Miller. The millrace, which was built by Chinese                                                laborers, was 6-7 feet wide and 5 inches deep.  When the                                                gates opened to power the mill, local people would gather                                                to scoop up the fish that were trapped.The stream powering                                            the mill ran the full length of the town.  Juliaetta’s flour was labeled “Pride of the Potlatch” and was shipped all over the west coast of the United States.  Later this business site became Juliaetta Milling and Light Company.  Electricity was installed in 1903.  Johnson and Armstrong owned the mill during its productive years and was sold to C. H. Martin prior to a fire destroying it in 1920.

                1889 saw the first bank established in Juliaetta, as well as the first newspaper, The Gem, which was operated by W. L. Taylor.  The town had a jewelry store, Weber Harness & Saddlery, and Durnham & Kaufman’s General Store (later known as Niles & Needham.)

                The town was beginning to grow and would soon blossom into a prospering community.  As homesteaders and pioneers came to the surrounding ridges and settled, farms sprang up and became very productive.  Early publications called the Juliaetta farmland “Paradise of the American Farmer.”  The dry land farming and grazing lands gave each farm a means of self-sustenance.  Farmers raised wheat, flax, oats, and hay in addition to fruit trees and large gardens to feed their families and to eventually supply a seasonal cannery.

                                                                                 Grain harvesting consisted of long,                                                                              labor-intensive workdays for large                                                                                    crews.  Meals were prepared in a chuck                                                                              wagon in the fields.  Crews using                                                                                      horses and steam engines worked until                                                                              exhaustion reaping the bountiful crops.

                                                                      

   

A tram was an early option to transport produce,                                                          timber, and grains from the ridges to the markets that                                                      the train located in the valley provided.  Otherwise,                                                          getting crops to Juliaetta involved a long slow tedious                                                  trip down Cooks’Canyon

     Juliaetta was dedicated on June 14, 1890.  The next year, Lawrence and Porter constructed the tramway connecting Potlatch Ridge to Juliaetta at a cost of $25,000 just intime for the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway Company in 1891.

                This tram design used rail cars that ran on a single track from the upper building at the Zumhofe farm on Potlatch Ridge to a lower warehouse alongside the            railroad.  Grain, produce, and lumber were mainly transported.  A steam engine provided power with a double track section near the bottom constructed for passing. The tramway boasted the first telephones, one at the top and one at the bottom.  In 1916, the tram was dismantled.

                The fledgling town became incorporated on April 19, 1892.  Juliaetta was flourishing, with many tons of agricultural products being shipped and diverse services being offered by enterprising individuals.  Rose Deeston opened Juliaetta’s first saloon, which was located near the depot that year.

                The financial panic of 1893 hit with a vengeance.  However, within two years, Juliaetta was again thriving.  Several newspapers were published in Juliaetta until the early 1900s, but all were short-lived: The Potlatch, Juliaetta Advance, Potlatch Press, The Register, and the Juliaetta Enterprise, the Potlatch Herald, Juliaetta Sun, and The Independent.  The Flood of 1900, caused by a train crash in Kendrick, caused damage and rebuilding to occur in Juliaetta.

                By 1902, Juliaetta had a full business district, including two hotels, The Grand Central Hotel and the Palace Hotel.  Dr. Robert Foster, Sr. had established in 1903 his Foster’s School of Healing.  He had put Juliaetta on the map with his claim to cure skin cancer.  Folks came from all over the world to be cured of every known disease.  Business was booming and Juliaetta was thriving again.

Four church buildings served the spiritual needs of the community. The Presbyterian Church was built in 1906.  Both the Baptists and Methodists also used the space.  When they disbanded, the United Brethren took over that church.  In 1945, the United Brethren Church was converted to a residence.  

The Baptist Church was organized in 1908 and later became the Christian Church.  The building was later torn down.                                

                The German Lutheran Church, built in 1904, was originally across from the current Juliaetta Grade School.  When a fire burned the church roof in 1955, the congregation built a new cement block church in 1956 on State Street, which served the congregation until 2012.  Oley Arnett converted the first

Lutheran Church into a residence.   

                The Catholic Church was located on 2nd & Hallett and was built in 1903. 

Four church buildings served the spiritual needs of the community. The Presbyterian Church was built in 1906.  Both the Baptists and Methodists also used the space.  When they disbanded, the United Brethren took over that church.  In 1945, the United Brethren Church was converted to a residence.  The Baptist Church was organized in 1908 and later became the Christian Church.  The building was later torn down.

                 The German Lutheran Church, built in 1904, was originally across from the current Juliaetta Grade School.  When a fire burned the church roof in 1955, the congregation built a new cement block church in 1956 on State Street, which served the congregation until 2012.  Oley Arnett converted the first

Lutheran Church into a residence.  The Catholic Church was located on 2nd & Hallett and was built in 1903.

                Other early businesses were Bower’s Shoe & Millinery Store, Eberly Winery, Star Meat Market, Shull & Kite General Merchandise, Marsh Drugstore, Lawrence & Porter Warehouse, Rehberg Hardware Store, Schabel Furniture Store, and a brickyard located at 4th & Water Street.  Dr. Waite was the town’s physician and Dr. McKay provided optical services.

The Hardware Company was provided by Trout and Robinson in 1893.  Two years later, it was sold to Cox and Davis.  The Juliaetta Mercantile Company was also known as Alexander’s Store.  The proprietor, was Joseph Alexander, Jr.  His father erected Kendrick and Genesee brick store buildings.  The Juliaetta  Mercantile Co. was run by Miles Pierce and Mr. Gullige from 1904-1917.  Gullige was the town Marshal for 12 years, too.  

                The XL Stage Line served the area.  The I.X.L. Livery Stable was originally owned and operated by Sam Dunlop.  Later owners were Asa Cook and W. W. Johnson.

                Some wives joined their husbands in providing services.  Horace Noble and his wife Charlotte (Lottie Stump) ran Noble’s Store in both Juliaetta and Cavendish. They had the early freight lines from Lewiston to Pierce also.

                A service station built by Leland Houck stood on this lot for many years.

It burned in 1920 and was rebuilt in 1921.  Clifford Nelson owned the garage.  Later, Roy Whittum purchas-ed it.

                Harmony Hall, Juliaetta’s first school, was founded on the banks of the Potlatch River in 1885.  In 1895, the United Brethren Church also used this school.  The building washed away in the flood of 1900. 

               The second school was built in 1895 close to Ed Taylor’s barn.  It was not used for very long before a fire destroyed it.  1896 saw construction begin on the community’s third school, which  opened in 1897.  That building was used to educate Juliaetta’s youth until 1901, when it also burned.

                The fourth school was built in 1902 for a price of $3,000.  It served the community until May 31, 1931.  With the school burning, there was a decision made not to save the structure.  The new brick school was constructed for a cost of $17,000. and was ready to go when fall school bells tolled in 1932. In 1947, with area school consolidations, Juliaetta’s high school students were moved to Kendrick. This structure housed only grade school students.  With updates, including a gym, it still serves our community.

                This Hotel was built prior to 1902 by Charles Snyder and called the Snyder House.  John H. Lane purchased it in 1906 operating a few years before he sold it to Emil Merta in 1910, changing the name to the Grand Central Hotel.  Hannah Kalke was a proprietress.  The hotel was razed in the 1930s.

                Charles Lackey and Patsie owned and lived at Shell Service Station and Garage from 1921-1941.  It was located at the current U. S. Post Office site. Patsie later married Frank  Ballantyne.

                Potlatch Telephone Company was founded in 1940, bringing telephone service to the valley.  Egnatz Meingassner also started his vineyard and winery that year, operating it until 1911.

                Abram A. Adams built the “Castle,” which continues to stand, for his wife and five children in 1905.  Sadly, his wife died before she saw her new home.  Adams later was on a hunting trip to Canada when he shot a goose and the contents of the gullet contained wheat.  He took some home and planted it.  It grew multiple heads and was a super productive strain of wheat.  He patented the variety under the name of “Alaska Patent” and shipped it all over the world for $10.00/bushel.  The origin of the seed eventually came into question.  The government made him discontinue selling it because of patent issues. 

The Juliaetta Cannery opened for business in 1911.  Mr. and Mrs. William Mahon were owners.  During the busy season, they employed 100 people and turned out up to 10,000 cans/day.  It was a seasonal business, usually starting in June with the cherry crop and moving on to vegetables and fruits as they ripened, ending in the fall with apples.  Juliaetta Cherry Growers shipped 25-30 carloads of cherries by rail in 1929.  The tomato crop provided the largest cannery yield.  It became famous for its cans of Juliaetta Tomatoes.  The cannery burned in November, 1919.  Many people said it was arson to collect the insurance for a failing business.

          Niles & Brackney (later Niles & Needham) Fruit Packing Company had a lively fresh fruit packing  business with the abundance of fruit.

                Niles and Needham operated a mercantile store in 1911.  They carried over $20,000 in inventory in the concrete block building pictured below.  It was located in the left side lot to the current Colter’s Creek Winery building.  Robinson’s Tonsorial Parlor also shared the brick building’s space.  Apartments were situated on the ground floor with space also used by a barber, shoeshine service, and a masseur.

                By 1911, Joseph Groseclose and David Richardson owned a general store and provided undertaking services.  Laura (Mrs. Joseph) Groseclose owned Juliaetta Millinery Store.  She planted the trees in the Juliaetta Park.

                Bun Penland was a local builder and responsible for construction of many Juliaetta structures.  You could get refreshments at Stump’s Confectionery owned by William H. Stump.  His wife was a dressmaker.  Juliaetta was thriving with a population of 600.  W. W. Poyfair owned the Poyfair Building at 3rd & Water St. which held a skating rink and dance hall.  This same year, Dr. Foster moved to Clarkston.  Dr. Foster had a direct impact on Juliaetta’s booming economy during the approximately 10 years he called it home. 

All was not work and business in Juliaetta.  Mrs. R.H. Porter, in 1904, established the Porter School of Art.  The Juliaetta Opera House opened its doors in 1912.  The next year, Mrs. Mary Perryman opened her Empire Theater Company.  They performed four nights each week. 

The town was proud of its 18-piece concert band and extremely competitive with its baseball club.

                Juliaetta’s Commercial Club was active.  In 1915, E. W. Porter spearheaded purchasing the Johnson Grove for use as a public park (now the Stella-Jones Pole Yard.)  This was used as a baseball field.  Later, it would be the site of a E. A. Kirkpatrick’s Sawmill started in 1946.  Managers were Raymond Howard and Hap Meyer.  Later, the business was owned by Jack Mead and Ray Howard and known as Mead & Howard Lumber Company.  It was sold in the 1960s to M. G. Hitchcock and became Gem State Lumber Company.

                Moving pictures were first shown at Shabley Hall (currently Community Church).  The film was run by hand and caught in a laundry basket.  In 1916, Mr. Hickenbottom named the site the Silver Belt Theatre.  Carl Porter and Otto Schupfer took over the business in 1924 and it became known as “Otto & Carl.”

                In 1917, tennis courts were erected where the City Park now stands, next to the Colter’s Creek Winery building.

                As with all small towns of this era, fraternal lodges thrived.  Juliaetta had the following lodges: Masons, Odd Fellows, Rebekahs, Knights of Pythias, Woodsmen of the World, and Star of Bethlehem.

               

 

Juliaetta Depot