Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dynamite Diplomacy: Silver Wars in the Coeur d'Alenes

I was browsing the Internet and came across a website designed by 2011 National History Day participant Hannah Weekes. Somehow it had escaped me over the past couple years but better late than never. You will find the link toward the bottom of this blog entry following a little more information from the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS).

Hannah put together a nice website with excellent resources. I was pleased it included some good music from our favorite Idaho musician—Gary Eller aka Bona Fide, Chicken Dinner Road, Frozen Dogs and whatever other incarnation he shows up in with the likes of Rue and the boys. Click here for a music sample from Hannah's website.

From ISHS 2011 Annual Report: National History Day Students Shine

"The first national evaluation of National History Day (NHD), conducted this year, found that NHD students are better prepared for school, more sought after by employees, and have a more mature perspective on current events than their peers. The result did not come as a surprise in Idaho, where NHD is alive, well, and much appreciated by teachers and students. For 27 years, ISHS has coordinated the program in Idaho; annually more than 1,000 Idaho students participate. This year, 43 of them attended the NHD contest at the University of Maryland, where Hannah Weekes from Rocky Mountain Middle School in Idaho Falls won as the Outstanding Idaho Junior for her website, 'Dynamic Diplomacy: Silver Wars of the Coeur d’Alene’s.'”

Great work Hannah! I regret that I don't believe we got to connect during the time you were working on this project but I see you found your way to my blog. I hope it was useful to you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Friends of The Saratoga Hotel, Caldwell, Idaho

JTR Collection
I had an email exchange this past week with a fella named Bert from Caldwell, ID. Bert has this cokamany idea about rebuilding the historic Saratoga Hotel that burned down in 1990. Crazy? Maybe. Seems a little far fetched but can't say as I haven't dreamed of seeing the Saratoga's resurrected across from the Steunenberg Block building on the corner of 7th & Main. It seems Bert even has a Facebook page going to support the idea. Check it out and make a comment. Click "Friends of the Saratoga" on the Facebook link below.
Friends of The Saratoga mentioned you in a comment.
Friends of The Saratoga wrote: "Welcome aboard John T. Richards Jr., thank you for chiming in and for giving us some inspiration through your writing and passion for our history."
Below is a excerpt from my trip to Boise and Caldwell for the Premier of Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century at the Egyptian Theater on November 7th, 2007. Just happens I was sitting upstairs in the then Acapulco Restaurant that occupied the top floor of the Caldwell Bank & Trust building where my great grandfather Frank Steunenberg had his office. Here I am dreaming too as I gaze out the widow imagining Frank doing the same and the Saratoga right where it use to be across the street.

John imagining the Saratoga.
"For dinner Caley and I headed for the Caldwell Bank and Trust. Well not a bank anymore and the arches and nice brick work were long ago covered. It is now home to the Acapulco restaurant. The bank makes up part of the Steunenberg Block. We wanted Mexican food and this proved to be a good stop to feed both the historical and hunger needs. The downstairs where the bank was located remains vacant, hopefully the future home of a thriving business as efforts to revitalize old Caldwell and complete the Indian Creek project continues. I have an old cabinet photo of the inside of the bank with AK Steunenberg standing at the cashier’s window. It is hard to picture it now, but it looks like the original ceiling remains in tact. Upstairs in the restaurant is where Frank Steunenberg had his office and would have sat surveying the then major intersection of activity in a growing Caldwell. As we sat in the window booth staring out, I imagined the Saratoga Hotel still across the street (regrettably burned down in 1990) and Harry Orchard watching out the window from room #19 in December of 1905 with a clear view of the Governor’s office."
Caldwell Bank & Trust on the left and Saratoga Hotel on the right along with the Caldwell Band. Library of Congress.
The link below from Google maps shows the corner today where the Saratoga had been located. Click on "view larger map" and pivot the street view around to view all four corners and the train station. Nice parking lot.

View Larger Map
Just remember Bert, I have sat upstairs in the Caldwell Bank building where my great grandfather Frank Steunenberg had his office. If you ever get the Saratoga rebuilt, I would like to sit by the window there too and am putting in my reservation now for room #19 where Harry Orchard stayed while keeping his evil eyes on the governor's movements and planning his dastardly deed. I never got to do that before the Saratoga burned down. Sounds pretty crazy I know, but I like to retrace the footsteps of history as close as possible. A couple guys can always dream—can't they?

I will keep following the Indian Creek red brick road and see if it ever again leads to a Saratoga Hotel in Caldwell or just to a parking lot on an empty corner. 

Related blog posts & other links:
Monday, January 28, 2013
7th Avenue, Caldwell, Idaho pre-1906

Saturday, July 25, 2009
Caldwell Commercial Bank/Bank & Trust Co. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011
7th & Main Street Caldwell, Idaho - Panorama

Friday, August 1, 2008
Automatic Teller Bank from the Caldwell Banking & Trust Co. Ltd.

A Brief History of Caldwell

Saratoga Hotel (after the third floor was added)

Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century (you can still buy the DVD & visit the website).

Teaser: Coming soon—a few pieces of Saratoga Hotel souvenir china. I might even part with a couple if I can ever find the Saratoga Hotel again.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Boise Idaho Real Photo Postcards

Just going through some of the continual piles of stuff that seem to accumulate immediately following the last clean up. Here are three RPPC's from Boise, Idaho. They are not postmarked and are early divided back era 1907-1914. They do not have white borders as what you see is a part of the blog formatting. Click on each one to enlarge for viewing.
A reader (Jackie) has identified this as the Collister mansion. See comment section below.
A winter scene of a Boise street. Perhaps looking down a portion of Warm Springs? I have not searched extensively online or through my Boise books, specifically some of Arthur Hart's, but I guessing I will find it eventually if one of you don't come to my rescue first. 


The photo above appears to be a rather large home in a winter scene with snow on the ground. I have not been able to specifically identify the home but looks to be quite the place so I hope it has survived.

Update 9/13/14: Thanks to Jackie, we now know this is the Collister house in Boise, ID. There doesn't  seem to be many pictures around but I found a couple others on Jackie says the house no longer exists as was razed in the 1960's. I will have to do more research on Dr. George and Mary Collister.

 And here is a bit more info on Dr. Collister from our neighbor Revue Guru (AKA Evan Filby) over at South Fork Companion.
This is an enlarged detail from the post card. I have leveled it out as the original (or the photographer!) was leaning a bit as can be seen above.

And a couple courthouse photos below.

We can see that the postcard immediately above is of the original Boise courthouse (no longer there) where the Haywood trial took place. 

This one was sold as a souvenir of the trial with the inset of the courtroom. You have seen them before as I have quite a few of the souvenir version. All the above cards (except the one from Ancestry) are from my private JTR Collection.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Hope you all had a Happy Father's Day. I did...and daughter Caley's 21st Birthday too.
Sampling various eats & beverages on a beautiful day at MontaƱa De Oro.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Documents by William "Big Bill" Haywood - Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

As you have noticed, now and then I have posted articles or documents from various sources. Most of the items come my way through Google Alerts or just during the course of browsing. I try not to pay too much attention to one particular viewpoint over another although I am just a mere human. Any items of interest, if not abusive or derogatory in nature (with due consideration for the time period or conflict) are welcomed. They are offered here as a resource for further research. 

The following come from the Industrial Workers of the World website. 

Documents by William "Big Bill" Haywood:

The General Strike (March 16, 1911) [Official IWW Literature].

Evidence and Cross Examination of William D. Haywood in the Case of the USA vs. William D. Haywood et. al (Date Unknown) (PDF File)

Industrial Socialism (with Frank Bohn; Date Unknown)

Testimony of William D. Haywood Before the Industrial Relations Committee (Date Unknown) (PDF File)

Added 6/10/13: Haywood Photographs from the IWW

Documents related to Governor Steunenberg:
Chapter 15 - Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone
... Idaho where they were charged with the murder of Governor Steunenberg. No legal steps to arrest these men, who were going about their ... One night a bomb, attached to his gate, killed Governor Steunenberg. Rewards of thousands of dollars were offered for the arrest of ...

The Trial of Bill Haywood
... for ordering the assassination of former governor Frank Steunenberg, fifteen years of union bombings and murders, fifteen years of mine ...

Revolutionary Tendencies in American Labor - Part 2
... and Pettibone, engineered the murder of Idaho ex-Governor Steunenberg, and left-wing IWW militants preoccupied with defense and ...

The Legacy of the Bunker Hill Mine
... the miners and their families. Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg, who had been elected with WFM support the year before, called in ... wood. A few years later, in 1905, Steunenberg was killed by a bomb. A petty criminal named Harry Orchard, who ...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Terror in the Gold Camp: The Crimes of Albert Horsley

Terror in the Gold Camp: The Crimes of Albert Horsley by Beth Dodd.
Albert Horsley, remembered by his alias Harry Orchard, committed mass murder near Victor back ... Harry Orchard was born Albert Horsley in Ontario in 1866.