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Dworshak State Park is the answer for Week 453 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Harriet Reece, Cavendish and Lewiston, and Kay Mathews DeFrancesco are the winners!

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Took awhile to realize it was a good idea

Tuesday: Original construction cost $1.5 million.

Wednesday: There were squabbles between governments.

Thursday: It was finished in 1981.

Friday: It is part of a recreation group.

Saturday: Cecil Andrus helped dedicate it.

Monday: It was part of a master plan.

Tuesday: There are individual and group sites.

What is known as Dworshak State Park now was part of the master plan for the reservoir and its facilities. Soon after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started talking about a dam on the North Fork of the Clearwater River, there was talk of trade offs and recreaton was a major one, according to Idaho State Parks Guidebook by Bill Loftus. A broad bench near the canyon of Freeman Creek, east of Cavendish, soon became a focal point when it was determined that the dam would back water up to the 1600-foot elevation.

The new Idaho State Park system was hesitant to get involved so the Corps built the park at Freeman Creek in 1981 at a cost of $1.5 million. Squabbles with Clearwater County over improving the road closed it right after it was built. The 'stare-down' was resolved enough for a formal opening in 1983.

The next phase in the master plan was construction of a group camp three miles from Freeman Creek at Three Meadows. Though interest was high from church groups and other organizations, again the state hesitated to lease the park after it was completed. That was agreement was necessar before the facility could be built. The Nez Perce Tribe stepped up and agreed to run the park. However, when the camp was nearly completed the Tribe found they had cash flow problems of their own and terminated the agreement, Loftus says.

With the camp already built, the Corps was again searching for someone to run it. Political forces at that time came to play and Governor Cecil Andrus announced that he wanted to see Dworshak take its rightful place as a state park. In 1989, he dedicated it as Dworshak State Park.

Freeman Creek offers 101 individual camping sites, as well as group camp areas. Three Meadows is one of the most modern group camp facilities in the state system with a kitchen and dining hall, as well as cabins with bunks.

The real draw to Dworshak State Park though is the reservoir that beckons to visitors to come and play or just relax while enjoying the varied scenes around it. It was built with boaters and anglers in mind offering boat ramp and dock facilities. There is also a playground and swimming beach.

A few years ago, when it looked like Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation might close the facility due to funding issues. Local public support was raised and Clearwater County became involved in a major way to see that it stayed open for the enjoyment of visitors and local people.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140