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An elephant that was loose in Orofino is the answer to Week 105 of Orofino History Trivia, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Livery stable

Tuesday: A trunk

Wednesday: Won in a card game

Thursday: Caused havoc in the ferryman's yard

Friday: Came with a circus

Saturday: Jim Delaney

Monday: Was an animal not native to Clearwater Country

As the story goes in Tales of the Clearwater by Sam Swayne, a circus had come to Orofino and during its run, the elephant was housed at the livery stable where Jim Delaney worked. He and the elephant became friends.

The circus owner, thinking the stable owner was a hillbilly hick joined him in a poker game. The circus owner not only lost all his money, he also lost the elephant. The animal stayed in Orofino, much to Jim's delight.

In a few weeks he and his friends had it trained to lead or be guided around town. They had a great time riding it and and going to the swimming hole. There the elephant had a great time too.

One day the boys decided to take the elephant on the ferry which was the only means of crossing the river at the time. The elephant was not agreeable to that, so they ran its lead rope through the heavy timber at the end of the ferry and back to its collar. They started to get the elephant onto the ferry, but when it felt the craft sink with its weight, it broke loose taking the timber with it. The kids dived overboard to avoid being hit by the timber. They came up to see the timber cut a swath through the ferryman's yard as the frightened elephant made a hasty jaunt back to the stable.

The elephant went between the outhouse and the chicken house which was a space too narrow for the timber. The timber tore out the side of the chicken house and the occupants were all aflutter. The outhouse tipped over, disturbing the musings of the ferryman inside.

It took several weeks work for the boys to repair the damage left by the wild run of the elephant. Unfortunately, further happenings and the fate of the elephant have been lost in time, Swayne concludes the story.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
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