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John Werner, Scarsdale, NY is our winner!

The jet boats used in the log drive down the Clearwater River are the answer for Week 235 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: 1961

Tuesday: At the peak, there were five.

Wednesday: Added safety, productivity and efficiency

Thursday: Mariposa, Jessie, Larch, Ponderosa and Spruce

Friday: Two were aluminum and three were wooden, laminated plywood.

The boats or bateaux were used to transport log drive crew members out to log jams where, armed with peavey poles, they would try to move key logs that would release the jams and then get quickly out of the way before more logs could hit them.

According to an article The Clearwater River Log Drive: A Photo Essay by Charles "Red" McCollister and Sandra McCollister ( in Forest History Today, Fall 2000), early bateaux were equipped with oars and the men could not go back upriver without manually towing the boats and pushing them with pike poles. New outboard motors later became available and new methods and equipment were developed. As they became more efficient, they didn't die every time a little water was splashed on them. With the technological progress to jet boats, especially designed with two jets and two engines, these powerful boats could haul a crew right back up the river and also pull logs out of jams.

White Pines, Wobblies and Wannigans by Tom Farbo says that the jet boats first came to the Clearwater River log drives in 1961 and at the peak there were five, three wooden, plywood laminated ones named Mariposa, Jessie and Larch; two aluminum, Spruce and Ponderosa.

Farbo calls the two aluminum 24-foot jet boats added in 1963, the ultimate in log drive transportation and rearing operations. They were powered by twin, 220 horsepower Ford Interceptor inboard engines and jet pumps. "These powerful machines added efficiency, production and safety to log drive operations," he added. (Gleaned from Family Tree, Clark Jenks and Charlie McCollister)

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