Rosalie Oxford, IL and Harriet Reece, Cavendish and Lewiston, are the winners!
Whiskey is the answer for Week 399 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
When you think you know the answer, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, let us know where you are from, if it is out of the area.
Join in the discovery!
Monday: Some of it disappeared along the way.
Tuesday: It was very popular in the early days of Oro Fino and Pierce City.
Wednesday: Readily available at many businesses at the time
In his history series about Clearwater County, John Bradbury tells about how all the saloons, along with most of the hotels and boarding houses in Oro Fino and Pierce City, had licenses to sell liquor by the 'gulp, quart, gallon or any other quantity'. Miners could always find a reason to drink whether it was to celebrate a lucky strike, drown their woes, entertain one of the dancing girls, soften up a potential card player, break the boredom of a long winter or drink just because. Whiskey enjoyed many nicknames and toasts were common and colorful. While there were those who abstained, Bradbury said that historian Beal observed that, "everyone conceded that the right to become decently drunk was inalienable."
It seemed that saloon owners never received as much whiskey as they were sent and they could not figure out how it was disappearing. Bradbury says the packers were clever men. The barrels had government stamps on them about the size of a dollar bill that were glued and tacked at each corner. The packers would remove the tacks, roll back the stamp and drill a small hole at a tack point that was large enough for a small straw. They would then "slake their thirst, plug the hole, roll back the stamp and reinsert the tack."
Harriet Reece wrote: "A man named Frazier used to ship goods by mule and horse from Lewiston to Pierce City. Included was a good supply of whiskey. The pack train could not stop as it crossed the reservation, so Mr. Frazier would stop in Cavendish (the edge of the reservation) to rest his horses and prepare for the trip across the reservation. He knew some of the young men of the area would steal his booze, so he just opened one keg and invited all to drink as much as they wanted--thus saving the rest for the trip. This story was told to me by Bill's uncle, Lonnie McGuire, who was one of the young men of the time who benefited from the open spigot."
Rosalie Oxford wrote that she was thinking about the shipment that had come from a distance and the crew stopped due to weather and apparently had more, so the shipment didn't make it. She thinks it may have occurred around Whiskey Creek.
And there are probably more stories out there about the transport of this tempting commodity to the mining camps.
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