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Glenna Jonhston is the winner!

Fraser is the answer for Week 87 of Orofino History Trivia, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch for the historical information.

According to the book, Judd's in Fraser, Idaho, by Claud Judd, in 1861 with the advent of the discovery of gold, many people came to the area that is now called Fraser as they were headed for Pierce for gold. There were settlers that followed and squatted just about anywhere they could grow food and raise livestock.

In the spring of 1863, David M Fraser came to the area toting merchant background experience. He was headed for Pierce to set up a trading post, but found most of the miners had moved on. So he decided to set up his trading post on top of the Greer Grade in the line of traffic followed to the Pierce area. The trading post became the main line of communication for the folks that lived in the area. Messages would be left there for others in the area to receive. Also mail was delivered their by people that were passing through the area.

After Fraser left for Pierce, the post office was established in a home. In 1890, when the State of Idaho was recognized by the Union, Fraser was established as an Official U.S. Post Office. It continued until 1920 when rural routes were established.

About 1885 the federal government came and surveyed the land for homesteads. The lots continued to fill. At one point, there was a log church that was built, but later burned down. Schools were built as well as a saw mill in the area. The area thrived after World War I. The lumber mills and farms flourished. However, the roads that did not keep up with the progress.

Glenna (Smolinski) Johnston was born and grew up in the Fraser area and attended the Fraser School, now the Fraser Community Hall, for her first three years. Her second and third grade teacher was June (Cook) Judd, later a representative to the Idaho Legislature.

Glenna shared the following memories with us:

My father was on the Fraser baseball team so we spent many Sundays at Fraser Park. Our 4-H Club sold pop and candy at these games. We lots of people and made new friends.

We didn't have electricity until after World War II so all water had to be carried into the house and heated on the kitchen stove. Saturday evening was the highlight of the week. Everyone got to take their weekly bath in the round wash tub. Then it was off the Weippe to purchase groceries for a week, see a show at the theatre and maybe a dance at the Weippe Community Hall. Sometimes they had ice cream sundaes after the show.

Being a farm girl I learned to drive in the hay fields at a very young age. Dad would put the farm truck in lowest gear, I would sit with my legs in the seat to see over the dashboard and steer through the hay bales so he could load them on the truck. If I needed to stop I just turned off the key.

Monday: Part of three counties

Tuesday: Squatters

Wednesday: Surveyed and homesteaded

Thursday: General store

Friday: Community named after general store owner

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Window on the Clearwater
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