In 1900 there were 14 mills in the Deer Park area. One of the largest was the Gimmell Mill on Dragoon Creek. Mr. Gimmell was the first to own a car on Wild Rose. It was a Cadillac purchased which he purchased in 1907.
The Garden Spot mill was located about where the Deer Lake and Short roads intersect near the present John Nordby home.
Of the many mills in the area, it was the Standard Lumber Coompany that grew the largest. In 1900 it employed 35 men. The employees even had their own Brass Band. It is noted that they traveled to Wild Rose on Wednesday, May 30, 1894, and played several numbers for the Memorial program held on that day. The mill moved from its site west of the railroad tracks before 1910. Logs were stored in the mill pond.
Deer Park pine Industry was purchased by Potlatch Forests July 1, 1956. The mill averages 250 employees compared to 75 in 1914. At that time the mill owned 16,000 acres of timberland, now 100,000 acres (1970).
Medical needs in the early days were taken care of by the people living at home, but for anything serious there was a doctor at Chattaroy. This was Chattaroy about 1900 with Dr. Smith and his buggy with his store in the background.
As the mills in the area grew so did the town. In 1908 Louis Olsen soon built the hotel building. He occupied the lower floor where his mercantile store employed 8 people. Even though the store had no electric lights the store had a cash carrier to tranport the money up to the office. The old building was later moved to the back of the hotel and was used by the Arcadia Orchard Company and then by Louis Olsen Jr.s general contracting business.
The Charles Sheuffler General Merchandise store was down Main Street about where the Tri County Tribune is located(1970).
The early settlers were religious. Many traveled all the way to attend the Church. But, in 1890 religious services were held each Sunday at the Crawford Boarding House near the corner of Railroad Ave. and 4th Street. The original church was completed in 1895 and was named the Open Door Congregational Church. The financial statement showed that the building was paid for and dedicated without a dollar of debt. The men of Short's Lumber Mill helped the cause with donations through automatic payroll deductions. It is told that the bell of the Church was given by a Father Ells who also formed the Tshimakain Mission in 1838.
Mr. Short also donated the land for the Woodlawn Cemetery where he was laid to rest
The Kelly house is still an imposing one. It was occupied by the Kelly family until O. G. Follevaag purchased it. The home is now owned by the Steve Parkins family who moved it from its original site on Main Street.
O.J. Kelly could be labled the Father of Deer Park. Besides building the first store he donated the land for the Kelly Cemetery where he is buried.
Mr. Kelly's wife was a Methodist so he donated the land for this church also. First services were held in 1910 and included a fellowship room in the Church. First services for the Methodist Church were held in the old school house which they purchased and used for a church.
Louis Olsen Jr. was the major builder of that day, also built this residence for Mr. Parks, co-owner with him in an Artifical Stone Company. The house is unique in that it had hollow concrete walls made by the stone company. The Lonnie Shaw family resides here today.(1970)
Deer Park is still growing and building in 1970. The new homes being built now are not as large as those built in the early days but they are beautiful and full of modern convienences. This one belongs to Warren Clary and was built by his son-in-law, Bob Dyck.
The newly growing community needed schools for its young. This school house in Deer Park was taught by Mrs. Grove. "The History of Spokane County" states in that 1900 there were 75 scholars enrolled in the public schools with prospects of a large increase in the near future. Accordingly they were planning to add another room to the school house and employ two teachers.
An example of the volume produced by these small mills can be seen in this picture of the Swenson Mill. Mr. Swenson also ran a business establishment in Deer Park.
Or they were stocked nearby during winter weather.
The finished lumber was stacked outside ready to be shipped. In 1914 Walter Leuthhold purchased the mill. It had twenty six miles of railway line running through the valley to haul logs. Horse drawn sleighs were still being used during the winter. Deer Park Lumber Company was a pioneer in the change from horses to horsepower in the logging industry. Trucks were used on an experimental basis as early as 1917.
Deer Park Pine still offers complete service as there is a retail office that can be seen at the right end of the building in this picture.
The interior of Dr. Smith's store is typical of the time. Patients had to pass through the store to visit the Doctor.
The Hotel Building was the first three story building in Deer Park and still is the only one. Today (1970) it houses business offices, beauty shop and a tavern on the main floor.
Here is a view of that block today(1970).
The Chuch looks little different today except it rests in the shade of larger trees. This door is now a back door. In 1907 the congregation found need for a larger church and the first addition was built and in 1909. The front door was changed when Railroad Ave. was no longer the main street of town. William Short was very instrumental in building this church and it was on these steps that he departed this earth.
Fine houses were springing up in Deer Park. This splendid example was built in 1899 by O. J. Kelly. It boasted a windmill for pumping water for the first indoor plumbing in a residence in town. The barbershop was the first to have running water becaus a few enterprising young men ran a pipe line up to the railroad's water tank to tap their water supply.
That site is now occupied by this new modern grocery store(1970). The city hall can be seen in the background where the barn and the windmill of the Kelly house once stood.
Kelly was of the Catholic faith and he donated the land for the old church which was built in 1912 and located to the left of the new one shown in this picture. St. Mary's Presentation Parish was dedicated in 1968. It contains the stained glass windows from the old church.
Much building was going on in 1910 and many fine homes were built. Among them this fine home built by Louis Olsen Jr. for his brother Olaf about 1912. Olaf was the Telegrapher in town and ran the depot. Later he worked in his father's butcher shop before being employed by the Arcadia Orchard project.. It is today the Don Lindh home.
Not all houses were as elaborate as these however. This home near twin mountain built about 1910 was large and functunal, serving its purpose well for the Gray family who resided there. Its years of use now being over, it stands today as a reminder of the past.
The old School was made into a residence after being used as a the Methodist Church building. It stood for years next to the Lauer Funeral home but was just recently moved to a new site.
A larger school was built where this one now stands. It was a two story white structure which served the grade school needs until 1928 when the first part of this brick structure was built. A larger structure was not needed because there were so many rural schools serving the area. At one time there were four of these within a two and a half mile radius.
One was the Twin Mountain School located about 10 miles from Deer Park which was built around 1900. There wer many others included Burroughs, Wild Rose, Williams Valley and the Forreston School north of town. These were amoung the earliest. There were many others, too numerous to mention which schooled the children well in the 3 R's.