Albert Bruce Curtis Papers, 1927-1977

Overview of the Collection

Albert Bruce Curtis
Albert Bruce Curtis Papers
1927-1977 (inclusive)
4 l.f.
Collection Number
MG147 (collection)
Personal correspondence, certificates, citations, information on timber protective associations, and a large body of material on the construction of Dworshak Dam.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

A.B. "Bert" Curtis was born on a ranch near Salem, Oregon, August 1, 1903. His parents, Charles Garret Curtis of Independence, Missouri, and Elizabeth Ann Milne, who was born near Dundee, Scotland, were early pioneers. When the family moved to Orofino, Idaho, in 1912 Charles Curtis operated the Cottage Hotel for a time before he returned to ranching.

Having attended high school in both Orofino, where he was on the football team, and Plummer, from which he graduated in 1921, Bert entered the University of Idaho where he remained for one year. He then attended Lewiston State Normal School where he received his teacher's diploma after two years of study. He taught and coached athletics in Fernwood for a while, then returned to the University of Idaho for two more years. He married Alene Honeywell of Clear Lake, South Dakota, in Moscow on December 21, 1928. They have five children, four sons and a daughter.

In 1918 he began his 50 year association with the Clearwater Timber Protective Association when, due to the manpower shortage caused by the war, Theodore Fohl hired the 15 year old Curtis as a waterboy, carrying water to the firefighters. He spent his summers until 1925 working for the association, then in May 1926 he began full-time work. In 1927 he was appointed Assistant Chief Fire Warden for the association and a year later was appointed Chief. In 1945 he was made Chief Fire Warden and Manager of the Potlatch Timber Protective Association, and in that same year he became State Fire Warden. In 1966 the Clearwater and Potlatch Timber Protective Associations were combined and Curtis remained Chief Fire Warden of the new organization until he retired in August 1968.

In 1950 Curtis was elected mayor of Orofino, a position he held for 23 years, during which the city completed a large water and sewage treatment plant. In 1958 he tried unsuccessfully to unseat Gracie Pfost, the Democratic incumbent representing Idaho's First District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He was a strong supporter of Senator Henry Dworshak on the Bruces Eddy (now Dworshak) Dam issue, and was one of the primary figures in obtaining approval and funds for the construction. In 1972 he was awarded the Department of the Army Certificate for Patriotic Civilian Service for his assistance to the Corps of Engineers in building the dam. Among his other awards are the Idaho Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen award (1968), and a 38 years of distinguished service award presented by public and private Idaho forestry associations in 1956.

He has been active in the Chamber of Commerce, Association of Idaho Cities, was an original incorporator of the Clearwater Economic Development Association, was active in the Idaho Municipal League, served on the Inland Waterways Association, and from 1965 to 1970 he represented the timber industry as a member of the Public Land Law Review Commission. His memberships in forestry organizations include the American Forestry Association, Society of American Foresters - Inland Empire Section, and the Western Forestry and Conservation Association. He was also a founding member of the University of Idaho Advisory Research Council, president of the Alumni Association, and a member of the Athletic Advisory Committee. He was president of two mining concerns, Orofino Lime Products and Oxford Copper Mining Company near Pierce. His memberships in fraternal organizations include the Masons, Shriners, and Elks. He is also active in the Kiwanis Club of Orofino.

At the present time (1983) Bert and Alene Curtis live in Orofino where he is completing a book on the history of forestry in Clearwater County.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The items in this archival group were donated to the University of Idaho Library by A.B. Curtis in October 1982. They are stored in four archival file boxes and occupy approximately four linear feet of shelf spaces

The material includes newspaper and magazine articles, correspondence, maps, certificates and citations, and scrapbooks. The photographs which were received with the material were removed and are cataloged with the other photographs which Mr. Curtis donated to the library earlier.

There are several brochures on the city of Orofino, material from several organizations to which Mr. Curtis belonged, and many items relating to the Clearwater and Potlatch Timber Protective Associations, including many maps. Although most items relating to the Public Land Law Review Commission are in Group 78, there are a few items in this collection as well. The largest single group of material is that relating to the building of Dworshak Dam, a project for which Mr. Curtis worked for many years.

The contents of this archival group are related in more detail in the following Description of Series.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The material in this archival group is arranged according to subject. All of Bert Curtis's personal memorabilia are in one series, and each organization to which he belonged has a separate folder. Material related to forestry is in another series, the Public Land Law Review Commission material is in another, and the fourth is comprised of Dworshak Dam material. Correspondence in each series is in alphabetical order.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Miscellaneous Personal Material Return to Top

The material in this series includes correspondence, some personal and some relative to his awards and civic activities, newspaper clippings, awards and citations, retirement material, several items relating to Orofino, material dealing with the University of Idaho Alumni Association and the Vandal Boosters, material on several municipal organizations, the Port of Lewiston and the Inland Empire Waterways Association. The following is a brief description of the items included under the various subjects. The file cards prepared for this series give more detailed information.

Correspondence I
This group of correspondence consists of personal letters received by Curtis in 1928 and 1929, and includes twenty-four letters written by Alene Honeywell (later Curtis) while she was teaching at the University of Idaho. Other letters are from a brother and sister in California, and his parents.
Correspondence II
Correspondence in this folder is arranged alphabetically. Besides personal letters topics included are A.B. Curtis's retirements as mayor of Orofino and as CPTPA chief, his various awards, a Republican party fund raising dinner, a few letters relative to his 1958 congressional campaign and letters dealing with cataract surgery. Also included is a letter Mayor Curtis wrote addressed to the Orofino City Council and People of Orofino, dated October 11, 1965, in which he states his intention not to seek re-election. Among the correspondents are Gov. Cecil Andrus, actor James Arness, Senator Frank Church, Henry L. Day, Henry Dworshak, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Virlis Fischer, two letters from Madge (Mrs. Theodore) Fohl to her son Franz, Len B. Jordan, James McClure, a very humorous letter from E.C. Rettig in 1944 regarding Curtis's having found the "Fountain of Youth," a letter from Ben Ryan which contains information on Paul Ryan, and letters from Governor Don Samuelson, and Steve Symms. File cards for the letters in this group list all the correspondents, the dates of the letters, whether incoming or copies of outgoing letters, and, where helpful, the subject of the letter.
The majority of the newspaper clippings in this folder deal with A.B. Curtis's 1958 Congressional campaign. Others include his decision not to seek re-election as mayor in 1965, his retirement as fire warden in June of 1968, the Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen award in October of the same year, the recall election in 1971, his retirement as Mayor of Orofino in 1973, and a 1977 article on the implantation of his pacemaker.
Awards, Citations, etc.
A.B. Curtis was the recipient of many honors. This folder contains certificates for the following: Dedication of the Lewis and Clark Highway (undated), Idaho Promoter of the Week (undated), Commission as an Honorary Texas Colonel (1961), Idaho State Employees Association certificate recognizing 16 years of service to the state (1962), nomination for American Motors Corporation Conservation Award (1962), Orofino Junior Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Appreciation (1963), Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho Development Advisory Committee Membership (1965), Idaho State Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen of Idaho Award (1968), Public Land Law Review Commission Certificate of Appreciation (1970), U.S. Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service (1972), Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Certificate of Recognition (Dworshak Dam Dedication, 1973), and Western Forest Fire Committee Letter of Appreciation (1979).
Retirement Material
This folder contains photocopies of the delayed birth certificates for both Bert and Alene (Honeywell) Curtis, affidavits regarding his years of service to the timber protective associations, IPEA retirement option forms, and miscellaneous Social Security forms and letters regarding compensation.
Orofino Material
Included are several items from the Orofino Kiwanis Club, information on the golf course, a Chamber of Commerce brochure "This is our Orofino", and the publication "Flood Plain Information, Orofino Creek-Whisky Creek, Orofino, Idaho and Vicinity," prepared by the Walla Walla District, Corps of Engineers, October 1972. Other items include a brief history of Orofino by A.B. Curtis, several newspaper articles on the state hospital, two articles on the Orofino lime industry, and an article by W.M. Chandler entitled "Orofino's famed outlaws of 1915." There are also copies of several marriage certificates signed by A.B. Curtis.
University of Idaho Alumni & Vandal Boosters
Much of the correspondence (1934-35) deals with the selection of a new football coach. A.B. Curtis, as president of the Clearwater chapter of the University of Idaho Alumni Association was in communication with Floyd Lansdon of Spokane and Otto Leuschell who was on the selection committee. Other letters concern summer jobs in blister rust work for football players. Non athletic related letters include one from Burton L. French on behalf of the Old Steps Memorial Committee (1935) and an invitation to the 1980 commencement. There are seven newspaper articles on Ted Bank, the new (1935) football coach and four on the organization of the Lewiston chapter of the Vandal Boosters. Curtis, who was a director of the State Vandal Boosters, was very active in organizing local clubs in north Idaho. There are several 1947 articles which deal with Curtis's election as chairman of the District 2 Alumni Association.
Municipal Organizations
This folder contains newspaper articles dealing with Curtis's involvement with the Idaho Municipal League, the Association of Idaho Cities, and the National League of Cities.
Port of Lewiston
The main item in this folder is the proposed "Port District Law" of 1968.
Inland Empire Waterways Association
Material in this folder includes addresses given at the 1961 convention dealing with the Columbia River Treaty and published Senate hearings on the same, several addresses given at the 1969 convention, minutes of meetings held October 18 and 19, 1970 and four certificates of membership in the organization (1962-63, 1963-64, 1966, 1967).

Series II. Timber Related Material Return to Top

This series consists of maps, Idaho Forestry Council publications, material relative to the Western Forestry and Conservation Association, as well as the Clearwater and Potlatch Timber Protective Associations. It also includes material on the Wilderness Bill. Many of the newspaper clippings in this series are in the scrapbook in Box 4.

Description Dates
1: Boehls Butte, Idaho. USGS
2: Boise National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
3: Bonner County, Idaho, Mountain Pine Shores. Map of lots for sale
4: Clearwater National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
5: Clearwater National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
6: Clearwater National Forest, USDA. Forest Service (tourist map)
7: Clearwater National Forest. USDA. Forest Service (tourist map)
8: Clearwater National Forest and Palouse Ranger District of the St. Joe National Forest, Idaho. USDA. Forest Service
9: Clearwater Timber Protective Association
10: Clearwater Timber Protective Association Hunting and Fishing Map
11: Clearwater Timber Protective Association Hunting and Fishing Map
12: Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association Hunting and Fishing map
13: Colville National Forest, Washington. USDA. Forest Service
14: Dworshak Dam and Reservoir; public use plan, land use map (series of 3) U.S. Army Engineer District, Walla Walla, Washington
15: Hamilton, Montana; Idaho. Contour map showing portions of Clearwater National Forest, Nez Perce National Forest, Lolo National Forest. USGS
16: Idaho Aeronautical. Chart. Idaho Dept. of Aeronautics
17: Idaho Recreation Map. USGS
18: Kaniksu National Forest (East Half) USDA. Forest Service
19: Kaniksu National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
20: Nez Perce Indian Reservation Road Map. U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Indian Service
21: Nezperce National Forest; Hells Canyon - Seven Devils Scenic Area. Sketch map
22: Northern Region National Forests. USGS
23: Payette National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
24: Payette National Forest. Hornet Ranger District D-3- USDA. Forest Service
25: Potlatch Timber Protective Association
26: Potlatch Timber Protective Association
27: Potlatch Timber Protective Association
28: Potlatch Timber Protective Association
29: Potlatch Timber Protective Association
30: Potlatch Timber Protective Association (small)
31: Potlatch Timber Protective Association (large)
32: Potlatch Timber Protective Association and Clearwater Timber Protective Association
33: Deforestation, Inc. Lot maps and evaluation of property reports for lots in Benewah and Bonner County, Idaho
34: Salmon National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
35: Salmon River. River of No Return. USDA. Forest Service
36: Salmon River. Middle Fork of the Salmon. USDA. Forest Service
37: Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. USDA. Forest Service
38: St. Joe and Clearwater National Forests and Surrounding Territory, Idaho. USDA. Forest Service
39: St. Joe National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
40: St. Joe National Forest. USDA. Forest Service
41: St. Joe National Forest. USDA Forest Service
42: St. Joe National Forest. Red Ives Ranger District
Idaho Forest Industry Council
"Legislative Notes", v.1, no.1 - v.1, no-3. January - February 1976
North Idaho Forestry Association
"Action Alert" February 11, 1976; Forest Notes" October 16, 1975
Western Forestry and Conservation Association
This folder contains a 1963 newspaper clipping about Curtis's being named to the presidency of the organization, letters congratulating him on the appointment and the 1964 policy statement of the organization.
Timber Protective Associations
These cooperative associations are composed of private, state, and federal land owners who have pooled their knowledge, moneys, men and equipment to protect the forests not only from fire, but timber destroying insects and fungus diseases as well. To pay for this protection the total cost is divided by the acres in the district and the owners of the property are assessed a strict per acre rate. The Clearwater Timber Protective Association is believed to be the oldest in the nation, having been unofficially begun in 1900. Timber cruisers set up the first fire lookout in the nation at Bertha Hill, and fire control depended on the cruisers and local homesteaders. In 1905 Land Commissioner Charles Munson and Theodore Fohl drew up guidelines for cooperative timber protective associations which utilized trained fire fighters, and officially organized the Clearwater Timber Protective Association on August 1 of that year. The Potlatch Timber Protective Association was also organized about that time. In 1923 these two organizations became the first to use airplanes for fire patrol. In 1966, after eight years study, the CTPA and PTPA merged, forming the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association. Bert Curtis was associated with the Clearwater Timber Protective Association for a total of 50 years, and served as chief fire warden from 1927 to 1968. He was also chief fire warden for the Potlatch Timber Protective Association from 1945 to 1968. The correspondence in this series deals with the 50th Anniversary of the Clearwater Association (1956), the retirement of Edwin C. Rettig (1962), information on fire seasons in the northwest, and several miscellaneous letters. There are a number of magazine and newspaper articles including a draft of an article about the Clearwater and Potlatch Association merger, a history of the CTPA, a couple of articles on Theodore Fohl, an article entitled "Timber Protective Associations" (The Potlatch Story, undated), and several articles on forest fires. Other articles include one on the retirement of Adrian G. Nelson from the CTPA and two on the death of Edwin C. Rettig. The miscellaneous folder includes the program for the CTPA-PTPA 50th anniversary celebration, a list of CTPA officers 1905-1965 and 1905-1974, PTPA officers 1905-1974, outlines for several speeches, CTPA-PTPA fire statistics 1905-1952, CTPA Daily Fire Occurrences 1912-1962, PTPA Daily Fire Occurrences 1945-1962, PTPA statement of expenses for fighting fires near Bovill in 1914, and a list of wages paid to employees effective May 1, 1967. Published items include Constitution and By-Laws of the Potlatch Timber Protective Association (1926), Standard Rules and Regulations Adopted by All of the Timber Protective Associations of Northern Idaho (1947), and Forestry Laws of the State of Idaho. The next two folders contain brief year by year records of the Clearwater Timber Protective Association and the Potlatch Timber Protective Association from 1905 to 1952. The final items in the timber protective association section of this series are two notebooks belonging to the associations containing plat maps showing ownership of each section of land.
General Timber Material
This folder contains photoprints of material relating to C. Shellworth, a list of loggers' nicknames, an article entitled "The Ridgerunner: a Story of Idaho," by Rick Ripley, which was published in The Idaho Statesman November 26, 1978, a mimeographed paper "The History of State Forestry in Idaho" by Beth Rhodenbaugh and Dorine Goertzen (1963), many newspaper articles, some dealing with the State Land Board Trips which Curtis conducted every year, a copy of the Forestry Laws of the State of Idaho (1961) and Richard B. Madden's "Tree Farmers and Wood Converters: the Story of Potlatch Corporation" (The Newcomen Society, 1974. 24 p.).
Wilderness Areas
The material in this section of Series II includes copies of legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress, copies of committee reports on the bills, publications dealing with proposed wilderness areas in the Clearwater National Forest, the Magruder Corridor, the proposed Selway Bitterroot Wilderness area, and information on the Idaho-Salmon River Breaks Primitive area. Magazine and newspaper articles are also included, as are several items of correspondence.
There are two large scrapbooks in this archival group which are mainly concerned with Curtis's forestry interests. The newspaper clippings deal with all aspects of forestry and span the years 1938 to 1978. There are many articles on Theodore Fohl, organizer of the Clearwater Timber Protective Association, articles on various State Land Board trips, and many articles on forest fires. The scrapbooks also include a few personal clippings, and some concerned with Dworshak Dam.

Series III. Public Land Law Review Commission Return to Top

Between 1971 and 1973 A.B. Curtis donated most of his Public Land Law Review Commission memorabilia to the University of Idaho Library. An inventory of this material was completed in October 1980. More items relating to the commission were included with the present gift, and while a few of the items were placed with the previous group (MG 78), the majority were kept with this archival group. The following is a list of the materials retained in this group.

Container(s) Description Dates
1: Outer Continental Shelf Lands Study: Summary. Prepared by Nossman, Waters, Scott, Krueger & Riordan. October 1967. 77 p. (The main report, 6 vols., is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 8)
2: Land Grants to States. A study prepared for the Public Land Law Review Commission
84 p. + appendix
(Revised report is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 12)
April 1969
3: Inventory Information on Public Lands. A study prepared by the staff of the Public Land Law Review Commission
2 v
(The final report, 3 vols., is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 15)
January 1970
4: Outdoor Recreation Use of the Public Lands: Chapter 2, "The Existing Legal System." By Herman D. Ruth and Associates. Berkeley, Calif.
156 p.
(The entire 3 volume report is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 17)
Sept. 5, 1969
5: Projections of the Consumption of Commodities Producible on the Public Lands of the United States, 1980-2000. Prepared for the Public Land Law Review Commission by Robert Nathan Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C.
429 p.
(Later published as v.2 of Future Demands on Public Lands, Manuscripts Group 78, Report 21)
May 1968
6: A Study of Probable Future Demands on the Public Lands for the Public Land Law Review Commission. by Robert S. Manthy and Lee M. James, East Lansing, Michigan
(Later published as v.3 of Future Demands on the Public Lands, Manuscript Group 78, Report 21)
September 1969
7: Federal Land Laws and Policies in Alaska; a Summary of Issues and Alternatives Prepared for the Public Land Law Review Commission by the University of Wisconsin School of Natural Resources Center for Resource Policy Studies and Programs
133 p.
(The main report, 4 vols., is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 22)
April 1969
8-1: A Staff Summary of Revenue Sharing and Payments in Lieu of Taxes on the Public Land. A study report prepared by EBS Management Consultants
(The main report, 4 vols., is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 23)
July 1968
8-2: A Catalog of Possible Alternatives to or Modifications of Existing Federal Programs for Revenue Sharing and Payments in Lieu of Taxes on the Public Land. EBS Management Consultants
58 p.
(Supplement to: Revenue Sharing and Payments in Lieu of Taxes on the Public Lands. Manuscript Group 78, Report 23)
July 1968
9: Study of Federal Public Land Laws and Policies Relating to Use and Occupancy. Prepared under contract with the Public Land Law Review Commission by Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall. Los Angeles. Summary
6, 112 p.
(Main report 4 vols., is in Manuscript Group 78, Report 24)
September 1969
10-1: Multiple Use Concepts and Land Use Decisions on the Public Lands (Draft) A study prepared for the Public Land Law Review Commission. Perry R. Hagenstein, project officer
76 p.
February 1970
10-2: Land Use Decision Making by the Bureau of Land Management. Contributing report to the Study of Multiple Use Concepts and Land Use Decisions on the Public Lands. By R.S. Whaley, Colorado State University
February 1, 1970
11: One Third of the Nation's Land; a Report to the President and to the Congress by the Public Land Law Review Commission. Washington, D.C.
342 p.
(This copy autographed by Wayne Aspinall and Milton Pearl)
June 1970
12: Excerpts from One Third of the Nation's Land. Idaho Statewide Discussion forum to review recommendations of the Public Land Law Review Commission. Rodeway Inn, Boise
16 p.
November 6, 1970
13: One Third of the Nationals Land; excerpts from a Report to the President and to the Congress by the Public Land Law Review Commission. Intermountain .Regional Public Land Law Review Forum. Max C. Fleischmann College of Agriculture, University of Nevada, Reno
16 p.
November 17 & 18, 1970
14: Report of the Idaho Commission on Federal Land Laws. Submitted to the Public Land Law Review Commission, Washington, D.C.
March 1, 1970
Aspinall Speech and Legislation
Aspinall, Wayne B. Remarks: National Governors' Conference, Cincinnati, Ohio. July 22, 1968. "The State's Interest in the Federal Public Lands." 10 p. Public Law 88-606 establishing the Public Land Law Review Commission H.R.12121 (90th Congress, lst Session) August 7, 1967, Amending the Act Establishing the PLLRC (extending the time) Committee Print #2 (88th Congress, lst Session) "Public Land Laws: an Exchange of Correspondence Concerning Policy Review." 1963. 2. Journal Articles
Journal Articles
Gates, Paul W. "History of Public Land Law Development: Summary" (source unidentified)
8 p.
Jackson, Donald. "This Land is Our Land." Life
Pp. 32-43
January 8, 1971
Jackson, Donald. "Whose Wilderness?" Life
Pp. 109-312
January 9, 1970
Kerr, Ed. "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace." (unidentified)
Pp. 42-44
Pearl, Milton. "Public Land Commissions." Reprinted from Our Public Lands
Towell, William E. "Seven Gut Issues on Public Lands." American Forests
p. 7
January 1971
Newspaper Articles
"Commission Proposes New Public Land Laws." Washington, D.C. The Evening Star
June 23, 1970
"Development Urged of Public Land Minerals." Washington, D.C. The Evening Star
June 23, 1970
"Land Report Includes Some Flaws." Boise, The Idaho Statesman
June 28, 1970
"Overhaul of Public Land Laws Urged." By George Lardner, Jr. Washington, D.C., the Washington Post
June 24, 1970
"Public Land Law Review Body May Visit Here in September Curtis Tells Chamber." Lewiston Morning Tribune
May 16, 1967
"Public Land Review Complicated by Varying Sectional Problems." Lewiston Morning Tribune
October 17, 1967
"Public Lands Policy Key to Utah Growth." Salt Lake City, Deseret News
June 24, 1970
"Revision of U.S. Land Law Urged." By John MacLean. Chicago Tribune
June 24, 1970
"Tenants First, Landlords Second." Lewiston Morning Tribune
June 24, 1970
Revenue Sharing Study
"R.S. and P.I.L.T." by A.B. Curtis. 13 page typescript "Case County Digest: Clearwater, Idaho"
October 1970
"Case County Digests Owyhee, Idaho"
"Forest Service Payments of 25 per cent of National Forest Timber Sale Receipts to Counties
8 p. mimeographed typescript
A.B. Curtis's comments on the EBS report on Revenue Sharing
Several items of correspondence
State Land Grant Study
Mimeographed copies of commission correspondence
Manuscript notes of A.B. Curtis
Photocopy of letter from Curtis to Milton Pearl, PLLRC director, regarding the meaning of "Maximum benefit for the general public"
January 29, 1970
Aspinall, Wayne
Fisher, Sherry
Hughes, Eugene
Life Magazine, Editor
Pearl, Milton
Speaking Notes
Manuscript notes from a briefing
June 22, 1970
Notes for a talk to a seminar at Washington State University
January 18, 1968
Notes for a talk to the Lewiston, Idaho, Chamber of Commerce
October 16, 1967
Typescript for an unidentified speech

Series IV. Dworshak Dam Return to Top

The Dworshak Dam is located at the old Bruces Eddy site on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. The site was named for Bruce Lipscomb who, in 1877, while working with a Northern Pacific Railroad Company engineering party doing location work in the area, noted that the site was ideal as a potential power development location. In 1953 the Army Corps of Engineers studied the dam project and recommended that a dam be built at the site. The dam, originally called Bruces Eddy, but later changed to Dworshak, in honor of Senator Henry Dworshak, was authorized by Congress in 1962; the ground breaking ceremony was held in September 1966, and the first concrete poured June 22, 1968. The formal dedication was held June 15, 1973.

It was originally planned to be a rock-fill dam, but after further study the engineers decided a concrete dam would be better. It is the largest dam of its type built by the Corps of Engineers; it is 717 feet high, the base is 525 feet, and it is 30 feet wide and 3,300 feet long at the top. The lake behind the dam is 53 miles long.

The material in this series includes general information on dams in the northwest, a folder of Bonneville Power Administration material, maps, and brochures on northwest dams. .The majority of the material concerns Dworshak Dam and includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, brochures, maps, statements and memos of A.B. Curtis regarding the dam, Army Corps of Engineers material, material on the relocation of the air strip, roads and bridges, and material on the protests of various wildlife interest groups. Also present are the programs for the ground breaking ceremony, the concrete pouring and the dedication.

Listed below is a brief description of the contents of each folder. The file cards prepared for this series give names of correspondents, titles of articles, titles of maps, etc.

Container(s) Description Dates
General Information
Included in this folder are the Federal Power Commissions Federal Power Act of 1955, the Army Corps of Engineers Genera1 Safety Requirements (1958), a brochure on the Lower Snake River Dams (1961), two brochures on public recreation use of the Corps of: Engineers civil works projects, newspaper articles on the Columbia river Power Development treaty between the U.S. and Canada, and a newspaper story on the Vanport flood in 1948.
Bonneville Power Administration
This folder contains a fact sheet and map of electric power plants in the Pacific Northwest, the BPA's "Advance Program: 1967-1987", and generation and sales statistics for 1971.
The three maps in this folder are The Columbia River Basin major dam and reservoir development (1958), Columbia River Basin power and storage projects (undated), and Snake River and tributaries distribution of migratory salmonoids (1958)-
Information on Northwest Dams
These folders contain brochures and other information on the following dams: Asotin, Brownlee, Chief Joseph, High Mountain Sheep, Hungry Horse, Hells Canyon, Ice Harbor, John Day, Libby, Lower Monumental, Lucky Peak, and McNary.
Dworshak - General Information
This category of material includes correspondence with the Corps of Engineers, the Idaho congressional delegation, including Senator Dworshak, much of which deals with the early planning for the project. There are also many newspaper clippings dated from 1953 to 1968, several brochures put out by the Clearwater Dams Association, the Corps of Engineers brochure, transcripts of telephone conversations Curtis had with Len Jordan and Henry Dworshak in 1955, notices of hearings to be held on the project, notes for speeches, reference notes on water resources development and the Bruces Eddy project, and a five page mimeographed article by A.B. Curtis entitled "The Dworshak Story (at Bruces Eddy site)" written in 1973.
Dworshak - Army Corps of Engineers Material
Among the items in this folder are a booklet issued on the twentieth anniversary of the Walla Walla District (1968), another covering federal land acquisition policies and procedures for the dam (1962), one entitled "Water Resources Development by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Idaho" (1971), and a 201 page record of a public meeting on the Lower Clearwater River held in Lewiston on November 19, 1970. Another folder contains numerous advanced notices to bidders detailing work to be done on the dam. Manuscript Group 78 contains the three volume main contract for the dam dated 1966.
Dworshak - Fire Protection Agreement
Material in this folder concerns the agreement between the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the State of Idaho for fire protection on the federal lands around the dam and reservoir. The items in the folder include charts, maps, a report on forest fire prevention prepared by Ralph Space in 1967, notes for a meeting held at Boehls Cabin on July 10, 1967, and several items of correspondence.
Dworshak - Bridges, Roads, and Airstrip
Most of the material in this folder concerns the Grandad Bridge, but there are some items on the Dent Bridge and some material on the relocation of the Breakfast Creek airstrip. Types of material include correspondence, photographs of a possible site for the new airstrip, Curtis's notes on the need for access roads, a report to the Corps of Engineers on "Justification of Road and Bridge Relocation for the Dworshak Project" prepared by A.B. Curtis, May 24, 1966, notes on several meetings held on bridge and road relocation, and newspaper clippings. There are also several maps showing possible locations for the roads and bridges.
Dworshak - Wildlife Interests
The most vocal opponents of the dam were the wildlife interest groups who claimed the reservoir would destroy a major feeding area for the region's elk. To counter these claims studies were done of the number of animals in the area. Items in the folder include correspondence, newspaper clippings and maps. A 1949 wildlife condition is included as is the 1955-1956 winter census of big game in the Clearwater region.
Dworshak Ground Breaking
Items include an invitation, program, speakers' notes, brief biographies of Len Jordan, brigadier General Peter C. Hyzer, and Colonel Frank D. McElwee, and correspondence.
September 24, 1966
Dworshak - First Concrete Pour
Memorabilia of this event include the official program, some newspaper clippings, notes about the dam and the amount of concrete to be used, and correspondence.
June 22, 1968
Dworshak - Dedication
The contents of this folder include the official program, a newspaper clipping, the program for the recognition banquet and a speech by A.B. Curtis "Dworshak Dam - A Dream Come True" prepared for delivery at the dedication banquet on June 14, 1973.
June 15, 1973
Dworshak - Maps
This folder contains nine maps each showing different aspects of the project.

Series V. Other Materials Return to Top

Some of this series was received at a later date and not incorporated into the earlier sequences. It includes 3-16mm. motion picture films related to Dworshak Dam, Bertha Hill, logging, and other actions; a scrapbook labeled "C.P. Timber Ass'ns Book #1"; and three framed award certificates, all filed in Box 4.

A second group of clippings, papers, publications, photographs, and other materials, in Box 5, appear to have been collected for, but not inserted in, a scrapbook. They include:

  • Lewis-Clark Highway. Clippings. 1962
  • Timber-related. Clippings, speeches, publication. 1962-1963
  • Dworshak. Correspondence, clippings, speeches. 1969-1973
  • Correspondence. 1948-1983
  • Scrapbook items. Clippings and other papers. undated
  • PLLRC. News release, legislative bills. 1964-1983
  • Water resource publications. 7 items
  • Orofino Series 1. Clippings, 1962-1972

Also in Box 5 is the manuscript and 3 folders of photographs relating to White Pines and Fires (1983), his book on the history of forestry in Clearwater County.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Forest fires -- Prevention and control -- Idaho -- History -- Sources

Corporate Names

  • Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association -- History -- Sources
  • Orofino (Idaho). Mayor

Geographical Names

  • Dworshak Dam (Idaho) -- History -- Sources

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Curtis, Albert Bruce, 1903-1985--Archives.