Written by Carole Simon-Smolinski
The era of stern-wheel steamboats on the Clearwater River, Idaho, speaks of a quieter time. Sometimes we long to return to that age. Railroads, which played such an important part in the development of that region, are now as much a part of the past as the steamers. Nostalgia carries our thoughts back to those years as well, when time moved slower in a more peaceful setting. But looking back distorts reality. Stern-wheelers and railroad trains moved clocks rapidly forward, catching the wilderness of North Central Idaho up with the modern times of early 20th century America. They played an important role in the development of the Clearwater Country, just as the pioneer spirit left its important legacy. They must not be forgotten.