North of the Narrows
Men and Women of the Upper Priest Lake Country, Idaho
By Claude & Catherine Simpson
Nonfiction, 312 pages, 5.5" x 8.5" softcover, 115 black-and-white photos and illustrations, index, first printed in 1981
An Idaho classic now in its sixth printing, North of the Narrows tells the personal stories of the men and women who first settled the Upper Priest Lake region of northern Idaho. This perennial favorite has been in print for more than 30 years and celebrates those freedom-loving people who created their own way of life on Priest Lake during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Until the automobile penetrated the region, the Priest Lake country of Idaho was a fabulous hunting and fishing area known throughout North America for its beauty and relative inaccessibility. It attracted sportsmen, movie stars and tourists during the summer season, but, more importantly, a rugged, self-reliant, highly independent breed of permanent resident, the pioneer settlers.
These men and women ranged from early Forest Service personnel, miners, and loggers to hermits, moonshiners and fur trappers – Pacific Northwest mountaineers who, unfortunately, have almost entirely disappeared. The authors spent many years in researching the Upper Priest Lake country and taping the tales of its early people and here put on record the results of their studies.
The late Claude Simpson was born in Colton, Wash., and grew up in the Palouse country. He received a B.A. degree from Eastern Washington University and a B.Ed. and an M.A. degree from Washington State University. He taught eight years in public schools in Washington. In 1943, he was appointed Specialist in School Services at WSU, and three years later was appointed WSU’s first Director of Admissions. In 1953, he became editor of the university catalog. During his term at WSU, he wrote more than 30 articles for professional journals as well as a book, "Africa Without Elephants." He and his wife, Catherine, maintained for many years a permanent home at Priest Lake.
The late Catherine Diener Simpson was born on the Diener homestead ranch near Wilbur, Washington. She graduated from Newport High School and received a three-year teaching certificate from Eastern Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington State University. She taught grade school in Washington, Alaska, and New South Wales, Australia. During World War II, she was secretary to the Dean of Men at WSU. For 14 years she was director of the Pullman Private Kindergarten and for three years was kindergarten coordinator for the Pullman Public Schools. As co-author, her daily diary, editing, and endless hours of drafting, typing and proofing made this book a reality.