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History's Window: Harry Llewellyn Roberts

by BOB GUNTER Contributing Writer
| July 28, 2021 1:00 AM

Editor’s note: Longtime historian Bob Gunter spent his life diving into history, capturing the people and places of the community, highlighting what made it special. Bob’s tales would take the reader on a journey of someone in the community, sharing their life, their stories and celebrate what make each person unique. “Tell me a story,” he would ask the person or two, or three, or as many as he could coax out of them.

Below is one such tale, where Bob would offer tantalizing clues and challenge his reader to guess “Who Am I?” Below are the stories he wrote about Harry Llewellyn Roberts, which originally ran in June 2006.

Part 1

I was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on November 27, 1928. I was born at the Parnell Hospital that was located on Euclid. When I was real young we lived in Coeur d’Alene, at Fort Sherman. We came back to Sandpoint when I was about four years old. Every neighborhood I lived in had lots of kids. We played a lot of games like, hide and seek, marbles, clay ball fights, Annie over, and chestnut fights. We also made rubber guns and would have rubber gun fights. Every kid had a slingshot or a BB gun. We would shoot gophers, and we got a two cent bounty for each gopher tail.

I started school when I was five at the Washington School. At that time, we lived at 414 Superior, at my granddad’s house. I went to second, third, and fourth grades at Farmin. We moved to Kootenai, and I went to school there for the fifth grade. We returned to Sandpoint, and I was back at the Farmin School for the sixth and seventh grades. Charlie Stidwell was the principal while I was at Farmin. I was kind of an outlaw in school. I never did do anything real bad, but I was always in trouble, some way or other.

In school, we would play baseball and tackle football, without uniforms. In the summer, we rode our bikes, went fishing, and we would go swimming. Even when I was super young, I would leave in the morning and wouldn’t come back until late at night. My mom had no idea where I was. They shut down the Humbird Mill about 1933-34, and we played over there a lot. We played in the creek in the area of the foot bridge, off Larch Street.

In 1942, we moved to Seattle. I went to James Madison Junior High, and I attended West Seattle High. I was a junior in high school when I joined the navy; I was just 16 years old. I took my boot training in San Diego, CA. I was in the navy for four years, and I was discharged on the ninth of January, 1944; in Long Beach, CA.

I came back to Sandpoint in 1952. I went to work at the Cabinet Dam site and I worked there until they made the last pour of concrete. I then went to work at the Albeni Falls Dam, and I worked there for a year.

I was in the union, and in 1953 I worked where I was needed. I help build the Northern Lights building that was out on the Dover Highway. It was during this time that I met the girl that was to become my wife. We got married on March 7, 1954, at the parsonage of the Baptist Church in Sandpoint.

After we were married, I worked at booming logs, and I liked doing that. In 1954, I went to work for Pack River Lumber building the board plant at Dover. I went to work at the saw mill in Colburn in 1961. I worked for Pack River for 39 years, and I retired in 1990.

My hobby today is work. When the kids were here we would go camping, huckleberrying, fishing, and that kind of stuff. We would jump in the truck, and go up to the old lookouts, when they were still around.

Part 2

My name is Harry Llewellyn Roberts, and I was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on November 27, 1928. I was born at the Parnell Hospital that was located on Euclid. My mother’s name was Ruth (Allen) and my dad’s name was Harry. My dad worked for the Forest Service building lookouts, and he was a packer and a cook. I have three sisters, Ann, Ginger (Virginia), and Rita.

I started school when I was five at the Washington School. I went to second, third, and fourth grades at Farmin. We moved to Kootenai and I went to school for the fifth grade there. We returned to Sandpoint, and I was back at the Farmin School for the sixth and seventh grades. I remember two of my teachers were Flora Campbell and Archie Dale. Charlie Stidwell was the principal while I was at Farmin. I was sent to his office, and I remember he had a little paddle that was painted green. He would paddle you, but not real bad. It would just sting pretty much. I was kind of an outlaw in school. I never did do anything real bad, but I was always in trouble, some way or other.

In the summer, we rode our bikes, went fishing, and we would go swimming. Even when I was super young, I would leave in the morning and wouldn’t come back until late at night. My mom had no idea where I was. They shut down the Humbird Mill about 1933-34, and we played over there a lot. We played in the creek in the area of the foot bridge, off Larch Street. We found an old row boat, and we patched it up but it still had more holes in it than it had boards. We loaded on and made it from the cove to about the Cedar Street Bridge before the thing started to sink. I jumped over with a boom chain in my hand, and went straight to the bottom. I was about 10 years old then.

In 1942, we moved to Seattle. I went to James Madison Junior High, and I attended West Seattle High. I was a junior in high school when I joined the navy; I was just 16 years old. I took my boot training in San Diego, CA. I just missed out being sent to Farragut, and I am sure glad I didn’t go there, because it was dead winter time, and a lot of the guys there had rheumatic fever. I went to Camp Schumacher, near Oakland, CA, to take training for the amphibious forces. I was in the navy for four years, and I was discharged on the ninth of January, 1949; in Long Beach, CA.

After I was discharged, I retuned to Seattle and went to work at a fish company. I came back to Sandpoint in 1952. I went to work at the Cabinet Dam site and I worked there until they made the last pour of concrete. I then went to work at the Albeni Falls Dam, and I worked there for a year. I was in the union, and in 1953 I worked where I was needed.

It was during this time that I met Mary Ellen Timblin. We started running around together and I think it was up on Granite Hill that she said, “Let’s get married” (I would check this out with Mary Ellen), and I said, ‘OK’. I didn’t have a job, and I didn’t have any money. We got married on March 7, 1954 at the parsonage of the Baptist Church, in Sandpoint. Today, we have three children: Melonie, John, and Andrew. We had a son, Harry Jr that died at three months of age.

After we were married, I worked at booming logs, and in 1954, I went to work for Pack River Lumber. I started working at the saw mill in Colburn in 1961. I worked for Pack River for 39 years. I retired in 1990.

(The following recognized Harry: Walt Burt, Linda Rosholt, Ann Muntean, Bill Allen, Rita Runberg, and Ginger Curtis.)

photo

(Courtesy photo)

Harry Roberts is pictured while serving in the U.S. Navy during the early 1940s.