Panhandle Lumber Mill and The Idaho and Washington Northern Railway
Spirit Lake was established in 1908 as a lumber mill town connected to
Spokane by a railway.
Logging flumes (chutes) were run down Brickel Creek, and then logs were
transported by water to the Mill Pond.
A few cement structures remain from the old mill, on private property
to the north as you go down the hill towards the lake.
a short time the mill was completed, as were the train tracks from
Spokane which hauled the lumber to market, and continued up to Newport
and Metalline Falls.
It is hard to imagine the Mill Pond as a sea of logs, but that was its
fate until the depression and 1939 fire ended the mill...
Still Spirit Lake was fortunate not to be downstream of mining
operations, and the water quality of the lake today is quite good...
Many waterlogged logs were removed when the Mill Pond was resealed...
Many millions of board feet of lumber were removed from the area...
This photo with the depot at right end shows the passenger train which
brought tourists to Spirit Lake from Spokane. The sign on the
ground in an inlaid arc reads "Welcome. Come again." The mill in
the background shows the main use of the railroad, hauling lumber...
The railway had a shop to work on the train as well as a roundhouse
(whose cement understructure is still visible on the private property
where the train and mill were located)