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Connecting curious minds with uncommon, undeniably Northwest reads

Company Town

Potlatch, Idaho, and the Potlatch Lumber Company

Keith C. Petersen

$27.95

Back in print!

Company Town tells the story of Potlatch, Idaho, a town built on a bend in the Palouse River. It is a gritty, working-class tale of an ordinary place with an unusual past. Potlatch was a company town–a community completely owned by a large lumber company. More than just another community history, it is the Pacific Northwest in microcosm—the exploitation of natural resources; the impact of big business on rural development; and the story of ordinary people struggling to make a place their home.

Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History

Illustrations / bibliographical essay / index / 336 pages (1987)

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Description

Back in print!

At a bend in the Palouse River, in the shadow of Gold Hill, in northern Latah County, Idaho, rests a town named Potlatch. It is not particularly picturesque, and projects an image of gritty working-class living. But the ordinary appearance of Potlatch belies its unusual past. For this was a company town—a town wholely owned by a large lumber company.

But Potlatch’s history is more than just the history of a company town. It is the story of the West in microcosm—the exploitation of natural resources; the impact of big business upon the development of a rural area; and common people making a place their home.

Company Town presents an insightful look into life in a rural community and follows its progress through the decades. It shows the close ties between community life and the larger spheres of the timber industry, regional and national economics, and international events. The book imparts a sense of what it was like to work in the sawmill and live in what the Potlatch Lumber Company had planned as a model town.

Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History

Illustrations / bibliographical essay / index / 336 pages (1987)

Recognition

Award of Merit, American Association for State and Local History

“The most notable feature of the book…is its presentation. Petersen is a gifted writer…He captures events and places, and he renders useful descriptions of all the processes in timber operations. Would that more history was written with the same grace as Company Town.”—James H. Ducker, Journal of the West

 “…a valuable contribution to our understanding of industry and community-building in the West.”—Robert E. Ficken, The Public Historian

Additional information

Format

Paperback