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Union vs. Citizen Militia During the Occupation of St. Maries

It’s got all the characteristics of a modern-day conspiracy theory post: protests, military-industrial complex, martial law, the militia. Things don’t change much, do they?

bitterrootloop

The corner of First and College

Working conditions in Pacific Northwest lumber camps were harsh around the turn of the 20th Century and the Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) organized men to strike for an eight-hour work day and healthier living conditions in the filthy vermin-infested “rag camps,” (tent bunkhouses) scattered in the forests.

Western lumber camps were largely staffed by nomadic workers aged 15 to 50, many of whom had no wives and children. About half were displaced Native Americans and most of the rest were immigrants from Wales, Italy, Serbia, Greece and Turkey.

St. Maries became a hotbed of IWW organizing after the union opened an office in St. Maries in 1916, and organizers fanned out into the region’s Lumber camps.

Loggers Demand Humane Working Conditions

Loggers around Bovill went on strike against the Potlatch Lumber Company in early winter of 1916. Loggers at Alder Creek struck…

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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in History Repeats for Those Who Don't Learn and tagged , , .
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