By Dottie Gray
Oktoberfest music permeated the Boundary County Museum’s hallowed spaces, greeting guests coming for the annual “A Night for the Museum” fund raising dinner and auction. A German-themed dinner and beverages were provided by Jill and Dan Nystrom of The Rusty Moose, featuring bratwurst with sauerkraut, German cucumber salad, potatoes, and slaw, topped off with German chocolate cake donated by our local Safeway grocery store.
Museum artifacts provided entertainment as part of the Museum Trivia game activity: Prussian helmet from WW1, an armadillo taxidermy hand bag from Mexico, “Talc-em Brush” for powdering baby’s behind, a medicine/ceremonial rattle made from deer dew-claws belonging to Simon Francis, and a white granite “Mano” once belonging to Catherine Francis, used for scrubbing hair from soaked hides, were among the pieces from the museum’s collection.
Cal Russell, Boundary County Historical Society president and emcee, led the group in the heads/tails/50/50 game netting the winner half the “pot,” which was won by Laurie Edwards, who promptly donated it back to the Museum.
The Society’s “Education Committee” shared stories of a number of colorful folks of German descent who played an active role in the early days of Kootenai/Boundary County. Among these were Albert Klockmann , one-time owner of the famed Continental Mine, Fred C. Fisher, owner and operator of The White Caribou Bar in Porthill and downtown Bonners Ferry, and Henry, grandparent of Bill (Blume) the Barber.
A brief history of the true meaning of the swastika and “The Swastika Club of Bonners Ferry,” added entertaining pieces of history to the program, as did a snapshot of the original Oktoberfest and its significance.
Following all this fun, John Sater of Sater’s Auction took charge of the live auction containing 22 items. Some of these included two one-day passes to Silverwood Theme Park, a room/spa/Springs package at the Kootenai River Inn, modernistic wood floor lamp, a metal art Welcome Moose sign and a pine cone welcome sign, a leaf blower and many baskets filled with fleece blankets, wine, hand-crafted jewelry, gift certificates and other items generously donated by businesses and individuals.
John kept the bidding lively and competitive, as those vying for their favored “prizes” continued to lend to the laughter and chatter of the evening.
Door prizes and drawings completed the evening in fine form.
The Boundary County Historical Society and Museum board members wish to acknowledge all those who attended, who donated funds and their time to make this a successful event.
The funds raised from the evening will be used to upgrade lighting inside the museum to LED, which will replace the outdated fluorescent tubes. Thank you for your support and generosity through attending this dinner and participating in the various fund raising activities during the course of the evening!