For four sunny days in August 1988,
the exciting buzz of chainsaws could be heard on Kootenai Street’s entrance into downtown Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The Boundary County Resource Council, with generous donations from the community, had commissioned a well-known chainsaw artist, Dave Clark of Eureka, Mont., to carve a sculpture on site. The newly carved structure would greet the public as they turned into town by the Visitor’s Center.
A 16 foot log from an uprooted yellow pine tree off Katka Mountain arrived on a logging truck, was cut in half and partially buried in the ground. Amazed onlookers watched as Clark began to carve a figure of a logger and one of a farmer. The men faced each other and held in their hands seedlings that represented the renewable resources of Boundary County.
Between the logger and the farmer, Clark carved two cedar slabs with scenes that represented the beauty and heritage of the community and welcomed people to Boundary County.
The sculpture welcomed visitors for 14 years, but the effects of time and weather took its toll. With a concern for safety, the City had it removed in 2002. The two figures were auctioned off, while the cedar slab portions went into storage, and in 2010 they were donated to the Museum. Gini Woodward, President of the Historical Society at the time, offered the idea of having the slabs converted into benches. Many ideas for displaying the long heavy pieces were discussed.
Finally, in June 2017, with funding available, The Boundary County Historical Society commissioned North Idaho Ironworks to construct benches using the two cedar slabs. The beautifully carved wood pieces again “Welcome” visitors to Boundary County, and provide a place to rest while in the Museum Railroad Courtyard.