The dedication page of the Boundary County Museum’s new book, “Small Towns, Big Dreams” states, “dedicated to the ‘dreamers’ who came before and to those who will come after.”
It’s a sentiment that resonates for both Susan Kemmis and Dottie Gray, mainstays of the museum staff for more than 14 years and 10 years respectively, both of whom have worked on the creation of the book.
“Small Towns, Big Dreams” is composed of a number of stories originally published in the Bonners Ferry Herald. In total, there are 27 stories about the towns throughout Boundary County, from Porthill to Moravia to Klockmann to Sinclair to Curley Creek.
Studying history is a passion for both women.
Kemmis began her foray into history by studying her own genealogy. Her grandparents came to Bonners Ferry from North Dakota to escape the Dust Bowl; Bonners Ferry seemed like a beautiful world of “green” that beckoned them to make the move. She recalled her grandfather telling her that nothing would grow in North Dakota but thistle and “the last year that they were there, they actually planted thistle so they had something to feed the cattle.”
Gray moved to the area from western Washington. “When we came here and found how these family “webs” seemed to grow,” she and her husband became very interested in the unique history of the area, eventually becoming involved in the historical society.
She loves the activities they organize: the . . .