Discovering Idaho’s Naval History

By Jennifer Stamper

My first day in Bayview was a mistake. After writing a city spotlight featuring my hometown, (“Clark Fork: Through New Eyes,” IDAHO magazine, July 2012), I was eager to write another one. I chose Bayview, because I thought I had a great personal story to tell about it, and it was a place I was excited to learn more about. But as my husband and I drove along the narrow road lined with thick pine forest, I realized that instead of going around the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille to the lower east shore, where I thought Bayview was, we were heading for the lower western shoreline. Entering the city limits, the road took a sharp left and the cutest little town opened up to view. Houses and shops were draped across the shore leading down to the water. All along the V-shaped bay, docks packed with boat slips lined the shore, dipping their outstretched fingers into the cool, blue-green water.

Pine-covered mountains encircled the bay, keeping watch over the town, while across the lake, more tall mountains stood shoulder-to- shoulder, their rock faces looking down over the water.

That first glance confirmed my mistake. Still, this was Bayview. I recognized the layout and specific shops I had seen on the map. “This isn’t where I thought we were going,” I admitted to my husband.

He looked at me with a hint of concern on his face. “Do we need to go somewhere else?” he asked.

I considered for a moment as I looked back over the town. In the bright morning sun, it looked so quaint and inviting that I suddenly felt the urge to walk along its shade-dappled sidewalks. “No,” I said. “My story is supposed to be about Bayview. Let’s go see what it’s all about.”

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Jennifer Stamper

About Jennifer Stamper

Jennifer Stamper has always lived in Idaho. She graduated from Blackfoot High School in southeastern Idaho, and then from Brigham Young University-Idaho, before moving to Clark Fork in northern Idaho five years ago. Her current credentials include the super-human ability to simultaneously carry from the car three bags of groceries, a gallon of milk, a diaper bag, and her fifth child (two years old) and still find a way to unlock the door. She enjoys photography, happy children, and writing for local papers.

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