A Niche in the Sun
Story and Photos by Eloise Kraemer
The drive along Yellowstone Avenue, which skirts the southern boundary of Silverton, brings up vivid memories from my childhood of the walk west along an abandoned portion of this road, then known as the Yellowstone Trail Highway. It wound its way around a mountain on the north side of the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. I would walk behind my mother as we went to meet my siblings at the school bus stop, which was next to the local store, owned by Joseph Woefels and family.
Part of the store was the post office, created in 1947. Along with its addition came a change in the community’s name from Stump Town to Silverton. This was suggested by a neighbor of the Woefels, who hailed from Colorado and thought the new name might sound more fitting.
My husband Douglas and I are on our way to visit my friend Leslee Anderson Stanley and her husband Robin, both lifelong residents of the valley. Leslee and I were neighbors on the eastern outskirts of Silverton when we were children. Back then she frequently visited her grandparents, who owned the Anderson Ranch, where Douglas and I are headed.
The ranch, on a tract steeped in the history of the area, is now being enjoyed by the fifth generation of the Andersons to live there. Leslee’s grandfather had horses that were the first ones I ever rode. Ranches are a rarity today along the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River but the historic Anderson Ranch, now the Stanley Ranch, is still co-managed by Leslee and Robin with their son and his family.