Ford Schoolhouse preservation work continues

Ford Schoolhouse after tree removal
Ford Schoolhouse after tree removal

This past week, a Forest Service fire crew removed a number of trees posing a threat to the historic Ford Schoolhouse. According to Forest Service Archeologist Ryan Powell, a Youth Conservation Corps crew will do further clearing at the site in July. In September, the Forest Service historic preservation team out of Missoula plans to reinstall the windows that have been stripped of their lead-based paint, do further foundation work, and replace the existing metal roof with a shake roof. The schoolhouse was originally constructed in 1917-1918. Continue reading Ford Schoolhouse preservation work continues

Reminder: First NFLA meeting of 2021-2022 season, Sep 12

Sondreson Community Hall
Sondreson Community Hall

The North Fork Landowners Association hosts its first meeting of the 2021-2022 season on September 12, 2021. We begin with a North Fork history presentation by Lois Walker and Arne Boveng at 7pm followed by the general membership meeting at 8pm.

Here’s your opportunity to meet our new officers, learn what they are planning for next season and how you can be an active part of our community. On the agenda is a report from our new president, Richard Hildner, regarding North Fork Road conditions and Glacier View Drive. We will also discuss the time for NFLA meetings each month (no changes may be made to the regularly scheduled date of the meeting).

Bring a snack to share, and join us for an interesting presentation by the History Committee at 7pm followed by our Membership meeting at 8pm.

Please note that COVID-19 precautions at Sondreson Hall are governed by the current CDC recommendations for meetings in public venues in areas of the country of “substantial or high transmission” for the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. Seating will be socially distanced (six feet spacing), although family members may wish to sit closer together. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to those who need them.

View current meeting agenda.

Project documents history of the North Fork

Old photos, newspapers and documents detailing the history of the North Fork at Lois Walker’s residence in Polebridge | from the Daily Inter Lake

The Daily Inter Lake has an article that says… The North Fork Landowners Association is working to amass, catalog and publish a vast trove of documents, photos and old news clippings that lend insight into the cultural heritage of the area. The group is also conducting and archiving oral history interviews.

Read the full article here.

The link in the article doesn’t take you to the NFLA History Project page, but you can use to get there.

We want to thank Lois Walker, the current chair of the NFLA History Committee, Debo Powers, the former chair, and all of the folks who have worked so hard on the North Fork History Project for so many years. Really… a job well done.

Nonie’s Schoolhouse History

The schoolhouse at Ford
The old Ford School, 1937 or 1938. Bottom row, from left, Jimmy Ballard, Vincent Hensen; middle row, Leonard Wurtz, Nonie Day (Chapman), Dorothy Wurtz; back row, Bud Holcomb, Thelma Wurtz and teacher Betty Nicholson.

From Larry Wilson’s column on May 17, 2017 in the Hungry Horse News: Nonie’s Schoolhouse History. It says… The Ford School was the only school Nonie ever attended, and the land for the school was donated by her stepfather Ralph Day. The school was built by the community, just like the Community Hall years later. Nonie started school when she was 6 in 1934, but she can’t remember what year it was built. Read Larry’s full column here.

Carl Pittman has Passed

Linda & Carl PittmanWe recently heard that Carl Pittman, long time North Forker and good neighbor, died on December 2, 2015 at his home in Newberg, OR after a brief decline from accelerated renal failure.

Carl was born June 7, 1931, in Caldwell, Oklahoma, near Oklahoma City. He attended UCLA and Oxford for his bachelors and masters degree and “half of a PhD.” He and his wife Linda came to the North Fork for the first time in the summer of 1964. Over the next decades, Carl and his family enjoyed all that the North Fork had to offer including floating, fishing, hiking, and visiting with neighbors.

Carl is survived by his wife Linda. Carl and Linda were interviewed for the North Fork history project in August of 2015. You can read all about them and listen to their interview on the North Fork History Project web page.

Thanksgiving at the Hall – 2015

Thanksgiving at the Hall - 2015
Thanksgiving at the Hall last Thursday was a 100% complete success. With over 100 people in attendance, everyone enjoyed each other’s company, the delicious appetizers, the main course (including turkey and ham), and of course the excellent desserts. The co-hosts for this event, Steve/Christina Berg and Jon/Pat Elliott were ably assisted by Steve Weber, Mark/Margaret Heaphy, and Ray Brown among many others.

While folks were talking and setting up their places at the tables, young master Triem serenaded the gathering on his cello with Thanksgiving selections. Before dinner began, Steve Berg made a short speech of thanks, Jon and Pat Elliott recounted what Thanksgiving at the Hall was like 40 years ago on the first occasion, and Randy Kenyon presented outgoing NFLA Treasurer Bonny Ogle with a plaque in appreciation for all of her hard work for that organization over the years. Finally, Mark Heaphy said a heartfelt grace of thanksgiving and the feast began.

Did you know that Pat Walsh’s deviled eggs recipe is in the North Fork Cookbook? Get more information about how you can order the North Fork Cookbook from here.

Below are some photos taken by Patti Hart at this event. Click on one of the photos to get a slide show with the captions.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Sondreson Hall

Come join your North Fork neighbors at Sondreson Hall for our annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Turkey and ham will be provided. Please bring a side dish and your own table setting. The doors open at 3 p.m. and dinner is served at 4 p.m. This event is hosted by Christina and Steve Berg and cohosted by the original Thanksgiving dinner hosts, Pat and Jon Elliott.

Thanksgiving dinner at Sondreson Hall has a long tradition. We recently received the following from Pat and Jon Elliott telling all about the first (see the North For History Project page for this and other North Fork stories)…

Sondreson Hall by Gerry StearnsAs Thanksgiving approaches, we think it appropriate to recognize that this will be the 40th Anniversary of what has become a very special celebration for people of the North Fork. We hope to note this in the history of the North Fork .

It began in 1975. We had just moved in August with our teenage children from Alaska to the Knutson homestead. Marlene and Johnny Mathison had moved to the Holcomb family homestead earlier that summer. As Thanksgiving approached we discussed how we could celebrate this first Thanksgiving with our many new friends. Mathisons joined us with a visit to Loyd and Ruth Sondreson where it was quickly decided that we would join together to host a community dinner. Marlene and Pat cooked turkeys, a prime rib was furnished by Ruth and Loyd, others brought traditional potluck dishes and desserts. We had a wonderful celebration. Continue reading Thanksgiving Dinner at Sondreson Hall

North Fork History Project Takes a Leap Forward

Cecily McNeilSeveral years ago, members of the NFLA History Committee began to interview and record the stories of people who have been in the North Fork for a long time. Folks talk about what the North Fork was like when they arrived, going to school on the North Fork, encounters with bears, moose, and bobcats and much more. At this point there are 17 recordings that can be downloaded from the NFLA website at

Recently, the history project took a major step forward when Chris Graff and Monica Phillips volunteered to pay for written transcripts from these interviews. They came up with this idea as a way to support the history project and make the interviews accessible to more people. Thanks to Chris and Monica for their generous donation! The interviews can now be read on the website.

To make the history page even more interesting, Patti Hart has added photographs of those who have been interviewed and those who have been featured in North Fork short stories.

So check out the new and improved North Fork History Project page.