I'm in love with the Old Northern Inn B & B. Originally built in 1890 by the Northern Railroad it ran as the Northern Hotel through the early 1900s... a place for miners and "sourdoughs" to get a hot meal and a "hot" bed (if you know what I mean). They say even Nell Shipman, the 1920s silent screen actress & producer (and one of my Priest Lake favorite people) slept there!
I enjoyed managing the Old Northern Inn for four great years with my hound dog, Charlie Brown. Eventually I would love to publish my writings about our adventures living at the inn. For now check out this link http://idahoptv.org/productions/idahoportrait/tour/priestltour.html
that talks about Sam Byars' Forest Lodge located near the Thorofare at Priest Lake. The same piano that this article mentions, is the same piano that now plays at the Old Northern Inn. A rare coincidence of a story:
The piano was saved from Byars' Forest Lodge as it burned to the ground. Eventually boated down the lake to Coolin, the ordinary looking piano resided at Byars' private home (located somewhere near where the current Inn At Priest Lake stands). When Byars' home also caught fire and was destroyed... the hearty piano survived again and eventually ended up in the little white schoolhouse, which is now the Coolin Civic Center. And that is where I found it!
While traveling oversees, David Summers, current owner of the Old Northern Inn, just happened to be reading North of the Narrows, which is listed in the above article. A brief mention of the piano is described. David was inspired and called me to ask if I would keep a look out for any piano in good shape that we could buy to "liven up" the living room area. Who would've guessed that exactly the same day... neighbor Jim Maloney the inn's handyman would visit, and suggest that I take a look at the unused piano that was sitting in a dusty corner of the Coolin Civic Center. I didn't know it at the time, but... the same exact piano that David was reading about, come to find out, is the same surviving piano that I actually bought, and now is happily being played every summer at the Old Northern Inn!
Just so happens that the following summer two women came to stay for a weekend. They kept commenting on how familiar the piano looked and sounded. So I pulled out the book, showed them the passage that David had read, told them the story. Lo and behold the ladies introduced themselves as Sam Byars' relatives! They described how they remembered playing the piano as children in the Byars' home, and verified the whole journey of the piano.
Sometimes I find out that things are just meant to be.
AUTUMN’S LOFT Priest Lake’s premier resource for local creations! Enjoy Autumn H. Kennedy’s own Priest Lake Images scenic photography metals, canvas, and handmade photo cards inspired by the lake & countryside. Visit her artist’s loft & art gallery with offerings from over 50 local artisans. Showcasing fine art in watercolors, acrylic, charcoal, and mixed media among a great selection of rustic furnishings from her family's tree farm as well as pottery, jewelry, metal works, soaps, lotions, candles, glassware, and local authors. Stop in for a Huckleberry Espresso and browse the two story gallery of treasures. It is located on the left, just past mile 27 on Hwy 57. Follow us on Facebook for events, art classes, and new products. Open all year. Call for current hours. 208-443-0216 Autumn@PriestLakeimages.com.
Priest Lake Images
Priest Lake Images