Ray Norton and Harriet Reece are the winners!
The gorilla on the Weippe water tank is the answer for Week 160 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
Join in the discovery!
Tuesday: An animal
Saturday: Old mascot
The gorilla was the mascot for Weippe High School beginning in 1927 and later for Weippe Middle School when high school students in Pierce and Weippe were combined at Timberline High School. According to Weippe Mayor Norm Steadman, the gorilla was painted on the town's water tower in 1967. Over the years, the gorilla faded as the tank aged. In the late 1990s the city council authorized clean up of the tank, but decided not to put the gorilla back on due to cost. In 2004, a citizens effort lead by Maxine Johnston worked to get the gorilla put back on the tank. There was quite a controversy for a time about putting the gorilla back.
In 2005, the council agreed to have the gorilla put back at the expense of the citizens that requested it. The black gorilla with read outline was put back on the tower in 2007 and stands as a landmark today.
Harriet in her email said she went to Pierce High School for one year before their family moved to Orofino. She related, "When I was in Pierce High School (Foresters) our arch rival was the Weippe High School Gorillas. I played on the Freshman basketball team and I always dreaded the Gorillas. They were tough."