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Ray Norton, Jo McGill and Rusty Eck, all got it in the Grasser family!

The John Grasser saddle housed at the Clearwater Historical Museum is the answer for Week 53 of Orofino History Trivia.

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Fred Miller, a professional Missouri saddlemaker, spent all winter making the custom saddle for John A. Grasser, owner of Grasser Bear Creek Hunting Camp. It is hand stamped and silver mounted. It has the name "J.A. Grasser" stamped vertically on each fender. It was made about 1935 at a cost of $400 and had a matching bridle.

The saddle and bridle were sold to Steve Russell along with a string of mules. Russell started the Lochsa Lodge and used the mules there. Clark Russell inherited the saddle and the pack saddles. With the help of donations, Harvey Grasser, one of John's four sons, purchased it and the pack saddles back and donated it to the Clearwater Historical Museum.

Gene Grasser remembers John Grasser as a really good grandpa. He said they helped each other a lot. John was born Oct. 1, 1885, the youngest child of 12. John and his wife, Catherine, had four sons, Lester, Melvin, Albert and Harvey.

Gene said his grandfather was a really good mechanic who worked for the Clearwater Garage and could fix steam engines, as well as automobiles. He also did trashing for farmers on the Fraser prairie and if equipment broke down, he fixed it on site. Gene particularly remembers driving his grandpa's 1931 Model A hay truck while helping him with haying.

In the early 1930s he started a packing and guide business, Grasser Bear Creek Hunting Camp. John hired family members to help with the business and besides hunters and fishermen; they packed a lot of surveyors into the backcountry. John died Sept. 24, 1954. His oldest son, Lester, took over the business.

Monday: Donations brought it back.

Tuesday: It has traveled.

Wednesday: It is leather.

Thursday: It belonged to a father.

Friday: It is shaped for a back.

Saturday: A local man had it specially made and his son, toward the end of his own life, gathered funds to bring it back for display at the Clearwater Historical Museum.

Monday: The original owner was a packer and guide during the later years of his life.

Trivia Archives

Sponsored by Les Schwab Tire Center:

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302 Johnson Ave. * Orofino, ID 83544 * 208-476-5589

For more Information & Products, check the Les Schwab web site.

Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Fax: 208-476-3407