At 91, Lauretta Crabtree still rides horse. She is the Elk City Wagon Road grand marshal for 2017. The parade takes place Saturday, July 15, 10:30 a.m.
As of Tuesday, July 11, 2017
CLEARWATER — Friends of the Elk City Wagon Road recently announced the selection of Kooskia resident Laurette Crabtree as the 2017 grand marshal of the Wagon Road celebration. This annual event is set for this weekend, July 15 and 16, in Clearwater.
Crabtree , who turned 91 in April, still lives on her Battle Ridge ranch, owns her horse and enjoys horseback riding. She taught art at school at Clearwater Valley schools in Kooskia after moving to the area in 1961, until her retirement in 1989.
Crabtree and her husband, Gordon, raised registered Polled Hereford cattle, as well as Clydesdales and Arabian horses. He worked the Clydesdales and they rode the Arabians to work the cattle. They had three sons — Carl, Larry and Ray who worked on the ranch until leaving for college and careers. While in school, the boys were in 4-H and she was a 4-H leader for 25 years. She continued to raise cattle for 10 years after Gordon died, until selling the last of the cattle 10 years ago.
She arrived in the Lewis-Clark valley a few days before her 14th birthday, having moved with her parents and two brothers from a farm in Nebraska. She attended schools in Clarkson, graduating in 1944 as salutatorian of her class. Her parents had a ranch near the Grand Ronde River and she spent her first summer after graduation working on a Forest Service lookout in mountains near there. She attended colleges at Lewiston, LaGrande, Ore., and then Central Washington College of Education at Ellensburg, Wash., after teaching a year at Grand Coulee.
During her college and early teaching years, she went on “adventure jobs” during summers, usually involving horses. One year it was on a ranch in Wyoming, one summer for Washington State Forestry in Olympia. Next, she moved to the high desert country of northern California, where she taught at a small country school. It was there that she met her future husband, who worked on a nearby ranch. They were soon married, had their three sons and moved back to the Lewis-Clark valley, then to Kooskia where she taught school, they ranched and raised their sons. Along the way she received her masters degree from University of Idaho. She is still an active member of Kooskia Saddliers, Idaho County Cattleman, Back Country Horsemen, retired teachers, and Central Idaho Art associations.
Volunteers, parade entries, vendors sought for Elk City Wagon Road Days
CLEARWATER — Vendors and parade participants are needed for the Clearwater- Elk City Wagon Road Days celebration, July 15. There are no fees and all participants receive a free hamburger lunch. Set up for vendors begins at 9 a.m. on Clearwater’s Main Street The parade lineup begins at 9:30 a.m., and the parade begins at 10:30 a.m. Call Susanne at 926-4278 or Linda at 926-4606
There is also a variety show at 1:30 p.m. Preforming volunteers for the show are encouraged. To participate contact Dana Lohrey at 791-4548.