This is July 24th 2005 and the Panhandle
Milling Co. building is no more...
As you can see from the pictures below.
And You will have to go to the side to click
on the rest of them.
I arrived at 5:30am for the 6:30 dimise
of the building. There were people there
(unlike last week) working on the cables
and there were large trucks there.
The people started to gather. And then
the flagger people arrived to have the
crowd that was starting to gather, move
back beyond Mr. Sub's. And the other
end was pushed back to Tilberg's
Conaco gas station.
It was 6:30 am and traffic was getting
lighter, as they were diverting around
the situation. Then it was told to us that
they needed a water truck before they could start.
About a half hour later, Jerry Foote's
water truck showed up on the scene.
And in 15 minutes he was watering down
all the sides of the site.
The traffic was stopped. The ladder went
up on the fire truck so they could tape the
event. The truck raved up its motor and
started to pull. It pulled for about 2 minutes
and the cable snapped. This happen about
8 times. With the crew going into the building
about about 4 times, and taking a chainsaw
to several beams. Which made the crowd
nervous as they didn't want to see any one
get killed. After 14 times in all, the truck driver
took the truck around the other side of the
building. And rammed it into the building
several times. Nothing. He came back and
he pulled about 5 more times.
They had a cable up high on the building,
which was used for tension. They decided
to give that one a try. But it only seem to
start to slice the building in half, until that
cable broke also.
Then return to the back again, and
rammed it again. This time the building
shook like a hula dancer.
All those involved, police, workers, and
owner got together for a discussion. They
decided it was a bad situation and something
had to be done.
The police came by the crowd and announced
they were going to use dynamite to blow the
building up. That the crowd need to back up
to the Safeway parking lot. So the crowd walked
back. Some of them still easing back to the
Sandpoint Drug store parking lot.
The police came by and explain the procedure.
A blast of horn, 10 minutes...all radio's and
cell phones off... a blast and 5 minutes...
then a blast followed by siren sounds and
blast off of dynamite.
All went as planned, and down came the building.
As you can see from the pictures...
It was a 5 hour wait for us early birds.
The Safeway did a good business, but also
had to put up with many using their toilets.
The sad thing about this... is not only that
Sandpoint loses one of its high (no pun
intended) profile building, and many memories
from the residents, but the wood could have
been used in so many ways, if they had taken
the building apart. Who knows many some
of it still can.
As the last sunrise shines on the Panhandle
Milling Co. in Sandpoint, Idaho
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