Harrison Celebrates

Longtime Harrison Flats residents John and Bernice Schuerman will represent the community as the Old Time King and Queen at this year’s Harrison’s Old Time Picnic.

The couple had seven children, 23 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. But the real story is how the family was almost never started.

They met when Bernice was just 13, and despite her father cutting a tree away from her bedroom window to prevent her from sneaking out to see John, they dated until they eloped three years later.

Now the pair is being recognized for their volunteer efforts in the Harrison community.

The Harrison Old Time Picnic is Sunday, July 29 and is an old-fashioned celebration, complete with a kiddie and main parade and family-friendly old-fashioned games such as children’s foot and sack races, a baby crawling contest, a preschool penny scramble and many other activities.

Each year, the Old Time Committee chooses a couple or person from the community to be the Old Time King and Queen. This year the Schuermans were selected. They have lived on the Harrison Flats since 1958.

Bernice Schuerman was born Oct. 15, 1933 in Deer Park, Wash. to Elmer and Orbie (Laird) Scott. She had three brothers and four sisters. John Schuerman was born July 16, 1927 to Theodore and Mary (Luft) Schuerman. John had five sisters and four brothers. He lived in the Colville area.

John met Bernice when she was 13 years old and he was 18. After he took her home from a dance, he asked if he could see her again. She made him fudge and would sneak out of her window and down a tree to see him. Her father cut the tree down to try to stop her from sneaking out, but she would just sneak through another bedroom. They continued to date until John entered the service after he graduated from high school.

“I think he was waiting for me to grow up.” Bernice said.

He spent 18 months in the Navy during WWII. He wrote her about once a week, and Bernice’s mother enjoyed getting the letter in the mail as much as Bernice and would tease her with it when it came.

John and Bernice wanted to get married after he was discharged from the service; Bernice was 16 and John was 21. The family objected to them getting married, so they lied about her age and eloped to Coeur d’Alene on Nov. 26, 1949. They were married at the Hitching Post. They went to live with Bernice’s sister, Joyce in Colville before getting a place of their own. John worked for his dad and his brother building houses.

They moved a lot as their family grew and taught their children the benefits of hard work. They had seven children; John Schuermen of Jackson, Miss., Bonita Holbeck of Spokane, Cliff Schuerman of Harrison, Mike Schuerman of Lewiston, Sue Goodson (deceased), Mary Beare of Black Lake, and Christie Pfeiffer of Harrison.

They moved to the Harrrison Flats in 1958. They bought three parcels, Hawley, Knapp and Freeman place; 720 acres total that extended from the Harrison Flats to Black Lake. John continued to work as a carpenter but would also clear and plant fields with wheat and oats. Bernice would drive the grain truck to Roselia to sell the grain. They also raised up to 75 cows and 300 head of sheep at times. Branding and sheering was a big job every year. The wool would be hauled to Spokane to sell. Bernice got her GED later in life and then got her CNA license and worked as an in-home care giver for 20 years.

Both John and Bernice have been very active in the Harrison Community. Bernice, along with Ruth Collins, Mary Lou Andersen and Doris Bornitz, began the Garden Club in 1961. Bernice is still a member and meets monthly with the group. Bernice was also a 4-H leader. She taught cooking and baking. She was active in the grange and the PTO. She helped prepare the Old Time Picnic breakfast when they used the Harrison Community Baptist Church to prepare the food. She would transport all the food to the park and empty dishes back to the church. She was always in charge of making the sausage gravy. She was known for her great gravy.

John and Bernice have always enjoyed watching their children and grandchildren participate in sports. They can always be found in the stands cheering them on.

The family farm is a place that John and Bernice hope their children and grandchildren will have a place to hunt, fish or just enjoy nature. Four of their children took them up on their offer of building on part of the land. Sue and Bob Goodson, Mary and Kerry Beare, Cliff Schuerman and Christie and Tony Pfeiffer live on parcels that were given to them by their parents. All three families are very active in the Harrison Community.

Their daughter Sue Goodson, died in Nov. 2015 from cancer.

“It’s a horrible thing to outlive your children.” John said.

Sue was very active in the community. She served in the PTO and the Booster Club, 4-H leader, volunteer fireman and was the in charge of the school food service program.

The couple has 23 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. One of their youngest great-grandchildren, Harper Beare, daughter of Ty and Sydney Beare, is currently battling cancer. They are very touched by how the community has reached out and supported young Harper.

The coronation ceremony for John and Bernice Schuerman is Friday, July 27 at the Harrison Grange Hall. A potluck dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a main dish, salad or dessert. The coronation will begin at 8 p.m. with a program to follow.

Memorial Day services will be take place this weekend across Benewah County and Worley

Events will begin this Thursday in St. Maries when fifth graders from Heyburn will assist the legion in laying flags at the graves of local veterans.

The American Legion’s Jim Shubert said not only fifth graders are welcome, but any community member who wishes to help should meet at the maintenance building at 8 a.m.

John Hughes (left) of Hughes Ace Hardware in St. Maries is teaming up with the American Legion to honor veterans this Memorial Day weekend. His store will give free American flags to everyone who enters Saturday, May 26. The effort is part of a campaign to give away one million flags at Ace stores nationwide. Also pictured are American Legion members Jim Shubert (center), Tim Hall (right) and Bob Grieser.

St. Maries will honor its veterans at a service Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Participating veterans should meet at noon at the Elk’s Lodge.

This year’s service will include an address by Jim Broyles with Tim Hall serving as chaplain. Members of the Auxiliary will lay wreaths for the deceased who served in foreign wars.

Attendees are asked to bring their own chair.

Mr. Shubert said the town does their services a day early so families with relatives elsewhere can attend services in other towns.

Several events are planned for the WestSide of the county from DeSmet to Worley.

A series of memorials will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Plummer City Hall. Services will be at 11 a.m. in DeSmet with tribal ceremonies beginning in Plummer at 11:45 at the CDA trailhead and again at 12:15 p.m. in Worley.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe will have a Memorial Day dinner at the longhouse in Worley at 1 p.m.

The day will conclude in Plummer with a flag disposal ceremony at the Plummer Legion Hall, Post 69 on Central Avenue.

For many, coding is a skill. For St. Maries student Jacob Spence, it was a fun challenge that may lead to a lucrative career.

Jacob is the lead coder for team Jack Bots, a FIRST robotics team for students at St. Maries High School. Along with a number of other students, he is tasked with making the robot perform tasks on command.

He explained his team will be coding using Python, a computer coding language that he said is versatile and easy to use. Jacob himself is fluent in many other computer languages, and has spent half his life learning the craft.

His work with the team, he said, is the first work he’s done outside of his own hobby.

Jacob Spence, the head programmer for the Jack Bots robotics team, taught himself computer coding through online programs. In addition to making robots, his skills will translate to a career later in life.

Jacob Spence, the head programmer for the Jack Bots robotics team, taught himself computer coding through online programs. In addition to making robots, his skills will translate to a career later in life.

“I was hoping this robotics project would be the first big thing I could point to and be proud of,” he said.

Jacob credits his uncle Micah Page with sparking his interest in coding. At age eight, he watched and learned as Mr. Page walked him through the steps of web design. Naturally curious, Jacob went on to research computer coding through the Internet, teaching himself a number of programming languages and techniques.

“I really love the puzzle aspect of it,” he explained. “Everything you have to tell a computer to do, it takes this thought process in breaking down this problem. It’s a really fun and interesting puzzle, and it’s something when you finally understand and find a solution, it feels really good.”

Beyond being a fun hobby, Jacob said his coding skills have proven useful in his schoolwork. Rather than use a calculator for his math homework, he said he often builds his own program to solve problems.

If he continues to pursue coding, Jacob said he will have many options available for a future career.  A growing number of professions use computer coding as part of their daily routine, ranging from cutting-edge computer developers to electricians using computers to manage a building’s systems.

“My dream job would probably be in programming artificial intelligence,” he said. “Any form of programming would be great fun, but AI is so cool because a computer can just learn by itself, and you can teach it. I’m not experienced enough to build my own AI, but I can dream about it at least.”

He is also considering cyber security, a field that itself is related to any number of modern jobs, from technical support to “white hat” hackers who find and fix security weaknesses in computer systems.

For those who want to learn coding, Jacob said that more than enough resources are available online to get started.

“There are a ton of sources online, I can’t stress that enough,” he said. “There are many online tutorials to get you started, and online somewhere every language has a database of every single command you can enter into that code. From there, you can experiment and see what works.”

As for the robotics team, Jacob said the team has progressed rapidly since they first received its challenge. With the help of volunteers, it is almost ready.

“We’re super far into construction,” he said. “We have some amazing volunteers who have been really helpful. Right now, we’re totally on track, and I think we’re going to get it powered up and wired soon.”

Area churches will celebrate the Christmas season with songs, sermons, brunch and other activities this year.

Churches throughout the area each have their own unique plans. In addition to regular church services scheduled Sunday, Dec. 24, most will also offer Christmas Eve services as well. Below is a list of scheduled services for churches in area communities.

Area churches will celebrate the Christmas season with services this weekend.

Area churches will celebrate the Christmas season with services this weekend.

St. Maries

Benewah Community Worship – All are invited to a children’s Christmas pageant at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, at the Benewah Community Center. There will also be carols and a nondenominational Christmas prayer.

Community Presbyterian Church – Morning service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec 24, and a 5 p.m. traditional candlelight service. 1100 W. College Avenue.

St. Mary’s Immaculate Catholic Church – 6:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service, Sunday, Dec. 24. 921 West Jefferson Avenue.

First Baptist Church – Morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and a 6:30 p.m. service with singing and refreshments. 522 S. 2nd Street

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Morning service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and a 7 p.m. candlelight service. 130 S. 10th Street

Church of the Nazarene – Morning service at 9:30 a.m. with cinnamon rolls served beforehand Sunday, Dec. 24, and a candlelight service at 6:30 p.m. 175 Grandview Drive

College Avenue Baptist Church – Morning service at 11 a.m. Dec. 24. 830 W. College Avenue

St. Maries Assembly of God – A one-hour morning service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. 405 S. 23rd Street


Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Mass at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. 1173 E Street.

Plummer Bible Church –  Youth Christmas program at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and a candlelight service with music, specials and a Christmas message at 6 p.m. 1090 D Street

Plummer Assembly of God – Morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and a Christmas Eve service at 6 p.m. 34 County Line Road


Tensed Community Church – Morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and a Christmas Eve service at 5 p.m. at Tensed City Park with a bonfire, hot cider, hot chocolate, cookies, caroling, Christmas stores and a short message. 110 C Street.

Sanders Community Church – Morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. 11249 Sanders Road


Worley Community Church – Christmas brunch will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, followed by morning service at 11 a.m. The evening service will be at 6 p.m. 30203 S. 1st Street

St. Michael Catholic Church –  Mass at 8 a.m. Sunday, Dec 24, and at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec 25. 1824 I Street.


Sacred Heart Mission – Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and at noon Monday, Dec. 25. 149 Byrnes Avenue


Our Lady of Perpetual Help – Mass will be at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24. Pine Street

Harrison Community Baptist Church – Morning service at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, and then church members will meet at Valley Vista at 3 p.m. to present a Christmas Eve service to the residents. There will be carols and a message. All are invited. 100 E. Pine Street.


UpRiver Bible Church – Morning service will be at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, with an evening service at 6 p.m. 64100 Highway 3 S., Fernwood.

Clearwater Bible Church – Morning service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24, with singing and a short message at 6 p.m. 120 North Emida Avenue, Emida.

Fellowship Bible Church  – A morning candlelight service will be at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. Call 208-245-1545 for the location. A potluck will follow the service.


River of Life Community Church – Morning service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24. Sunday school is at 8:30 a.m. 31146 S. Highway 3.

Rose Lake

Crossroads Community Church – There will be a birthday party for Jesus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. There will be songs, story, gifts and lunch. It is for children ages five to 12 years old.  14872 East Queen Street, Rose Lake. The morning service is at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 24.

An old tradition returns and a new one begins.

The annual Christmas in St. Maries celebration is Saturday, Dec. 2. The kickoff to the holiday season, sponsored by the St. Maries Chamber of Commerce, welcomes back an old tradition and adds a new activity as part of the day’s events.

Years ago, individuals used to do a jingle bell stroll. This year, community members are invited to take part. Individuals will walk from IGA to Cabin City ringing jingle bells as loud as they can.

“It’s my understanding we used to do this years ago,” Shirley Ackerman said.

Cindy Willard is organizing the activity this year, which will take place at 10 a.m. Call her at 208-245-3495 to pre-register. Mrs. Ackerman said the Chamber has jingle bells for participants to use if they do not have any.

Annie Fredericks, Serena Crane, Shirley Ackerman, Yvette Benham and Linda Weinmann are gearing up for the annual Christmas in St. Maries event Saturday.

Annie Fredericks, Serena Crane, Shirley Ackerman, Yvette Benham and Linda Weinmann are gearing up for the annual Christmas in St. Maries event Saturday.

New this year is story time with Santa Claus at noon at the St. Maries Library. There will be crafts and snacks as well. All are invited.

Following story time, Santa will arrive on Main Avenue at 12:45 p.m. The Stroll on Main kicks off at 1 p.m. There will be vendors, fire pits, carolers and more. Horse drawn wagon rides leave The Grub Box parking lot from noon to 4 p.m. Merchant sales and festivities will take place throughout the day.

Craft fairs are planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shadowy Rivers Mall and the Eagles Lodge. There will be a photo booth as well as photos with Santa at Shadowy Rivers Mall.

The children-pet costume contest and parade returns for the second consecutive year. It is at 1 p.m. and is sponsored by Potlatch #1 Federal Credit Union. Register at 12:45 p.m. at 8th and Main. First place is $50 Visa card, second place is $30 and third is $20.

There is a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree contest again and participants can register at the Chamber table, 8th and Main, as well. It starts at 1 p.m. Children may write letters to Santa at The Paperhouse from 1 to 4 p.m.

Finally, the lighted Christmas Parade will wrap up the day’s festivities at 5 p.m. Line-up starts at 4 p.m. at IGA with judging at 4:45 p.m. There is a $200 first place overall prize, a $100 prize for second place and $50 for third.

Call 208-245-3563 to pre-register.

“We’re excited to continue this long standing tradition,” Mrs. Ackerman said. “We want everyone to come and participate. We are encouraging businesses to join in and decorate. It’s a great event for the whole family.”

Christmas in St. Maries merchandise, such as zip-ups, hoodies and sweatshirts, may be ordered now. Only a limited stock of items will be sold at Saturday’s event.

Prices range from $20 to $37. Big River Embroidery is doing the merchandise this year.