Selkirk Meadows evolved from land upon which Sylte family cattle used to graze. When Gordon was a boy, he rode on the water truck that supplied drinking water for the animals and shot gophers with his 22 rifle. While he was growing up he helped his father and uncles cut timber using horses and rickety trucks to haul the logs to market. They would get a whopping $30 for 1000 board feet. After his college education, Gordon returned to the family ranch where he continued to work his day job as well as maintaining the family properties. Fifty years later, after retiring from teaching, he decided to develop the land into 5 acre parcels. His son John and wife Susan joined him in that endeavor. Their overriding goal was to make Selkirk Meadows a place which reflected the freedom and beauty of the area while still affording the conveniences we all enjoy. One of their desires was to create a community which truly appreciated and embraced a love of nature and respect for neighbors. Often the barometer for decisions was what they would want should they decide to build their own home there. All that played out in the layout of the parcels, selected clearing, first class infrastructure and the crafting of the CC&R’s which protect everyone’s investments. Against sometimes serious setbacks and not-so-even odds, as well as hours of sweat, personal investment and stress later, they are proud of the result. It isn’t often that ordinary people achieve such an extraordinary result.




The Syltes arrived from the dustbowls of the Dakotas and the icy regions of Montana in the 1930’s thinking that this was indeed paradise. They haven’t changed their minds. The original parents and four brothers grew to an extended family of five generations, most of whom still live in the immediate area. The home place is located on the outskirts of Rathdrum at the foot of Storm King Mountain (also known as Rathdrum Mountain) and continues to be a working cattle ranch. Anyone living in Rathdrum knows why the early people called it Storm King as weather patterns sweep across its face whether it be snow or pelting rain. Two of Gordon’s sisters as well as his son and nephew now live on the ranch. Gordon, his wife and son raise Limousin cattle which they market for beef. Although the steeds aren’t as young as they once were, the family also enjoys their Quarter Horses which are registered buckskins. Over the years, improvements including lots of clearing, planting and the creation of a year-round pond testify to their desire to maintain the same paradise their ancestors held so dear.



Rathdrum, Idaho is rich in its own history. The town was originally named Westwood and was for a time the county seat of Kootenai County. Locals tell stories of how they used to have to cross Lake Coeur d’ Alene by rowboat or on ice to do their business there. It was at least a two day affair. The old jail still stands and is in the process of renovation. The Burlington and Northern Railroad has existed in the area since its beginning. On the Sylte Ranch, a wide variety of apple trees bear fruit every year possibly originating from apple cores thrown from the train by its passengers and crew. Paralleling the old tracks is the Sineacateen Trail used by Native Americans, trappers and other travelers going from Canada across Lake Ponderille through Sandpoint to the Spokane River and points south. One of the Sylte houses is the renovated home of the Post family located just above what used to be a mill pond. The town of Post Falls to the south was named for that family. Rathdrum-Westwood Historical Society is an active organization and a good source for additional information or


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