Logging figures prominently in the Rauch family past. Colleen Palumbo is holding a snapshot of her grandfather Lew Anton Rauch (r) holding a cant hook and standing on a pile of logs laid out on the frozen river at Nicholson.

Lewie was 13 when he arrived in Golden from Iowa in 1896 with his parents John and Metta Rauch. Jennie Gertrude Imler was born in a farmhouse in Okotoks, Alberta in 1898, one of 14 children born to George and Racel Imler. She came to Golden in the early 1920s and went to work for Ed Jacobson at the Russell Hotel as a housekeeper.


While at the Russell, she met and then married Lew Rauch in 1923. Lew had a homestead some 14 miles south of Golden with a dirt floor shack and sixty-four acres on which he raised dairy cows. It was here that he brought his new bride.

Lew and Jennie’s four children Stan, Colleen’s father Harold, Aline, and Shirley were born and raised on the farm. As the family grew, Lew built a two storey house constructed of timber from the Columbia River Lumber Co. next to the shack. The enterprising Jennie sold the cream from the dairy cows to Hansen’s Creamery in Golden.


The image behind Colleen is taken circa 1920 from high up on the west bench looking east and down on the Columbia River Lumber Co. mill site. In those days, a railway carried logs along the west bench from Donald to Nicholson where the logs were floated down the Columbia to the mill. Today at Nicholson Bridge, we can still see pylons placed in the river to make channels for the logs so they wouldn’t interfere with the riverboats. The building sandwiched by the two tall chimneys is the Power House which supplied the mill – and the town – with electricity.