Fleming's Rock helps legacy live on
A mile east of Lowell on the Lewis & Clark Highway (US-12), you'll find an lTD maintenance station, one of a dozen throughout the region (13 if you count the one at Reed’s Bar, which is only manned in the winter). Yet it is a unique shed. What makes the Fleming maintenance station unique is the man behind the shed’s name.
On May 9, 1963, 59-year-old Carl Fleming drowned when his vehicle was knocked 200 feet into the Lochsa River after meeting another car on a sharp turn six miles west of the Powell Ranger Station. That stretch of road between Lowell and the Montana border had been finished and dedicated the year before.
A Bureau of Public Roads resident engineer from Kooskia, the 35-year veteran was likely working on the last major project before his retirement later that year. Fleming had supervised much of the work on that section. In a tragic, ironic twist, he was the first victim on a road that he helped build.
The Fleming legend has died a little since the site was renamed in 1967. A rock memorial out front helps shed light on the subject.
The station is still referred to by locals as the Fleming shed, although ITD began officially calling it the Lochsa shed a few years ago. Whatever the name, as long as the Fleming rock/plaque exists, the man behind it, and the story behind him, continues.