Valley County

Valley County is named for Long Valley, a natural feature. Fur trappers were the first white men in the area, but permanent settlements did not take place until the 1880's when livestock ranchers moved into Long Valley. The Sheepeater Indians, against whom the last Indian "war" in Idaho was waged by a military force in 1879, ranged through the county's wilderness. Self reliant, but unorganized, the Sheepeaters had several small skirmishes with the military in adjacent Idaho County until 51 members of the tribe surrendered on September 20, 1879. A large section of the Idaho Primitive Area is in the county. Discovery of gold at Thunder Mountain in 1894 brought hundreds of miners to the county. First permanent communities were Van Wyck and Crawford (1882), and Lardo (1886), later to become McCall. Cascade absorbed the population of Van Wyck and Crawford when it became a station on the railroad line in 1913. Principal industries are agriculture, lumbering and mining." -

ISU topo map   Neighboring counties   1917 Atlas Map

The Idaho Northern
"The Idaho Northern Railroad, a part of the Oregon Shortline and a subsidiary of the union Pacific, completed a rail line all the way to McCall by 1914. The first train arrived in McCall on June 20 and regular service from the Treasure Valley to MCall began July 19th of that year." - Duane L. Petersen1

The terminus was called Lake Port 1914, The Idaho Statesman, courtesy of Sarah Liggett
1916, Ad, Emmett, Lakeport
1919, Lakeport renamed McCall
1920, Lakeport renamed McCall

History Index

Historic Post Offices and Post Masters
McCall and Roseberry in 1910
First County Officals, 1917
1918 The Red Cross Work, Statement of Receipts and Expenditures of the Valley County Branch; people named: Mrs. Patterson, Mrs. Weant, Mrs. Hill, W. H. Taylor, Mrs. Kelley, Mrs. Hite, Mrs Osborn, Mrs. Burr, Mrs. J. H. Hill, Chairman; Mrs. J. H. Madden, Tres. (courtesy of Kitchen family)
Valley County by Hawley, 1920
Martial Law, 1931, "to prevent incenciarism"
Cascade Dam Construction, 1947
Historical Register and Century Farms
1999 Yellow Pine Walking Tour, prepared by your webmaster, spring 1999: Community Hall, Little Cabins, Tavern, Hotel, Corner Store, Dan's Place (later Chapel), Stumble Inn/Silver Dollar, General Store
1999 Yellow Pine Walking Tour, back: original Behne residence, Library, residence, School, cemetery

Valley county includes seven Mining Districts

map: Big Creek, Edwardsburg, Deadwood, Profile, Thunder Mountain, Warm Lake, Yellow Pine.

Historic Value of Metal Production for Idaho, 1860-1980 Cumulative Totals by Mining Area ,
Extracted from "Gold Camps & Silver Cities (Nineteenth Century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho)," by Merle W. Wells
"Mining in Idaho" (map), p. 235, "The Idaho Almanac," 1977 Edition, State of Idaho
Mining Districts of the State of Idaho 1987, available for download at Idaho Geological Survey

Geography, geology and map links

1895 Atlas
Idaho State University Digital Atlas
Idaho Geological Survey
USGS index of Geographic Names
1904 Annual report of the mining industry of Idaho, by Robert Bell, Inspector of Mines, at google books (includes mining districts and Thunder Mountain Road)
Tungsten, Cinnabar, Manganese, Molybdeum and Tin Deposits of Idaho, University of Idaho, School of Mines, (includes Valley County); 1918
you-tube slide show of Cinnabar
Western Mining History

Thunder Mountain District

1903 Postal Route map to Thunder Mountain, 148 miles
1976 Boise Nat'l Forest Map
Long Valley Ambush, 1878
Leacock's Station, the route from Salmon to Thunder Mountain
Women in Thunder Mountain, 1902
1903, Roosevelt Second-Hand-Store, c. by W. W. Saunders; Library of Congress photo
1903, Our Special Artist, c. by W. W. Saunders; Library of Congress photo
1903, Dewey Mine, Roosevelt
1905, Roosevelt
1905 Marble Creek Homestead, Marble Creek region homesteads at this time were often part of a homesteads fraud being documented by the US Forest Service.
1905 ads from Thunder Mountain News
Thunder Mountain/The Ghosts Walk Under the Water
1910 census, Roosevelt precinct
Historic Metal Production. Extracted from "Gold Camps & Silver Cities (Nineteenth Century Mining in Central and Southern Idaho)," by Merle W. Wells
Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series, includes articles on Stibnite, Roosevelt and Thunder Mountain
"The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News" from yellowpinetimes.wordpress  ::  images  :: November 1904  :: February 1905  :: March 1905  :: April 1 & 8, 1905  :: April 15 & 22, 1905

News Items

1897, Pioneer Sketches, Three-Fingered Smith, "Lewiston Teller;" obit; Story of "Three Finger" Smith at Payette National Forest, Learning Center
1905, Crushed 180 Tons at the Sunnyside
1904-1905, "The Prospector and Thunder Mountain News" at yellowpinetimes.wordpress; images
1905, Thunder Mountain News, Thousands of Pounds of Freight Hauled in over Snow
1905 Local News, Mrs. J. A. Taylor, G. E. Ritter, H. F. Erwin, Chas. Close, Dawse & Ted McCall, Mel Davis and son Willie, L. H. Heacock, L. C. Cooper, S. F. Southard
1906 Precincts, Abstracted and shared by Sue at Yellow Pine Times
1907, Assessor McConnel enthusiastic about Long Valley
1914, sheep and lambs bringing from 50 to 75 cents more
1915: Record of the Deadwood Mining District to State Historical Society
1917, Nov.: Remarkable Growth in Cascade, Eight New Business Buildings, 52 residences and $20,000 Schoolhouse
1917, Annual Report of the Farm Market Dept.
Early Long Valley History, by Dr. G. E. Noggle, 1922
New Life to Yellow Pine
Library of Congress, Chronicling America, includes Valley County items -
1885, July: Merve Gill and Dick Williams have about 1000 head of cattle in High Valley.
1890, May: Lowe, Four Days to Idaho City, S. M. Sisk's return, creeks are booming, Mr. Lefenwell started in with 40 head of cattle
1904, December 15, McNish, logs ready for Emmett; 35,000 lbs. of freight passed for Roosevelt, Harley McConnel injured
1905, May - Teams disappear in mud in High Valley
1905, Mary Koskela and Matt N. Hill admitted as citizens
1906, Al Hennessey, mail sub-contractor, supposed to have lost live in snow, Ben Francis and mail carrier caught in a snowslide
1911, "Long Valley Conspirators." 1911, Sept: 32 ranchers charged with conspiring to defraud the United States out of valuable lands and to deprive entrymen out of their rights to file on public domain. :: Charges quashed :: Six charged with conspiracy :: 1912, Feb-Blackwell, Close, Hardin, Wookie and Kopenhauer confess
1920, County Commissioners appointed Carl Kitchen auditor to succeed Tracey
1922, Game Fish for Lake, Land Locked Salmon to be planted in Payette Lake

Biographies and Obituaries

The Story of Mollie Kesler
Roy McConnel and family, homesteading in High Valley
"Cougar" Dave Lewis (1844-1936)
Daniel C. McRae and Grace Carrie Turner McRae
Jeanne H. Rowe (1916-1998)
Smith, Sylvester S. "Three-Fingered" (at Payette National Forest Learning Center/History & Culture) obit;
Simeon A. Willey (1859 - 1939)

Isolated Burials
Heikkila Funeral Chapel, McCall for obituaries
VA Gravesite Locator
Legacy Obituary Finder
Find A Grave

Off-site Links

"A Historical Summary and Cultural Resource Study of Yellow Pine, Stibnite and Cinnabar, Valley County, Idaho, Stibnite Mining Project" by Arthur Hart, 1979
"Boise National Forest (N.F.), Landmark Planning Unit Proposed Land Management Plan." at google books
The Yellow Pine Times blog
Stonebraker Photograph Collection at University of Idaho (1900-1931)
Founding of McCall, by Frank Rowland
McCall Public Library Collection
What was life like in the early days of Valley County?, Rosemary Hoff
100 Years Valley County and the City of Cascade, Centennial Magazine
Walter Cole's Riordan Lake by Horse and Wagon, 1907. Starts in Meridan, goes thru Box Springs (Ada County), Dry Buck, Thunder City, Knox, down to Trout Creek, up Johnson Creek. Names mentioned include Peterson a stage man, Doc Alllen, "Poker Jack's" Cabin, Snow's Cabin, Art Ballard and Charley Cantwell.
Loon Lake, includes story of the B-23 that crash landed in 1943
see also Payette National Forest, Heritage Program, story by Richard Holm
history at Valley County government site
Payette National Forest, History & Culture
Warm Lake Users Association, includes history

Long Valley Finnish Structures at National Park Service
Preservation Idaho, Frank Eld
Natural Disasters (at
Valley Co.IDGenWeb
Valley Co. USGenweb Archives

Photos and Postcards
1903. Cabin North end of Long Valley, c. by W. W. Saunders; Library of Congress
1903, Roosevelt Second-Hand-Store, c. by W. W. Saunders; Library of Congress photo
1903, Our Special Artist, c. by W. W. Saunders; Library of Congress photo
1903, Dewey Mine, Roosevelt
1905, Roosevelt
1905, Knox
1905, Pack train in meadow near head of Johnson Creek
1912, McCall-Warren U.S. Mail Dog Sled Route
1906, Sheepeaters Monument. See also 1902, Sheepeater Monument near Thunder Mountain, Sheepeater Monument stands ten miles down Monumental Creek from the town of Roosevelt near Thunder Mountain. "Sheepeater Monument Rock, 95 feet high." - Stonebraker Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives. "The USGS quad map "Monument" shows the monument near Milk Creek, T20N R11E S28" - facebook - "Idaho History Group, 1805-1850"
Camping at Payette Lake, Lulu Tonkin, Wickersham, Evelyn Hughes, Ethel Tonkin - Idaho State Archives
"1918, Club House Payette Idaho", "The Payette Lakes Inn built in 1914 by Fenton C. Cottingham, was located on the stage road overlooking Payette lake. The chalet-style Inn featured dormers white railed balconies, flower boxes, 3 big fireplaces, 50 rooms, a sun parlor, and a 300-foot esplanade connecting with the lake. It was a very large establishment for dancing and dining in 1914 and is a significant part of the history of recreation in McCall. During the summer of 1939, the cast and crew filming Northwest Passage stayed at the inn. The Idaho Heritage Trust is providing a building condition assessment for the Historic Preservation Commission of McCall." - Idaho Heritage Trust, facebook
1920, McCall Lake Front,
1930, Deadwood Dam Construction
1930, Deadwood Dam
1935, McCall Wharf Wesley Andrews, photographer (
1935, Among the Islands of Payette Lake, Wesley Andrews, photographer (
1945, Warm Lake, near Cascade,(
1942, Tom McCall Ranch and Thomas Creek Airport, Middle Fork
Cascade 1975
Cascade, Valley County Court House
Payette River at Smith's Ferry
1950's, Cascade Dam,
"Wintertime at Cougar Mountain Lodge, Smith's Ferry"
1940's, Payette Lake
Rainbow Bridge
McCall, Payette Lake
Aerial McCall
1950's, Warm Lake Railbirds
1960's, Cox Dude Ranch1960's, Cox V.O. Dude Ranch, Located on edge of Idah's most primitive area, 52 miles from Cascade and 63 miles from McCall. Ranch has been operating as a dude ranch under the same family for 43 years, the year around. Fishing and Big Game hunting; accommodations in Lodge and modern housekeeping cottages. Available in winter by snowmobiles and air.
Yellow Pine

1Duane L. Petersen, Valley County, The Way it Was, D & D Books, Cascade, Idaho, 2002.

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updated March 14, 2020

Copyright © 2013 - Sharon McConnel. All Rights Reserved.