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The Gem state rural. [volume] (Caldwell, Idaho) 1895-1910, October 01, 1911, Image 3

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2019269501/1911-10-01/ed-1/seq-3/

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täte Rural
Caldwell, Idaho, October, 1911.
No. 4
Lemhi County as I Saw It
(By A. H. Allen).
Nestled by the m:ghty peaks of the Rocky
Mountains, like a jewel in the hold of an
irapregnable safe box lies the beautiful and
wealth laden valleys of the Lemhi and the
Salmon river. It is a peculiar fact that
nature has shown such a feeling of secrecy
à placing her wonder spots of fertility, but
it is true, nevertheless.
1 had heard a great deal about this re
■ of fertile soil and tremendous crops. I
■ set out with the idea that I would find
|B conditions which would discount the stories
■ l had heard by fifty per cent, instead of
■ having to discount these stories, I find that
|H l am now a Lemhi County booster myself
and am afraid to tell the whole truth, as I
I saw it, for the reason that my readers would
■ be inclined to discount my statements in
diese columns.
' I
Therefore I want to declare my good in
tentions before I commence. I am going to
tell my readers just what I saw. I am not
M going to overdraw my conclusions and 1 am
I not going to foretell anything which I am
am not sure will be accomplished in the near
aI future.
It is easy to be misunderstood when you
ire writing about any western community,
k.'iuse the opportunities are so great as to
«m almost mere speculations o fa specula
live mind.
I want you to believe every word
■ of this poorly written story, so I am going
■ to discount what I saw and ask you to
■ lourney to this land of opportunities and
I see how much I have belittled the truth.
M ft was in 1865 that Lemhi county
I was discovered to the world. In that
■ year a band of enterprising prospect
1 ors penetrated the wilderness of
I fountains and arrived at this spot,
■ They were not in search of land to !
m crops on. Like the mighty ;
■ We of prospectors who traveled!
■ west in the early sixties, they were
I ln search of gold. Gold was the cry I
■ and the dream of this band.
■ For months and months they
I U P and down the creeks of the !
J Iwcky Mountains, and had almost j
up hope of finding their pay ;
peak when they came upon Lees
"W where they struck a pay streak
nich made them wealthy, located
(| >e Lemhi
I Even
country as a placer coun
■ non and brought a ponulation of 10,
■ U people to that region within one
n!f r ' ^ original party of five,
on e survives, B. F. Sharkey, 1
e survives, B. F. Sharkey,
now resides in Lemhi county,'
r 18 a prosperous and wealthy!
fa ^uer.
_ , w fth the rush of gold seekers came
■ ïl/ush -f business men and the
| r °f S-.lmon was located within
I ®® 8a »ne y-ar. For several years the
■ an/f^r aiv bars along the Salmon
I ïvL Lemh ' livers were placer mined
I ''the crudest manner and the op
I &L 8 i° 0 ' a sum estimated at from
■ wenty-fivi, to thirtv million dollars
B S the ,arthfe y the shying yel
t d ust which, then as now was
7. one a ^nev which means nros-1
f^ty and contentment to most of
f 8 an d for which a™ of us are striv
m " Cn a11 01 US are
a ' placer camps, the Lemhi
, War: soon exhausted so that
ude m ethods could not be made
pa y the prospectors drifted
on to locate other placer camps, to
j take the yellow dust from the earth,'
g e t drunk and carouse, work out that
i ground and again drift on and on.
| But the mineral possibilities as a
j quar tz mining proposition were ap
pealing. Outcroppings were found
on every side, and thousands stayed
to search for the mother lode, from
j which the gold in the pay streaks
was supposed to have originated,
Their search was not in vain and
several prospects were discovered
which turned into producing lead
anc [ silver properties and which were
profitable properties during the high
silver regime.

/ '
„ . .. «mnlies for the'
All this fame tue =upp. ; ^ oacks
camps were brought m o \ lin dreds
of mules and Dor ses ri' ^ ^ :ivinff
of miles & way ana we i ot. -,
was tremendously mgm ? a nd
inclined to agiicuume tuffs
commenced <■-. i» 1 * ' j *, rd Those
to partly a
first prospector-.armei a - -
natural resoi; whic ••
vitally more m ever
of Lemhi cou ' man hvr
have beenor eve - w, U- • ' * and
covered the - h ha*
a s a result la u th. seec ra^
made the valley, oi ie •- a '
- ' • veritable £ m-places. *
to end that s-tence V «ay*
made the lli ^- it ble
but* ^ have recently
ing t
read that every westerner describes'
I his particular section as a Garden of
Eden, so I am going to forbear,
However, I really thought I had en
tered a spot likened to that place
when I came down off the Continent
al Divide anti entered the Lemhi val-,
j iey.
Ip the early farming days of the
Lemhi country it was apparent that!
the ranchers* would have to grow
p educe that would walk to market,
SO th£> took up the raising of cattle i
and n.ado their county the greatest
cattle producing county in the west.
It is said that up to five years ego
there were more hean of cattle per'tho
capita in Lemhi county than in any
other section of the west. They h id
an unlimited range of the finest
grasses and were able to raise Le
mendous quantities of the finest for
age for winter feeding in the val
levs, and it was only natural that
! catt ie raising should flourish.
The averag0 Amer ican does not
; like to see his neighbor grow rich.
It j s 0 ur temperament, so other peo
(pie came into the valleys of the
Lemhi and the Salmon and took up
ofjlan(J These men wer e more grasp
than the cattlemen, and they saw
the real possibilities of the land.)
saw that it had a great future '
as a whea t growing section, saw that i
it raised the finest apples in the!
cQuntry afid that it yielded immense'ing
the finest timothy hay and
V. Ç C0mme nced to buy up the hold
they » £attleme ^ in this '
, vay the man with the hoe and the
^gating shovel succeeded the man :
with the spurs and the branding iron
: in the valleys of the Lemhi and the
Extensive irrigation projects were
undertaken and carried to a success
ful conclusion. New land was bro
ken up every year and the acreage
in grain, fruit and hay steadily in
creased. Today for miles up and
down the rivers from Salmon City
are well developed farms, where the
owners are taking from the ground,
with very little labor, a life of ease
an d happiness.
During all these years Lemhi coun
ty was some 100 miles distant from
railroad and every thing was
freighted in or out in wagons over
the Rocky Mountains. In 1908 the
Pittsburg & Gilmore railroad built
in from Armstead, Mont., and con
nected Lemhi county with the out
side world.
The Pittsburg & Gilmore railroad
is 100.3 miles long and was bui 1
at a cost of over two million dol
lars. It runs from Armstead, Moat,
where it connects with the Oregon
Short Line, to Salmon City, [da no.
In this short distance of 100 miles it
crossed the Continental Divide and it
has one of the best.continental passes
in the west. Without a doulc the
Pittsburg & Gilmore railroad .8 now
financed by the Hill railroad system,
who were seeking a southern pass
of the divide, and who intend to
invade the Harnman territory, Cah
fornia. This theory is borne out by
the fact that the Pittsburg & Gil
ir.'more has already commenced active
construction from Armstead to Twin

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