Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
June 20, 2012     The Adams County Record
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June 20, 2012

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Page 6 The History Corner The towns of Crouch and Garden Valley are located in an isolated valley east of Banks along the South Fork of the Payette: For many years the only road into these communities was one which climbed up to the Boise Basin from Horseshoe Bend and then descended back down to the South Fork. By 1912 the settlers along the South Fork were tired of the 65-mile-long journey to Boise when a more direct road was so close at Banks. That year they petitioned the state land board for a road from Banks through the "box canyon" along the South Fork. They raised $2,900 on their own, and asked the board for $5,000. The state only came UP with $1,500 and made the people wait another three years before construction started. The canyon was a formidable adversary for road builders in 1915. The solid granite wails of the canyon were so steep and inaccessible in many places that men had to be let down on ropes to place powder charges. The Forest Service extended the road on to Lowman. Ferncroft Right at milepost 86 on Highway 55 was once the site of an inn renowned for its hospitality and excellent meals. Passengers on the Idaho Northern used to get off the train and walk across Wednesday, June 20, 2012 The Adams County Record Ferncro]t00L, and the Road to Lowman By Dale Hsk -- 253-4582 the river on a suspension bridge to the inn. Hank Gowels built the bridge and ran the establishment, which became known as the Swinging Bridge Inn. Whether it was a different building or not isn't clear, but before the Swinging Bridge Inn earned a more legitimate reputation, there was a bootleg whiskey joint here called "Gal Camp" By the early 1930s, the inn had been torn down to make room for the new state highway. Before long, a new, two-story caf with rental cabins replaced it, and the spot became known as "Ferncroft:' Establishments such as this were known as "tourist camps:' Also called "auto camps" or "auto parks;' they were the precursor to motels. Ferncroft became a popular place to stay or enjoy a meal. Several owners operated it over a period of years. The main building was removed sometime after 1970, and the cabins have since been demolished. Part of the main building was incorporated into a home just north of the Cougar Mountain Lodge at Smiths Ferry on the east side of the highway. Today, fragments of the "swinging bridge" are all that is left of what was once a vibrant social spot. The bridge at Ferncroft was sometimes used to get herds of sheep across the river. The sides were lined with burlap sacks to keep the sheep from seeing the precarious drop on each side of the narrow walkway. Kesler Photos I'm featuring two examples from a series of photos emailed from Cheryl Blackburn. Her great, great grandparents were Alex & Martha Kesler, her great grandparents were John & Edna Kesler and her Grandfather was Paul Kesler. Cheryl said: "My grandmother lived in Council from about age 11 until she married my Grandfather in 1931. (They moved in 1933 to Eddysville, OR for a while then to Port Angeles, WA in 1937. Both of my Grandfather's sisters moved here as well, his brother John living in Vancouver, WA.) I've been working with a Kesler historian from West Virginia who I got information on where Alex and Martha were from in West Virginia. Alex and his brother, Andrew, got lost in the history, as they moved west and no one knew what happened to them, so I was very glad to be able to tell the historian where they settled." John & Edna Kesler, location unknown. If anyone can identify this place, please let me know. (Photo from Cheryl Blackburn.) John Kesler (left); the other man is unidentified. Writing on the photo indi- cates these were railroad ties produced under cntract for the P&IN (Pacific & Idaho Northern) Railway. The photo is dated 1912. (Photo from Cheryl Blackburn.) Garden Corner A reader called to ask if he could use rabbit manure on his strawberries. I've never raised rabbits so I looked it up, and, as usual, found conflicting information. All the websites I visited, said that rabbit manure is wonderful fertilizer -- no argument there. "In terms of organ!c fertilizer for your garden, it's hard to top the quality of rabbit manure. Some gardeners go so far as to say that it's the best fertilizer you can find. Rabbit manure is extremely high in nitrogen and phosphorus, both of which are necessary in your garden soil. Many other types of manure are also high in nitrogen, but not all are good sources of phosphorus." The disagreement was whether or not it has to be composted first. This from one source: "Because it's considered "cold" manure, you don't have to let rabbit poop ag e or compost before you use it. Other manures that come from chickens, sheep, horse, cows, and pigs are "hot" manures, which need to be composted for months before you can safely use them or you'll burn your little plant darlings todeath. Not so with rabbit poop" And this from another: "The No. 1 rule for using rabbit manure: Compost it before use. While some individuals might tell you that rabbit manure can be used fresh, it's always best to fully compost any manure before adding it to your garden to avoid contamination." Rabbit blanure By Myrna Weikal -- 355-5829 - My opinion? Compost it, if for no other reason than to reduce the ick factor. It is poop, after all, and if you are putting it on strawberries they are going to come into contact with the ick, even if you work it into the soil. However, if you put it on the strawberries after they are done bearing fruit, say in October, it will break down and feed the plants all winter. That's what I'd do if I had rabbits, which is starting to sound like a good idea. Red wiggler worms also love their poop, and we all know how wonderful worms are for gardens. If rabbits laid eggs I'd trade in my chickens in a heartbeal:. I planted bean, cucumber and squash seeds last week, also dill, arugula, basil and cilantro in the herb garden. In early July I will plant kale, carrots, lettuce, and maybe some broccoli from seed. Sometimes that works for broccoli, sometimes not, but I have plenty of seeds with which to experiment. Around the beginning of August I will put in more radishes and lettuce, daikon radishes, turnips and kohlrabi. My seed catalog says to plant fava  beans, peas, garlic and over-wintering carrots in September. You have to go with what works in your garden and with your lifestyle. There comes a point in late summer when I am ready for a break, and that often determines how ambitious I get about the fall/winter garden. But there is no question about what to do today: PULL WEEDS! Your n Transfer your Rx today! Kelly Ross, CPhT ACHC PHARMACY Inside Adams County Health Clinic 1i 205 N. Berkley, Council Idaho 2o8-253-4957 Where you are treated like family!