Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
July 5, 2012     The Adams County Record
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July 5, 2012

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Page 6 Thursday, July 5, 2012 The Adams County Record The History Corner Srni ths Ferry By Dale Fisk -- 253-4582 As Highway 55 leaves Long Valley going south, it winds through a narrow gap in the mountains and then comes out into a small valley where the little community of Smiths Ferry sits on the banks of the North Fork of the Payette River. Back in 1883, almost nobody lived in Long Valley. There was no road up the Payette River, and only a crude trail over the mountains west of here that came down to the North Fork of the Payette River. That was the year the Union Pacific Railroad was building the Oregon Short Line across southern Idaho to Huntington, Oregon, to meet the other half of the OSL building east from Portland. The timber partnership of Coo & Carter hauled a sawmill to this location to make railroad ties for the Oregon Short Line. They had another mill farther north in Long Valley. Three hundred men were hired to cut ties and float them down the Payette River. The wagon trail that was used to bring in the sawmills became the Sweet-Ola Road. In 1887 Clinton Myers built a ferry here at a shallow ford across the Payette River. He also built an inn of sorts to accommodate travelers. At first, Myers and his wife lived in a tent, and later built a log house, then a larger log house, and finally a hotel. Jim Smith bought the ferry in 1891, and it has been known as Smiths Ferry ever since. For many years, the Sweet-Ola road that came down from the west to the ferry was the only road into Long Valley from the south. Smith's ferry provided an important service at this entry point into Long Valley. In February 1891, the nearby Fern post office closed and its mail service was taken over by a new Smiths Ferry office. The arrival of the railroad in 1913 only increased the significance of Smiths Ferry. It became a railroad workstation for the track crews. For a time, Lou Gorton operated the ferry and a stage stop here. His wife, Maggie, ran the hotel and restaurant. Southbound teams were fed and rested here before the long climb to the west. Gorton sold the hotel and 240 acres to the Weyerhaeuser syndicate in The first train to reach Smiths Ferry when the railroad was built in 1913. the fall of 1911. In 1919 Morrison- Knudsen built a bridge across the river, and the ferry was discontinued. The community had a school at one time, located just downstream from the bridge, on the east side of the river. A Civilian Conservation Corps camp was established here in 1930, just south of Cougar Mountain Lodge on the west side of the highway. Young men from this camp ............... built much of Highway 55, the Rainbow Bridge, the East Mountain lookout and more. The camp was sold to the Boise Payette Lumber Company in the 1940s and eventually sold again to the Southern Idaho Timber Association (SITPA). Cougar Mountain Lodge was built by Melvin Neeb (pronounced n6b) in 1939. It opened in 1941. The top of Cougar Mountain is about a mile south of the lodge. An early stage at the Smiths Ferry hotel. Big Reunion - Many Memories BY DALE FISK The light of recognition lit the eyes of many a former Council High School student last weekend As many times as not, it was only after reading a nametag. Some of those alumni hadn't seen each other since graduation day around 40 years ago. And for some reason, people look a little different in their S0s than when they were 18. Last weekend the Veteran's Memorial Peace Park was the scene of a reunion of CHS students spanning twenty years of graduations: the classes of 1970 to 1990. About 200 to 300 alumni and other guests showed up to share memories, catch up, eat a great dinner and dance to "Lucky Tongue'--a rock band from Weiser. (Everybody loved the band, and they will be invited to the 2013 Council Mountain Music Festival.) Many former Council High students still live in Idaho, and there was no use giving a prize for "traveled the least distance;' unless you measure it in feet or yards, as a number of them live right here in Council. But the "traveled farthest" prize went to Robert Raleigh, class of 1982, who came all the way from Taiwan to attend. Among the teachers who attended were Dean Jones, Coach Nash, Mrs. Ainsley, and Shirley Eastlick. Gary Rogers was the master of ceremonies for the reunion. A silent auction raised money to pay expenses, and any money remaining will go to the alumni scholarship fund. A memorial board displayed tributes to schoolmates who are no longer living. Records of exactly how many from each class attended were not available yet, but the class of 1972, which graduated 40 years ago, had the best attendance, with 18 classmates present. The class of 1982, which graduated 30 years ago, did nearly as well, with 17 present. i A few weeks ago I forgot that I had this photo of the Swinging Bridge Inn that once was at Ferncroft. Order your 00tamp00 at the Adam00 County Record! Personal and Business stamps made to l order, regular 8 self inking auailoble, or  refurbish gour old stamps. Call or drop bg and let us assist gou. ......... ...........  flew stomps deliuered in as little as two : dogs ............ Fast, afforaable quality AUCTION FOR THE ANIMALS July 19th at 5:30pro @ Northfork Lodge, 200 Scott Street in McCall 5:30pm Cocktail hour and Silent Auction 7:00pm Buffet Dinner and Live Auction  .... Live Music Call 208-634-3647 for more information 2194 Hwy 95, Council 253-3614 Same Day service on most minor repairs Make an appointment today! -,- Air Conditioning Repair :b" Complete Brake Service * Check Engine Light :." Belts, Hoses, & Tuneups Perfedion is our Goal Honesty is our Policy *Evacuation or Repairs Not Included Air Conditioning Minor Service* $39.95 + Freon (134A Systems) Expires July 15th, 2012