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The Adams County Record
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September 12, 2012     The Adams County Record
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September 12, 2012
 

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Page 6 Wednesday, September 12, 2012 The Adams County Record The History Corner The town of Cascade By Dale Fisk -- 253-4582 I'm going back to the Idaho Northern book this week. Today the tracks of the old Idaho Northern line unceremoniously end at Cascade about 200 yards northwest of the Ashley Inn, just before where they used to pass over the highway. The old grade stands above both sides of the highway just south of the bridge across the Payette River. The end of the grade on the east side of the road is bedecked with a waterfall and a large rock on which "Cascade, Idaho" is sandblasted. The Thunder Mountain line ends its tour at the Ashley Inn. This luxury hotel is, ironically, situated just northwest of where the city dump once was. The Cascade depot was just north of the Market Street railroad crossing., The section house was about 100 yards or less north of the depot. The depot and the section house have been moved out by the airport south of town and are visible from the highway. In the early days of settlement, the present location of Cascade was called the Falls of the Payette. A heartrending accident happened here before the arrival of the railroad or the town. Three sisters and their families lived here--the Dexters, the Leste,s, and the Washburrs. One day after the hayilg was done, the families gathered at the Falls br a picnic. While playitg The power plant at the falls of the Payette River near Cascade before the dam was built. on the rocks above the falls, Kizie Dexter, a teenage girl, reached into the water to catch some minnows. She lost her balance and fell into the deep, rushing water. Her brother, a young married man, jumped in to save her. Both were drowned. When the Idaho Northern line was built to this location in 1913, a rancher named W.D. Patterson owned the property. When he had the town platted in 1914, the town was to consist of only about six blocks.- The new town was named "Cascade" because it was near the falls where river cascaded down through the rock gap where the dam is now. As usually happened in such cases, the future town started when the railroad built a depot, which instantly became the shipping point for the area. Businesses within a several mile radius of a depot naturally gravitated to it as a matter of practicality. Roseberry, Thunder City, Crawford and Van Wyck found their communities dissolving and flowing like water following economic gravity to Cascade. Over a period of several years, Cascade grew as a collection of buildings that were moved from those towns, as well as newly constructed ones. The Crawford Post Office building was moved to Cascade in 1914, and the first Cascade Post Office was established Ill John Kesler of Council, is one of the men in this early 1900s photo of a saw- mill at Cascade. in it on March 1, 1915. The Patterson store also moved here from Crawford. From Thunder City came the Methodist Church, Cromwell's blacksmith shop and Logue's General Store. Van Wyck contributed its Baptist Church and drug store. A water-powered generator installed just below the present dam in 1918 supplied the first electricity to Cascade. Even though service was intermittent, it was a very welcome luxury. A man named Rising built a small dam at the Falls in 1925 and ran a power plant until he sold it to the West Coast Power Company. It was eventually taken over by Idaho Power and operated until 1947. Cascade was incorporated as a village in 1917--the same year Valley County was created from parts of Boise and Idaho Counties. The town had about 600 residents at the time, and was appointed as the first, temporary seat of government. McCall had a larger population, so when the election of a permanent county seat was slated for 1920, there was a heated contest over where to locate it. Some said should be at Donnelly since it was nearest to the center of the county. It was about this time that the Boise Payette Lumber Company came to Long Valley and parked its headquarters just outside the north end of Cascade's boundary. This was at the present-day site of the Waters Edge RV Park. The pilings of an old trestle from a BPL logging railroad can be seen crossing the river near there when the water level is low. Two of the factors weighed in determining a permanent county seat were population and tax base, and Cascade badly needed the 126 people and 110 buildings at the logging camp to be included in the town. Charles Barton fought to avoid annexation of his camp for months, but in the spring of 1918 the city corralled the camp inside its official parameters. Barton promptly loaded the logging town onto flat cars and headed south to a new location dubbed Cabarton. In spite of this loss, the 1920 election decided in Cascade's favor and it became the permanent Valley County Seat. The first county offices were in the upper floor over the bank, but a new courthouse was soon built. The timber industry has always been a major player in Cascade's economy. The Boise Payette Lumber Company was the first to arrive, but competitors started appearing in the 1920s. Dion Lumber opened a sawmill at Cascade in 1924, but soon became W. H. Eccles Lumber in 1926. Eccles used narrow gauge shay tracks to log in the area. In 1928, Eccles sold out to Halleck & Howard Lumber. When the Depression hit, the mill closed for a time. In 1947, the mill employed 135 men and about that many in the woods. Fourteen million log scale feet of wood were received at the sawmill, and twenty- two million board feet of finished and rough lumber were shipped from Cascade. In 1953, Boise Payette Lumber bought the mill 'and operated it (later as the Boise Cascade Corporation) until it closed in 2001 and dismantled it in 2003.  Doctor of Dental Surgery Advanced l::ducanon m General Densltry Post Full-Time Practice ser,fng Cotmcil and Cambridge since 2002 Pharmacy Technician CHILDREN! Ch.eck it o00t!! Inside Adams County Health Center 205 N. Berkley, Council 208-253-4957 Monday - Thursday 9am to 6pm Friday 9am to 5pm Closed for lunch from I