Newspaper Archive of
The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
November 28, 2012     The Adams County Record
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November 28, 2012

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The Adams County Record Wednesday, November 28, 2012 Page 7 The History Corner .esa By Dale Fisk -- 253-4582 Some of the tens of thousands of young trees planted at Mesa; about 1910. Building the Lost Valley Reservoir Dam, 1909. Among the documents that Delvin Watkins gave us-from Mesa is one with a heading of "The Weiser Valley Land & Water Co:' It evidently dates to about 1910. I will quote the inter- esting portions. "(a) This Company has a permit for all of the waters at the headwaters of the Weiser River, and a per- mit to divert into the same basin the head waters of the Little Salmon River. We have further filed on another reservoir site, this giving us all of the reser- voir sites in the Weiser Valley" "We have constructed a dam twenty-five (25) feet in height, and there is now stored in our res- ervoir about ten thousand (10,000) acre feet of water. The foundation of this dam and the outlet tunnel have been completed for a dam seventy-five (75) feet in height, so that at a cost of not to exceed about thirty thousand ($30,000) dol- lars, the dam can be raised to a height of seventy-five (75) feet, and there can be stored in this reservoir not less than fifty thousand (50,000) acre feet of wateff "To provide the water necessary for the lands we now Own and control will require about ten thousand (10,000) acre feet of water; thus leaving available forty thousand (40,000) acre feet elsewhere" (b) We own and con- trol about six thousand (6,000) acres of the finest orchard land in Idaho, situ- ated near the confluence of the Weiser River proper and the Middle Fork of the Weiser River, on what is known as the Council Council Valley Free Library Book Shelf New Books at the Council Library Adult fiction Brotherband Chronicles: The Hunters by John Flanagan Sleep No More by Iris Johnasen The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury Breaking News by Fern Michaels Non-fiction Rather Outspoken by Dan. Rather Evidence of the After Life by Jeffrey Long Juvenile fiction Clumsy Crab by Ruth Galloway Crab Moon by Ruth Horowitz Jellaby: Monster in the City by Kean Soo Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney THOX SON FUNERAL HOME & CREMAI-ORY F~ni[v O, vned and Operated Big City Selection All At One Location - Set'vices - l'r lanni - Cremation Services - Monuments 221 E. Com't St Weit , ID 83672 (2O8) 4t44234 w . per-Thomm n.c m Mesa." "These lands are to be irrigated with water from the Middle Fork; and as the low water flow of the stream had been filed on by the people near Weiser, the amount withdrawn is to be replaced by water dropped from the reser- voir into the main river for their use, such substitution being permissible under the laws of Idaho." (c) The lands in this first unit are being planted to orchards and are being s01d in five and ten acre tracts, delivered to pur- chaser at end of five years as bearing orchards." "q-he first subdivision of one thousand acres is near- ly all plowed and most of it has already been planted and the remainder will be planted in a few days. " "The water will be on the land on June 15th; the diversion dam having already been completed, the flume line graded, the flume lining hauled along the line and the flume is being built at the rate of over one thousand feet a day." (d) There is appended hereto a statement show- ing the assets and liabili' ties of the Company, and the probable profits to be realized from the devel- opment of the six thou- sand (6,000) acres of this first unit, which should Putting the finishing touches on the dam. be at least $1,600,000" The "first unit" was the Council Mesa, and units 2 and 3 were near Cambridge/Midvale and Weiser respectively. The next two pages of this doc- ument contain estimates of costs and profits. It isn't always clear what has already been bought but the cost was being plugged in to figure the potential profits. The cost of "land and work up to date" was about $234,000 which would be equal to over $5 million today. "Total Land: Owned in fee - 2200 acres; Controlled - 3680 acres; To be purchased - 640. Total - 6,520 acres: The next two pages of the document contain cost and income figures for the Second Unit - land near Special business sermices aeailable ;a/The Adams CeunQ liecerd... J B&W Copies $.15 each Send and receive faxes $1.00 per page Design Services Low Volume Scanning Assist with e-mail File uploads and downloads Call fer de/ails and Cambridge and Midvale, and the Third Unit - land near Weiser. In the sec- ond unit, they figured they could buy 15,000 acres for $3,595,000 (over $82 mil- lion today)and sell them after providing water and electricity, and planting fruit trees at a profit of $2 million ($50 million today). The estimates for the third unit were very similar. What an era this was! A company could get in on the ground floor of the development of an entire area, buy up water rights and land, and dream big dreams about what was possible. Sometimes ven- tures like this made people rich, and probably more often brought huge losses. I'll have more on the Mesa story next week. Don't forget to consider a donation to the Council Valley Museum. You can donate up to $100 and get half of that back from the state (taken directly off of your state income tax bill). Checks can be mailed to PO Box 252, Council, ID 83612. Parts and Service Open On Saturday We service all makes and models Quality Service Award Winning Factory Trained Technician Phone (208) 549-3310 -Toll Free (800) 658-5080 602 Highway 95 Weiser, Idaho 83672