Boise National Forest

Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest was established in 1908. It is located in southwestern Idaho, north and east of Boise. Payette National Forest borders it on the north, and Challis and Sawtooth national forests adjoin it to the east.The national forest is divided into two segments. The Middle Fork Salmon and South Fork Salmon rivers, the Middle Fork Payette River, and all three forks of the Boise River have their sources in the forest.Shortly after the discovery of gold north of Boise in 1862, numerous mining communities sprang up in the area. Logging remains an important use of the forest.The national forest is a popular recreation area, noted for its fishing and hunting, hiking, and rafting on the Middle Fork Salmon River. Bogus Basin Ski Resort is a winter-sports center, 16 miles north of Boise, which is where the forest headquarters are located.

Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness

The Frank Church—River of No Return Wilderness Area is a protected wilderness area in Idaho. [2] It was created in 1980 by the United States Congress and renamed in 1984 as the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in honor of U.S. Senator Frank Church.

At 2.367 million acres (9,580 km 2 ), it is the largest contiguous federally managed wilderness in the United States outside of Alaska. The Death Valley Wilderness is the largest single designated area but consists of numerous disconnected units. [3] [4] The wilderness protects several mountain ranges, extensive wildlife, and a popular whitewater rafting river: the Salmon River.

Logging In The Boise Region

The city of Boise was founded in 1863, one and half years later (December 1864) there were two sawmills operating near Boise.

Sawmills were considered an economic asset to the Boise community, even before the end of the mining era (lumber was required for sluice boxes, flumes, and mine support).  

One early sawmill was located across from the Old Penitentiary on Warm Springs Ave. It was operated under various owners from the early 1870s to 1924.  

The mining towns around Boise supported a large lumber market, particularly in towns like Idaho City, Placerville, Centerville, Atlanta, etc, but the mountainous terrain, and lack of railroads made lumber transportation outside of the mountains difficult.

Lumber companies soon realized that commercial lumbering couldn’t develop in the Boise forests without adequate rail transportation. The Barber Mill, located six miles north of Boise, played a huge role in the development of a lumber railroad.

Other Logging Lines Across The West

Intermountain Railway And Barber Mill

Frank Steunenberg, former Idaho governor started a project at the turn of the century to bring Wisconsin and Minnesota lumbermen over to Boise forests. Steunenberg attracted the attention of Barber Lumber Company (Wisconsin) bought 25,000 acres north of Boise, along Grime’s and More’s creeks, in 1902.

Construction on Barber Dam and Sawmill began in 1904 and was completed in 1905. But only a year later, in 1906, Barber realized they would need a railroad to transport logs.

The company had originally intended to transport the logs with log drives down More’s and Grime’s creeks, but they soon realized the creeks would not support log drives.

Silt from earlier upstream mining threatened to fill and clog the log pond during high water, the only practical time to have a log drive.

Another obstacle for the Barber Lumber Company came when the company attempted to buy more forest acreage to supplement the land they already owned.

The State Land Board wouldn’t sell the land for less than $150,000 per 12,000 acres (an outrageous price at the time). A combination of issues contributed to Barber Mill shutting its doors in 1908, but the Barber Lumber Company didn’t give up.

They kept pushing for the construction of the Intermountain Railway and a lower price on the land they wanted to purchase.

Four years later, in 1912, the Barber litigation was solved, and the United States Reclamation Service started construction on a rail line (a third of the way to Centerville from Boise).

Around the same time, the State Land Board offered to sell Barber the timber they wanted for $100,000 (but not the land).

Further arguments took the case to the Idaho Supreme Court, where the sale of timber AND land was upheld, as long as the Barber Company would build a rail line, enhancing the value of the other state lands. Barber Mill reopened in 1912.  

In 1914, plans to construct the Intermountain Railway began and the Barber Lumber Company merged with the Payette Lumber and Manufacturing Company becoming the Boise Payette Lumber Co.  

The Intermountain Railway was built from just north of Boise to New Centerville, following the Boise River, Grime’s Creek, and More’s Creek.

The total cost of construction was $1,037,499, equal to $24,725,261 today. During construction of the rail line, four logging spurs (dirt roads) were built to assist lumber companies in log transportation.  

With the completion of the Intermountain Railway, the Boise Payette Company saw a huge boost in profits and remained profitable throughout the 1920s.

However, early in the 1930s, as the market became depressed, the company started taking huge losses, which led to the closing of Barber Mill in 1934, it was never reopened.

The Intermountain Railway service was suspended in the 30s as well and later was replaced by Highway 21 (Boise to Idaho City).  

The Boise Payette company saw many ups and downs in the market and went through a series of mergers, becoming Boise-Cascade in 1957. Boise-Cascade is one of the largest lumber corporations in Idaho today.

Idaho History December 17, 2017

(click image for larger size at source)
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1888 Map “Hot Lake”

(click image for larger size)
source: The University of Alabama
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Warm Lake, Idaho

Warm Lake is a 640-acre (260 ha) lake in Idaho, United States. It is located 26 miles east of Cascade in Valley County, at 5,298 feet above sea level. It is the largest natural lake in Boise National Forest.

The lake’s abundance of wildlife makes it very popular for camping, fishing, and hunting. Large mammals present in the area include moose, mule deer, black bear, and elk. Large birds present in the area include bald eagles and osprey. The lake contains rainbow, brook, lake, and bull trout as well as mountain whitefish and Kokanee salmon.

There are two lodges at the lake, North Shore Lodge, which was established in 1936, and Warm Lake Lodge, which was established in 1911. The Forest Service operates three campgrounds around the lake.

Warm Lake Area History

Francois Payette first set eyes on the Payette River, which he immediately named for himself. He was a member of the first “Snake River Expedition” under the leadership of Donald McKenzie. For the next 4 years they trapped an area stretching from the Tetons in the east, Salt Lake in the south, the Cascades to the west.
Rivers and Rails p.17

Idaho was in Oregon Territory.
The Handy book for Genealogists

Idaho was in Washington territory and in the Spokane precinct.

The area was in Idaho Territory, Idaho County, South Fork Precinct with 27 counted, all were male prospectors except a male storekeeper and a blacksmith.

Captain R. F. Bernard and 60 cavalry camped at the northeast end of Warm Lake. They were part of the Sheepeater Campaign.
Source: map from the book Sheepeater Indian Campaign.

Warm Lake was in Idaho County, Idaho Territory.

John Reeves settled on a mining claim in Paradise Valley.
From History Of The Boise National Forest 1905-1976 by Elizabeth M. Smith, Idaho State Historical Society, Boise-1983, p. 22.

Sylvester and Melinda Scott settled on Deep Creek (Warm Lake Highway crosses it at east end of Scott Valley). Scott Valley was named after them. The winter of 1893 was severe so they decided to move to a more hospitable site on the Salmon River. They raised 18 children (yes eighteen).
From Duane Peterson and a book Spirits of the Salmon River by Kathy Deinhard Hill p. 148.

[Census] was taken but it was destroyed by fire after being collected at the national level.

Map shows Hot Lake, now called Warm Lake on the South Fork of the Salmon River. Some mining claims had their location referenced from Hot Lake. Other earlier maps showed the lake as Warm Lake.

The South Fork of the Salmon River was in the Warren precinct of Idaho County.

Bill & his wife (Aunt) Molly Kesler moved to Knox and later built the Warm Lake hotel (between the existing lodge and the lake).

The first telephone line construction began on the former Payette National Forest with the purchase of a private line from Crawford to Knox. In 1910 Knox was connected to Stolle Meadows and adjacent places.
Source: History of the Boise National Forest p127.

The South Fork of the Salmon was in the Roosevelt precinct of Idaho

Bill and Molly Kesler started building at the Warm Lake hotel site (now Warm Lake Lodge). The hotel was located some 500’ toward the lake from the existing lodge.

The land contest at Knox of Wm. Kesler vs D. A. Robnette was tried before commissioner F. S. Logue at Thunder yesterday. The evidence was all submitted and the commissioner will render a decision in a few days (Cascade News). Bill & Molly Kesler bought 8 buildings and their home from a fellow they thought was the owner. A year later Robnette appeared and claimed title to all 9 buildings. Molly ran him off the place and down the road 3 miles where he took refuge with an old miner. They thought there was to be a future for Knox. They were fleeced and the “fleecer” was gone.
Source: Boise Statewide newspaper Jan. 24, 1947 titled “Molly of the Mountain”.

Bob Barr had a farmstead in Paradise Valley. He harvested grass hay, and had horses. Straggler lambs from the sheep drive were given to him and collected on the return drive. His farmstead did not qualify for a homestead. He reportedly killed a farmer in Kansas before coming to Idaho. This site is now the Campbell cabin, lot 11. (Gill/Foster/Holverson interviews.) His cabin was made from rough sawn lumber from the sawmill at the mine some 8 miles north of Warm Lake. His cabin was the former assay office at the mine. Bob Barr showed Richard “Dick” Wilkie where a freighter was buried in front of his cabin, five foot from the creek, due to an accident on the Thunder Mountain road. Dick could not find the grave in 1999.
As told by Dick Wilkie to LeRoy Meyer via phone.

Valley County formed from Boise and Idaho Counties.
The Handy Book For Genealogists

William Ben Rice was USFS Ranger on the South Fork of the Salmon
(Warren Times).
From 1925 to 1938 he was Payette National Forest Supervisor (the former Payette NF),
from History of the Boise National Forest.
Rice Peak was named after him (formerly Blue Point Peak). At the time of his death Jan. 13, 1950 (age 61) he was Regional Forester for the USFS. He reportedly was very instrumental in helping the Boy Scouts establish the camp at Warm Lake.
Ross Hadfield oral history

The road was constructed from Warm Lake to Landmark.

A nine-page article about the car trip from Boise to Warm Lake for a summer job surveying with the USGLO (now called the BLM) by Ernest May. (no link) The first car probably traveled to Warm Lake in the 1915-1918 era.

Was taken January 20. Warm Lake was in the South Fork precinct of Valley County.

The Bureau of Public Roads contracted to replace the timber truss bridge (log abutments) with a steel truss bridge on concrete abutments on the South Fork of the Salmon River, Warm Lake Highway. The holes for the abutments were excavated during low water in the fall. Water was heated for the concrete. The fresh concrete was tented and heated so the concrete would cure and gain the proper strength.

U.S. Bureau of Public Roads had a contract for road construction from the South Fork of the Salmon River to Landmark. This widened the road built in 1917.

Clayne Baker’s grandfather Howard F. Baker built the Baker cabin on lot 1, on the east side of the lake. The logs were from a cabin at Knox that they bought. Burt Bostwick, a mountain man and prospector, lived at the Baker cabin for a time starting in 1926.
Clayne Baker oral history

The road from Cascade, Warm Lake, Pen Basin, Deadwood was extended through to Bear Valley.

Warm Lake hotel lessee Clark and Beulah Cox packed fishermen and hunters.
Cox book.

Pop Mashburn hauled bags of cement from Warm Lake to Deadwood by dog sled. Indians raised him. He had a cabin on lot 62 on the west side of Warm Lake, now the Hunter cabin.
Morford notes

Deadwood Dam was built and all supplies were railed to Cascade and trucked via Warm Lake and Landmark to Deadwood. They used Coleman trucks from a Montana dam project to haul the cement.
Source: Lonesome Whistle by Duane Peterson 1998

April 12 census of Valley County, Bernard precinct, at Warm Lake listed Seaweards, Bob Barr, Wm. & Mary Kesler, Earl Hall, Albert Bostwick and apparently others that were working on the Deadwood Dam. The Kesler’s were listed as owners of a roadhouse.

Mary L. “Molly” Kesler vs. C. S. Jones case went to the Idaho Supreme court and was remanded to the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District, in and for Valley County for retrial. Molly was awarded $40.00 and cost of the suit for the value of the fox pelt. They had raised foxes at Warm Lake for a period of time.

Sylvester Kinney and the Gordon Blinn’s built the first cabins on the west side of the lake. The size of the Kinney cabin was 16’ by 20’ and is now the Gill/Foster cabin, lot 30. Charlie Gill and Jack Nickolis from the Kinney’s and Gordon Blinn and son Herbert Blinn built their cabins at the same time. They teamed-up and worked one day on one cabin and the next day on the other. Ruth Kinney Gill cooked for them in a tent. The Blinn’s cabin is now the Adolphson cabin, lot 29.
Gill/Foster oral history

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC’s) was established by 1933 Act and camp was established at Warm Lake (now the Baptist Camp) and continued until WWII. A Warm Lake CCC camp newspaper titled “Chipmunk Chatter” was published Sept. 5, 1933. In the 1930’s the Warm Lake swimming pool was built by the CCC’s on the South Fork of the Salmon River and used hot springs for water. It opened in 1936 (Cascade News). It was closed at the end of 1973 and filled with soil. The CCC’s also built the Warm Lake water system. (USFS) The Warm Lake CCC camp was designated F-166, Stolle meadows F-163, Cascade F-60, Poverty Flat F-57, and Camp South Fork F-168. Due to severe winters at Warm Lake the CCC’s were entrained to Reno NV winter of 1936-37 and some other winters they were at Camp Gallagher east of Garden Valley.

William B. “Billy” Rice died in Boise of typoid fever. He was age 16. (Cascade News July 28, 1933) Billy Rice Boy Scout camp and now the beach were named in his honor.

Boy Scout Camp Billy Rice operated at the NW part of Warm Lake. The Wm. Ben Rice family paid the lease fee all the years the camp operated in honor of their son Billy who died of typhoid.
(This information from Stan Pilcher, Ross Hadfield, & Idaho Mountains Our Home by Cox page 36).
The camp was open with 65-70 scouts from Emmett and Nyssa. Scout officials were trying to get CCC’s to help build an assembly hall, outdoor fireplace, and other permanent structures.
Cascade News July 19, 1935.
July 3,1936 the Cascade News reported the Ore-Ida Boy Scout camp was open at Warm Lake during July and Aug. Camping periods of 10 days rather than the previous 7 days was being used. A new swimming pool is an added attraction at the camp.
Note: this must be the Warm Lake plunge.

Molly Kesler heard an airplane circling around 11 PM in a snowstorm over Warm Lake. She phoned Cascade and they called Boise to confirm the United Airlines plane was lost. She built a fire on the frozen lake so the pilot could get a bearing on Cascade. Cars lined up to light the runway 1.5 miles east of town. The pilot and one passenger were treated for frostbite since the heater was not working. Nine were on board. The next day the plane was flown to Boise.
Cascade News March 29, 1935.
Molly thought the plane was a Johnson Flying Service plane and called Johnson but it wasn’t theirs. The next morning one engine wouldn’t start so they drained the oil and heated it on a stove. (Don Campbell oral history.) The plane was a twin engine Boeing 247.

Mollie’s hot springs bathhouse with wooden tub was operated on the South Fork of the Salmon. Statesmen article. The numerous hot springs in the region are evidence of the many fault lines that are beneath the surface. They occasionally rattle the area with earthquakes.
Rivers & Rails p16

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Campbell opened Campbell’s Camp (North Shore Lodge).
Cascade News 9/18/1936

The Fish & Game planted 21,000 fingerlings in Warm Lake and 9,000 in Tule Lake.
Cascade newspaper Aug. 30, 1935

Warm Lake’s natural water level was raised about 15 inches by a dam at the outlet.
Source: History of the Boise National Forest.

Holverson cabin was built in Paradise Valley. Dr. Harmon
Holverson oral history

The water system was completed around the lake this fall.

Ambrose Mitchell a CCC worker drowns in Warm Lake when a boat that he was rowing capsized. His body was recovered the next day.
From the Cascade News Aug. 4, 1939.

Warm Lake Hotel was purchased from Bill & Molly Kesler by Dr. Leo E. Jewell MD of Meridian. His brother-in-law Bill Dobbs was manager. They sold to Bert and Ester Brewster in 1945.

Warm Lake had a post office.
History of the Boise National Forest p146

The power line was built from Cascade to Stibnite to facilitate mining of vital minerals for the war effort. This made it possible to provide power to the Warm Lake area.
83 Miles of Hell

A father and 2 year old son drown in Warm Lake when the son fell out of the boat and the father jumped in. The boat pushed away when he jumped in. Neither could swim. A six and a half year old son was left adrift. Several boats dragged for them but the bodies were never found.
Cascade News Sept. 7, 1945

The winter was cold with abundant snow
The Cascade News Dec. 24, 1948, Cascade low temperature was -31 last Thursday. At Crawford low temperatures reported were: 1919 -44, 1924 -34, 1926-1927 -38, Jan. 1941 -28.
The Cascade News Jan. 9, 1949, Landmark low temperature was -54.
The Cascade News Jan. 14, 1949, Warm Lake snow depth was 64”.
The Cascade News Feb. 18, 1949, The train has been stalled in the snow at Big Eddy for 7 days and a truck with commodities for Stibnite took a week to make it through the snow slides.
The Cascade News March 11, 1949, reports snow depths: Big Creek summit 92”, Warm Lake summit 85”, Landmark summit 76”.

Electricity provided to the Warm Lake users.
Morford notes.

Road was built along the South Fork of the Salmon by Molly hot springs.
Morford notes.

Knox population estimated at 10, Warm Lake population at 8.
Source: Gazetteer of Cities.

The Warm Lake Highway was paved from the Big Creek Summit to the Stolle Meadows Road.

The new South Fork of the Salmon River concrete bridge at Warm Lake replaced the old steel truss bridge.
Bureau of Public Roads

The Warm Lake Highway was paved from Milepost 6.9 (Scott Valley) to the Big Creek Summit.

Warm Lake Highway was paved from Crawford Milepost 2.83 to MP 6.9 Scott Valley.

Power line built to Paradise Valley cabins.
Meyer notes

The road was paved from Warm Lake (Stolle Meadows Road Jct.) to Landmark.
Meyer notes

The Corps of Engineers had a fish trap built on the South Fork of the Salmon River to trap Chinook salmon. It is downstream from the Warm Lake highway bridge on the South Fork around one mile.

Forest fires burnt the hills near south edge of Warm Lake and on Reeves Creek (NE of lake).
Meyer & Morford notes

Thunderbolt Mountain fire burnt north of the lake 3 miles & north.
Meyer notes

Warm Lake Highway rebuilt and repaved from SH55 to Milepost 2.85 at Crawford

Road paved from the Warm Lake Highway down the South Fork to the East Fork of the South Fork.

The telephones to cabins at Warm Lake were operational.
Meyer notes

C. C. Randall, Randall’s Transfer

Knox P.O. Store Feed Barn, Wm. Howel, Manager

Post office history places Knox 25 miles NE of Cascade

Warm Lake Homesteads

… In the Warm Lake area, the largest settlement was an area called Randall Town. Charles Randall settled there in 1898 and filed for a homestead in 1909.

The original Homestead Act in the 1860’s did not allow for entries in unsurveyed lands … In 1906, a homestead law was enacted to allow homestead entries on approved agricultural lands. Most of the back country ranches were under this law, except those mining areas that became patented under the 1873 mining law.

Charles Randall operated a successful business providing service to the Thunder Mountain mining district. The following advertisement appeared in the Roosevelt newspaper in 1904: “Meals, Lodgings, Groceries, Hay, Grain”

In 1912, Daniel Robnett acquired the property and started raising hay. As many as 200 people in the local area obtained services and goods from the established community now known as Knox Ranch, named after a miner, John Knox. Knox purchased some of the buildings about the time the Randall family left.

While Randall still owned the property, the Kesler family, Bill and Molly, moved there from Spink. When Robnett took over the Knox Ranch, the Keslers moved to Warm Lake and started a hotel business and a fox farm on the side.

In 1917, a third entry was made on the Knox land by David Drake and a patent was granted in 1922. Another name associated with Warm Lake was Betty Kline.

Even though the memorial at Warm Lake indicates the early day pioneer as having the name “Billy Kline”, in reality, his name was Arthur Cline. Forest Service records indicate that a report was submitted to Forest Supervisor Guy Mains by Assistant Ranger WL Baker in 1910 recommending the homestead be granted to Arthur Cline. The report was a chronological development of the homestead. Mr. Cline had settled on the land August 1, 1903 and he lived on the land continuously for the next seven years. He had placed the area under cultivation and had farming utensils such as plows, harrows, mower, rake and wagon. His dwelling consisted of an 18’x20′ log house and he had approximately 30 acres surrounded by rail fence. Cline raised hay for sale to a large number of sheepmen, campers, miners and others who passed through Knox to Thunder Mountain, South Fork, Bear Valley and Deadwood. He believed that his hay could be produced more reasonably than the $25-$30 per ton it was costing to haul from Long Valley to Knox. Because the homestead application was filed on unsurveyed land, it was required that he obtain a legal survey from the Surveyor General, Department of Interior however, the survey was never completed and Mr. Cline disappeared from the scene.

Excerpted from “Homesteads and Ranches” by C. Eugene Brock, pages 22-24, “Free Land! Hopes and Hardships of Pioneers of Valley County, Idaho”, Valley County History Project
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Warm Lake Hotel

“The Warm Lake Hotel was built in 1910. It opened in 1911 and burnt to the ground in the 1949s.

“This hotel and store and a few cabins were built by Bill and Mollie Kessler. The hotel was operated by Clark and Buelah Cox in 1924-26. The next year they bought the ranch on Johnson Creek and started a dude ranch. When Clark and Beulah operated the business their prices were 60 cents for meals and rooms from 50 cents to $1.00 per night according to the room you got and how many shared the room.

“The Warm Lake Hotel became more popular after the road was built from Landmark down Johnson Creek and became the main road to Yellow Pine. The road over Warm Lake Summit to Landmark for a long time was used only by people going into the Deadwood area.”

Duane Petersen, “Valley County – The Way it Was” (p.88)

Who’s, to Blame?

Idaho County free press October 25, 1906

Monday, October 8th, Thomas Ryan of Knox was brought to Grangeville on a so-called commitment to the county jail to serve out a sentence of five dollars fine and seventy three dollars cost. Said Ryan was arrested on a warrant issued by one Macy, a newly appointed justice of the peace of Warm Lake precinct, Idaho county, charged with assault with a deadly weapon. This was the justice’s first case and he had no statute, so he telephoned to the county attorney for instructions, and was instructed to try the man and if found guilty fine him and if innocent turn him loose, so the justice found him guilty and appointed a man, there being officer there to bring him to Grangeville, a distance of two hundred miles. The whole proceeding was a farce from the beginning as the justice had no jurisdiction to try the man, the charge, being a felony and he could only give him a preliminary examination and bind him over for trial in the district court provided he considered the evidence sufficient, besides the justice had no authority to appoint an officer to bring him to Grangeville, and the whole proceeding was so irregular that the County Attorney advised the Sheriff not to confine the man and he was turned loose. Nevertheless the man that brought him here, a private citizen, presented a bill to the county commissioners for seventy dollars for his services, which the commissioners promptly allowed and he got the money.

1928 Warm Lake photos

Warm Lake – from near Warm Lake Summit

(click image to see original photo)
“Warm Lake – from near Warm Lake Summit”

Warm Lake Grade

(click image to see original photo)
“Jess B. Hawley, AF Coowrod (?) & HG Shellworth on Warm Lake Grade”
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Precinct Boundaries and Election Officers, 1906

Idaho County Free Press., July 12, 1906

Commencing at the mouth of east fork of south fork of Salmon river, west to county line of Boise county, thence along the said county line to the head waters of the south fork of Salmon river, thence east on the divide between the headwaters of Deadwood creek and Salmon river, thence north along the divide between Johnson and the south fork of Salmon river to the east fork of south fork of Salmon river, thence west to the mouth of east fork, the place of beginning. H.G. Abbott, registrar. Alec Duffer, C.S., Stolle, J. Lucas, judges. Mrs. G.H. Moore, distributing clerk. Polling place, post office at Knox.

1910 – U.S. Census, Roosevelt Precinct

Idaho County [now mainly Valley County]
(Clement Hanson, census taker)
Click here for File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by: Sharon McConnel November, 2005
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1920 Census for Valley County, Idaho

1930 Census Valley County, Bernard Precinct (Warm Lake)

1940 Census Valley County

1940 Map “Warm Lake”

(click image for larger size)
source: The University of Alabama
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Post office History

Warm Lake
established Mar. 15, 1940, Leonard W. Dodds
Harold G. Brewster, July 15, 1945
Betty J. Clark, June 30, 1947
discontinued Aug. 1, 1953 mail to Cascade (rescinded)
Mrs. Betty J. Wolfe, June 1, 1958 (wed)
discontinued April 30, 1960
A summer post office.
29 mi. NE of Cascade 3 mi. SE of Knox
Sec. 7, T15N, R7E. At a summer lodge.

1940 Metsker Map Warm Lake

Warm Lake Summit Road

(c. 1929-1931)
Knowles Bros, Coleman Truck Fleet Cascade Idaho

(click image for full size)

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(click image for full size)

Ron Smith, local historian & major contributor to “Pans, Picks and Shovels” by the Valley Co. History Project writes –

“The pictures of the Knowles Bros. Coleman Trucks are taking sacked cement from Cascade, for the construction of the Deadwood Dam in the 1920’s.”

Deadwood Dam

Approved by President Coolidge in 1928, the isolated site required substantial road building. Construction of the concrete arch dam itself began in late 1929 and was completed in March 1931.

Construction of the Deadwood Dam in 1930

Warm Lake Road

(click image for original)

(click image for original)
source: ITD
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Warm Lake, Idaho 1951

From the Mike Fritz Collection
courtesty Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
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2002 Warm Lake in Boise National Forest, Idaho

2007 Cascade Complex

Fuel Treatments, Fire Suppression, and Their Interactions With Wildfire and its Effects: The Warm Lake Experience During the Cascade Complex of Wildfires in Central Idaho, 2007

Graham, Russell T. Jain, Theresa B. Loseke, Mark. 2009.

Wildfires during the summer of 2007 burned over 500,000 acres within central Idaho. These fires burned around and through over 8,000 acres of fuel treatments designed to offer protection from wildfire to over 70 summer homes and other buildings located near Warm Lake. This area east of Cascade, Idaho, exemplifies the difficulty of designing and implementing fuel treatments in the many remote wildland urban interface settings that occur throughout the western United States. The Cascade Complex of wildfires burned for weeks, resisted control, were driven by strong dry winds, burned tinder dry forests, and only burned two rustic structures. This outcome was largely due to the existence of the fuel treatments and how they interacted with suppression activities. In addition to modifying wildfire intensity, the burn severity to vegetation and soils within the areas where the fuels were treated was generally less compared to neighboring areas where the fuels were not treated. This paper examines how the Monumental and North Fork Fires behaved and interacted with fuel treatments, suppression activities, topographical conditions, and the short- and long-term weather conditions.

2013 Topo Map Warm Lake


Link to Warm Lake History part 2

Warm Lake History papers by by LeRoy Meyer
Link: Warm Lake Area History
Link: Warm Lake Lodge Operators
Link: Post Offices in the Greater Warm Lake Area
Link: Bob Barr Interview
Link: Charles Gill Interview About Warm Lake

Fire Information

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) is the nation’s support center for wildland fires and other emergency situations. The partners at NIFC work together to compile information about the current wildfire situation and statistics that encompass lands managed by federal, state, local, tribal, and private agencies.

The current wildland fire situation is summarized in the National Fire News and Incident Management Situation Report, produced by the National Interagency Coordination Center. These reports are available daily most of the year, and weekly during the winter months. Wildland fire statistics ranging from the number of fires and acres burned, to federal suppression costs, to the number of lightning-caused fires ignited are updated annually. Maps for current large fires and fire potential outlook maps for the next four months can be easily downloaded.

InciWeb provides up-to-date information on active wildfires across the nation. Large fires on InciWeb have information about the wildfire, news, and announcements, contact information and hours of operation, maps, photographs, and videos. This site is updated regularly and is the best place to find current fire information for ongoing wildfires.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center Assists with Multiple Fires in Southeast Idaho

Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center Assists with Multiple Fires in Southeast Idaho

#ColdCreek Fire 1,200-acres and growing

Twitter: @Caribou_Targhee, @BLMIdahoFire | Facebook: @USFSCaribou-Targhee @BLMIdahoFireIdaho #GoodenoughRoad #ColdCreek

Firefighters and air resources from the Eastern Idaho Interagency Fire Center are responding to multiple fires that ignited on private lands this afternoon. Record breaking temperatures and dry fuel make for extreme fire potential. Do your part to prevent human-caused fires.

· Location and Jurisdiction : Approximately 2 ½ miles west of McCammon (private land threatening BLM)

· Cause : Human- Caused, under investigation

· Estimated Containment : 06/14/2021 at 10:00 p.m.

· Estimated Control : 06/15/2021 at 6:00 p.m.

· Summary : Crews continue to mop up and look for hot spots within the fire’s interior. Two engines were released to assist with the Cold Creek Fire near American Falls

· Location and Jurisdiction : Approximately 5 miles south of American Falls, Idaho (private land threatening BLM)

· Fire Size : 1,200-acres and growing

· Fire Behavior : Fire is running through grass, brush and juniper. Winds gusting to 20 mph.

· Structures Threatened : Numerous structures are threatened. Multiple power lines are down and failing. Two structures are confirmed lost at this time.

· Cause : Under investigation

· Evacuations : Power County has issued evacuations for several areas near the fire including the Garden Road area. Evacuees can report to the American Falls High School. Contact the Sheriff’s Office at 208-226-2319 for more information.

· Federal Fire Resources : 9 federal engines, 1 dozer, 1 air attack, 4 single engine air tankers (SEATs), 3 Heavy Air Tankers, and 1 Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) and lead plane. Multiple county and city resources including Power County, American Falls and others have responded.

· Estimated Containment : None at this time

· Summary : The Cold Creek Fire started at approximately 3:30 p.m. June 14. The fire crossed Sunbeam Road at around 7:30 p.m., moving north towards American Falls. At this time, fire officials can confirm one accident and one injury (smoke inhalation). Several powerlines are down, and the fire is threatening communication towers on Paps Mountain. Fire crews ask individuals to stay away from the area so as not to hamper firefighting operations.

National Fire News

Currently, 50 large fires have burned 628,590 acres across the country. More than 8,100 wildland firefighters and 16 Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams are assigned to incidents.

As record temperatures and very dry fuels continue to be reported in many states, it's important to s tay informed of current and predicted environmental conditions. The National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook can be found on the National Interagency Coordination Center website at

High pressure remains over the Pacific Northwest with very hot, record- setting temperatures. High temperatures will be 100-115°F for valley locations with low relative humidity in the afternoon. Very hot temperatures will also occur over portions of the Northern Rockies, northern Great Basin, and California. Easterly flow over the Southwest will start to bring more significant moisture westward with mixed wet and dry thunderstorms on the leading edge of the moisture surge across the Four Corners. Scattered wet thunderstorms are likely east of the Continental Divide in Colorado and New Mexico. Heavy rain remains likely along a stalled cold front from the southern Great Lakes into southeast New Mexico.


A portion of the Gold map from the Elk City Gold map is shown below. (HWY 14 by the S. Fork Clearwater River.)

The gold sites are noted and shown with a numerical number next to each site. The number is referenced to a north latitude and west longitude point. The gold sites are shown adjacent to access roads and streams. The sites are plotted on a USGS topographic map which shows the contours, streams, points of interest, and forest areas of the land. A 'P' next to the record number shows were placer gold deposits have been found. Roads are highlighted in red and old Miners Camps / Historical towns are shown on the gold maps. Hiking trails are noted by a 'H' in a red circle with a 'T' next to it. Recreational Gold panning is allowed within the National Forest.

Salmon-Challis is one of the largest among the US national forests with an area of about 17,140 square kilometers. The forest dominates the east-central region of the state of Idaho in the United States. The highest section of Challis forest occupies the Custer County whereas some parts extend to Butte, Clark, and Lemhi counties. The highest section of Salmon forest dominates the Lemhi County and smaller sections in the Idaho and Valley counties.

Nez Perce occupies the west-central region of Idaho State primarily with an area of about 9,000 square kilometers. The boundaries of the national forest are Montana, Clearwater forest, and Wallowa-Whitman forest. Nez Perce also shares the border with Payette forest in the southern section of the forest. The forested mountains of the region provide habitat for raccoons, black bear, elk, and moose. These are the typical species of animals inhabiting the forest. The areas of wilderness within the forest are Gospel Hump, Hells Canyon, Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church.

Idaho History January 21, 2018

Landmark Ranger Station was established in 1924 and for years functioned as the forest supervisor’s summer office for the “old” Payette National Forest (combined with the Boise National Forest in 1944). The site consists of a ranger’s house, four cabins, a barn, saddle shed and blacksmith shop, three garages, an office, warehouse and numerous other outbuildings that were constructed between 1924 and 1942. The ranger station has been closed for over a decade.

Landmark Ranger Station

Building Location: Landmark, Idaho 83611, Valley County
Year Built: 1930

Constructed between 1924 and 1942, the Landmark Ranger Station was an integral hub in the year round activities of the Payette then Boise National Forests. Located in Valley County east of Warm Lake and south of Yellow Pine, the site is ideally situated to manage the vast region it historically oversaw. Closed and all but abandoned in the late 1990s, the site faced the possibility of being decommissioned.

That is until the arrival of Cascade District Ranger, Carol McCoy-Brown in 2005. She immediately sensed the importance and historical significance of the site and set about the process of bringing it up to date for continued use while maintaining its historical and architectural integrity. A series of grants from the Southwest Idaho Resource Advisory Committee, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Idaho Heritage Trust as well as continued and increasing Forest Service appropriations allowed the cleaning, staffing, and renovation of the complex.

New bathroom additions have been added to two cabins to allow their continued use and restoration, while the deteriorating logs of the barn have been replaced. Soon, the front porches, cedar shingle roofs, and distinctive pole fencing of the site will be restored. With 1.2 million dollars in deferred maintenance costs, the job isn’t over, but Carol’s tenacity and the continued support of the Forest Service will see this site restored to its proper role in the life of the forest.

Preservation Idaho is thrilled to award Ranger Carol McCoy-Brown and the Landmark Ranger Station project a 2010 Orchid Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

Building submitted by Preservation Idaho

Landmark Ranger Station, Ranger House,

Boise National Forest Building No. 1139
Valley County, ID
source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
(click link to access photo gallery)
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Landmark – Boise NF

… In 1964, two new positions, unique to the region in one case and to the Forest Service as a whole in the other, were added to the supervisor’s office: a forest-level position of contracting specialist, the first such specialist in the Forest Service, and personnel specialist, the first on any national forest in Region 4. Four years later, as the result of a study which concluded that in terms of workload, budget, and staff, larger ranger districts were in most cases able to operate more effectively than smaller ones, the Chief of the Forest Service established a new district size policy. At the time there were ten ranger districts on the Boise National Forest — Mountain Home, Cottonwood, Idaho City, Atlanta, Lowman, Emmett, Garden Valley, Bear Valley, Cascade, and Landmark. These were consolidated in 1972 to the present six districts: Mountain Home, Boise, Idaho City, Lowman, Cascade, and Emmett.

… Also in 1972, all of the Primitive Area land from Pistol Creek Ridge to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, as well as the land east of Morehead Mountain, was transferred to the Challis National Forest for administrative purposes. The land northeast of Antimony Ridge (including Stibnite) was transferred to the Payette National Forest. The balance of the Landmark Ranger District became part of the Cascade Ranger District, and Landmark Ranger Station became Landmark Work Camp.

… CCC camps in the Boise and former Payette national forests were located at Cottonwood Creek, Alexander Flat, Big Birch Creek (Twin Springs), Granite Creek (Idaho City), Gallagher, Tie Creek, Third Fork, Crawford, and Warm Lake. There were other camps which may have been base camps or subcamps, often called spike camps: Landmark, Pike Fork (Crooked River), Silver Creek, Mountain View (near Lowman), Deer Creek, Cow Creek or Danskin, Twin Bridges (Johnson Creek), and Stolle Meadows. In addition, there were state CCC base camps or spike camps — on state land and with their own personnel, but within the forest boundaries — at Centerville, Shafer Butte, Clear Creek (near Cascade), and Packer John (near Smith’s Ferry).

… Much was accomplished on the Boise and former Payette national forests with CCC labor. The CCC work in cone collection, seed gathering, and tree planting is mentioned elsewhere, as is the enrollees’ roadbuilding, construction of forest buildings, fire-fighting activities, and construction of recreation facilities. An inspection of the Landmark District in 1968 revealed that all campgrounds except Ice Hole still had some of the log tables built by the CCC in the 1930’s.

CCC projects on the Cascade Ranger District included:
— the building complex at Landmark, parts of which are still in use…

More photos of the Landmark Ranger Station

Location: 26.4 miles from Cascade, Idaho
Elevation 6634 ft.
GPS Coordinate: 44.6572 -115.545

Landmark Topo

Landmark, Valley County, Idaho

County Map Quad: “C”
County Name: Valley
Township: 15N
Range: 8E
Section: 12
Elevation: 6,617
Population (1960 Census): 6
Mailing Post Office: Warm Lake
Airport: Landing Field 2 miles S.
Streams: Landmark Cr. / Johnson Cr.

source: Gazetteer of Cities Villages and Landmark Sites in the State of Idaho, Third Edition January 1966, Prepared By Idaho Department of Highways, Highway Planning Survey, in cooperation with US Beureau of Public Roads
source link: Heather Heber Callahan – North Idaho History
(many pages of scanned images)
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Landmark is in the Stibnite Division

ID Demographic Data and Boundary Map

The Stibnite Division is a County Subdivision of Valley County. The subdivision has a Z5 Census Class Code which indicates that the Stibnite Division is a statistical county subdivision.

Landmark USFS Airport – 0U0

Activation April 1944
Landmark, Idaho
Facility Usage: Public

Coordinates: N44°38.53′ / W115°32.00′
Located 01 miles SE of Landmark, Idaho on 19 acres of land.
Estimated Elevation is 6662 feet MSL.
Magnetic Variation from 1985 is 17° East
Dimensions: 4000 x 100 feet / 1219 x 30 meters
Surface: Turf-Dirt in Fair Condition

Watch the video: Hiking Station Creek Trail. Boise National Forest