By Mychel Matthews (view original article here)

Salmon Falls

Milepost 186.9 U.S. 30 near Hagerman

In 1812, Joseph Miller found 100 lodges of indians spearing thousands of salmon each afternoon at a cascade below here. Each summer, they dried a year’s supply. After 1842, they also traded salmon to Oregon Trail emigrants. Explorer John C. Fremont marveled at Salmon Falls’ 18-foot vertical drop, noting that the drop gave the scene “much picturesque beauty and make(s) it one of those places that the traveler turns again and again to fix in his memory.”

Thousand Springs

Milepost 186.9 U.S. 30 near Hagerman

A long series of lava flows buried old river channels in this area and created a multitude of famous springs here.

Payne’s Ferry

Milepost 190.4 U.S. 30

A scow powered by oarsmen let Oregon Trail wagons cross the Snake River here from 1852 to 1870.

Fishing Springs

Milepost 190.4 U.S. 30

As the Snake River’s highest salmon cascades, Fishing Falls was included on many early Western maps.

Magic Dam

Milepost 91 Idaho 75 near Shoshone

The $3 million Magic Dam stores up to 190,000 acre feet of irrigation water for 89,000 acres of farms near Shoshone and Richfield.

Wood River Mines

Milepost 112.8 Idaho 75

Rich strikes in 1879 precipitated a rush to the lead-silver mines of this valley. One mine alone, the famous Minnie Moore Mine, produced $8.4 million worth of ore.

Ski Lifts

Milepost 130.8 Idaho 75

When Sun Valley Lodge was built in 1936, Union Pacific engineers developed chair lifts to transport skiers uphill.

Starting with two modest ski slopes on Dollar Mountain and Proctor Mountain, chair lifts were used for all Sun Valley ski runs. Far superior to tow ropes and similar devices employed before 1936, they quickly became popular at ski resorts everywhere. New designs were adopted for additional Sun Valley ski runs, but one 1936-style chair lift still is preserved four miles up Trail Creek Road from here.


Milepost 151.8 Idaho 75

Warren P. Callahan found a rich lead-silver mine here in 1879, followed by thousands of miners into Wood River in 1880. Galena had a hotel, four general stores, a livery stable, several saloons and dining halls, a shoe store, and daily stage service to Hailey.

Hudspeth’s Cutoff

Milepost 2.8 Idaho 77 near Malta

This shortcut to the California gold fields, followed by most of the ‘49ers, came out of the hills to the east and joined the old California Trail just about here.

Diamondfield Jack

Milepost 18.4 on Idaho 77 at Albion Public Square

By far the most famous gunman of Idaho’s sheep and cattle wars, “Diamondfield Jack” Davis was tried here for shooting two sheepherders in 1896. Twice he narrowly escaped hanging, before the pardon board turned him loose in 1902.

Salmon Dam

Milepost 11.2 U.S. 93 near Rogerson

Intended to create a large reservoir to irrigate desert lands north of here, the Salmon Dam was only a partial success.

Shoshone Falls

Visitors center at 2015 Neilsen Point Place in Twin Falls

Four miles east of here, the Snake River falls thunders 210 feet over a rocky ledge higher than the famous Niagara Falls.

College of Southern Idaho

Visitors center 2015 Neilsen Point Place in Twin Falls

In 1964, Twin Falls County voters established a community college, and Jerome County soon voted to join their college district. In 1968, a modern campus was born.

Shoshone Historic District

Milepost 72.9 U.S. 93

South-central Idaho’s rail center since 1882 when trains reached here, Shoshone has a historic district of unusual interest. Vast sheep grazing lands made this a major early center for Basque herders.

City of Rocks

Idaho 27 1 mile north of Oakley

A vast display of towering granite rocks that were miles southeast of here attracted emigrants on their way to California. A gold rush visitor on July 14, 1849, said “you can imagine among those massive piles, church domes, spires, pyramids … with a little fancying you can see (anything) from the Capitol at Washington to a lowly thatched cottage.”

Minidoka Dam

Milepost 10.6 Idaho 24 near Acequia

An important pioneer federal reclamation dam and power plant provides water and electricity for farms and cities nearby. Constructed five miles east of here between 1904 and 1906 at a cost of $675,000, Minidoka Dam diverts water into canals 86 feet above the Snake River.

Camp Rupert

Milepost 41 Idaho 25 west of Paul

From 1943 to 1946, Camp Rupert was the largest prisoner of war camp in Idaho, housing some 4,000 POWs. Most were German and Italian. The Camp was maintained by nearly 1,000 army personnel and civilians. The historical marker was the last erected in the Magic Valley.