Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho on February 27, 1976 · Page 72
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Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho · Page 72

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Nampa, Idaho
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Friday, February 27, 1976
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Page 72
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T** Idaho FYw Press, Friday, February 27,1976- E-4 First ranch on Reynolds Creek a/so served as stage station . iEditor's note: This is an adaptation from a longer essav submitted lo the Idaho Biceri- lennial Commission's Farm and Ranch Essay Contest. The original article was a co-firsl prize winner.' By.Marjorie Williams ' The history of the earliest settlement on Reynolds Creek is an interesting slory. ·· One nf Ihe men among the 28 adventurers who went from Boise Basin in May of 1863 to see what riches might be waiting for them in the distant OwyheeA Mountains was Thomas Carson. He returned lo Ihe lush lillle valley where they had rested from their rigorous Irip across ihe arid Owyhee lowlands from Ihemoulhofthe Snake river and started a ranch, i He buill a house, using for a foundation Ihe huge coitonwood (rees he found growing along the creek. He and his wife, whom he married in October. 18W. began 4 stage station to provide meals and accommodations for Ihe growing travel (o and from (he new mining area. ; The first road lo Silver City fas established up Reynolds Creek and was Ihe main route lo ie area until the railroad was $uill from Nampa to Murphy in J899. After lhat. Ihe Reynolds Creek road was never used much. It has been traveled in Ihe l£st few years -- with the advent ]( four-wheel drive vehicles -more lhan it was for Ihe 70 years before. J Carson died in the winter of 1865 in Silver City and his widow kept the ranch and stage station going with help from her brother and hired help. In March of 1867 she began advertising in (he Tri- Weekly Statesman in Boise lo sill the ranch. '-William L. Richey, whose name appears on the first plat of Boise City as one of the men who had staked out the original tbwnsite. saw the ad for the Carson Ranch and decided, instead of buying the ranch, to marry Mrs. Carson. They were married in Boise on thie 19th o( May. 1867. Richey closed out his business interests in'Boise and devoled his lime to the ranch and building up Ihe flourishing hotel business. ·In 1870. George D. Gardner, who had arrived in Boise Sep- leiber 3. 18I. by covered w'jjgon after completing his military term of 18 months in the Uth Iowa L'nited S t a t e s VJlunleers. traded a block o?" ground in Boise In William Riehey for Ihe Reynolds Creek raV*. All Richey could really sell to Gardner was "Squatters Rijghls." The firsl recorded pajent on the property was issued August 30.1883. lo George D.'Gardner. Gardner took switches from thf Lombardy poplars has grew along Grove Street in Boise and sluck them in Ihe bank of the liltle irrigation ditch thai ran in front of the house along Ihe road through the ranch. For many years they were ihe first sighl that (old Iravelers "upper Reynolds Creek" was close at hand. They were finally cut down in the 1950's. .having provided nearly 80 years of shade and wind protection for residents and Iravelers alike. The Owyhee Avalanche of May 14, 1870. gives ihe following account: Reynolds' Creek is not so extensive an agricultural 'district as the Willamette. Sacramenlo or Walla Walla valleys bul it is a very productive litlle spot on the earth, a very flattering prospect for good crops. Especially is Reynolds 'Creek a fine grazing country, and cattle are falter ihere than mosl any place in America, except Jhe while sage plains of Sinker and Catherine creeks. Mr. Gardner, formerly of Ruby City, but recentlv a resident of Boise CERTIFIED ELECTRONICS 1017 ARTHUR ST. - CALDWELL Mail leaves Murphy for Silver City on the stage. The process for receiving supplies and travelling between settlements sometimes involved many hardships. Cily. has purchased Ihe Carson Ranch of W. I.. Richey and removed thither with his family to reside. He intends to devote his energies chiefly to the hay and cattle business, (or which the place is peculiarly desirable on account of Ihe heavy growth of mowing grass in the valley and bunch grass in the hills. A comfortable addition to Mr. Gardner's setllement al this point, is the ability of many friends of the family who travel by stage to stop and get a drink of the rich buttermilk after crossing the arid Snake River plains. The Gardner ranch enjoyed a reputation of a good place io eat (or a number of years when the Silver City-Owyhee mining district was booming .They had; a Chinese cook -- whose name is lost lo history-- who was a master at turning out good food, helped with the large variety of fruit produced by the abundant orchard Ihe Gardners had planted. ft must have been a real art lo provide meals al short nolice at all hours for anything from a lone horseback rider to a coach full of people. Stage schedules were never known (or punctuality and many travelers came by and stopped, whatever the hour, for the opportunity of a good hot meal and a chance to rest both man and horse. That orchard boasted al least 20 varieties of apples, three kinds of cherries, four kinds of plums, mulberry, prune, apricot, peach, nectarine, pears, b a r b e r r i e s , c u r r a n t s , gooseberries, rhubarb, pecan and black walnut, plus a dozen hives of bees. The Gardners made various improvements on the ranch and enjoyed a number of good years of prosperity. In 1883, Mr. Gardner's health began to fail and his son-in-law anil daughter and young grandson came (rom Wood River lo help. In 1888 George D. Gardner died. His grave slone can still be seen in the small Reynolds Creek cemetery. The management of the ranch passed lo his daughter as Mrs. Gardner was not in good health. William II. Adams, grandson of George D. Gardner, look ownership of the ranch p soon after his mother's death in' 1908 and ran it until his death in 1941. With the coming of Ihe railroad to Murphy and the establishment of Ihe main road lo Silver Cily from there, the keeping of travelers and serving of restaurant meals was about over. However, it was a rare meal lhal didn't have al leasl one or Iwo extra places at Ihe table. II used to be Ihe custom thai if anyone was around, or even passing by, at meal time, he was automatically inviled lo slay. Fast cars and a busy pace of life have made lhal kind of thing outmoded in today's world. 11 is a far cry from when all supplies for Ihe ranch were purchased in just two trips to town a year. They were usually planned for June and November and look four days -- one to drive the learn and wagon to town, and one to purchase and load Ihe supplies, one to drive back lo Walters Ferry and the last day home with the cargo. Now Reynolds Creek residents sometimes make two trips to % lown and back -- in a day. The Vlbwn 'referred to was usually N'ampa. though sometimes Caldwell. or even occasionally Boise. Of course, another day or Iwo would have to be allowed (or a trip lo the capital city. A small sample of the purchases made on such a trip were: three barrels of flour. 200 pounds of white sugar. 100 pounds of brown sugar, 50 pounds of coffee beans, 50 pounds of salt, one case 125 Ibs.) of soda crackers, 2J pounds each of dried prunes, apricots and apples, 10-pound sack of puffed rice, one case laundry soap in bars, one case of Gold Dusl washing powder, several plugs of Climax or Horseshoe chewing tobacco, three or four dozen fresh lemons, five or six dozen fresh oranges, 12 pounds of macaroni, five pounds of lapioca, five- pound caddie of sulphur matches and half a dozen brooms. They grew all (heir own fruit and vegetables and sold some lo pussersby and other residents who didn't grow their own. They also buttchered their own meat, bul lhal was limited lo the cold weather when il could be kepi. Milk cows provided milk, cream, butter and cottage cheese, hut only with a lot of lime, cfforl. and know-how. We moderners, with our fuel shortages and high prices, still have it mighty good in comparison. Ella Adams (Mrs. William H.) had quite a reputation as a cook and homeniakcr in her own right. She made bolh biscuits and sourdough holcakes for breakfast every morning. There was also a pot of beans simmering on the back of Ihe big, old Majestic woodslove. Bread was baked once or twice a week- depending on how many places were set al Ihe table. There was most always fresh pie al the noon meal and cold pie for supper. She was never known to serve a pie in the tin it was baked in. II was always slipped on to a plate fur serving at the lable. And the cookies! My childhood visits (usually every other Sunday) always ended wilh both hands full of cookies lo sustain me for the Irip home. Nol to mention ho« many trips (o Ihe pantry during the day. All this wilh no running water in Ihe house or electricity. All washing was done in a tub wilh a scrub board and ironing with a sadiron, heated on the stove. She also made many patchwork tied quills and lots of braided rugs. These were almost all made wilh used scraps of materials and really made good recycled use of things no longer wearable. After World War ] and the coming of the automobile, they weren't so isolated from Ihe rest of the world. In Ihe 1920's Ihere were several big celebrations held al Ihe ranch on the Fourth of July. People came from all over the county wilh baskels of food and spent the day visilitig, playing games and eating homemade ice cream. Usually that meant lhat someone had been up to the snow line and had brought back a couple of gunny sacks full $ff snow. Some times ice was brought from Nampa but real snow was belter -- or seemed like it. In 19-15, the ranch finally passed from the Gardner family and was purchased by William Hoaglandof Melba. The ranch is slill in Ihe Hoagland family. The old house is gone, as are Ihe trees. About all that is left of Ihe old place are the- barn, in precarious shape, some tall old black walnut Irees at the bottom of the old orchard -- and lots of memories. N'ol too many pieces of properly in Idaho have had so few owners. in the Spirit of 76 This rock building was one of the first constructed on the first ranch on Reynolds Creek, now owned by the Hoagland family. Dedicated to uphold a serving spirit in 76 with: * fn-Store Bakeries * Extra Clean Stores * Friendly, Courteous Service * Competitive Prices * Days--Fresher Produce * Extra-Vo/ue-Trim Meats * National Brand Selection * Fresh, Quality Foods * Convenient Family Shopping * Truthful Advertising and Operation Karcher Mall Shopping Center -- Nampa _J j A CALDWELL'SHOMEOF MOTOROLA Quasar TV UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT OF BOB CORNETT JIM TRACY GRAND OPENING TV SPECIALS! Quasar, · ; i3"-SOliDST»Ti?6RTMir- COLOR TV Model No. WT5542MW Reg. $520.00-SAVE$61 Opening Special... $ 459 Quasar 19" SOLID STATE PORTABLE COLOR TV Model No. WP55440LP W/ Serving Cart Base Mediterranean Styling Reg. $559.00 -- S A V E $70 Opening Special... IN CALDWELL (THI COLOR SPECIALISTS) TELEVISIONS RADIOS - STEREOS X-^v AUTHORIZED Uuasar SALES SERVICE ON ALL MAKES! EXPERT KllttiE _ PROMPT · REASOKHBLE T.V. REPAIRS certified electronics 459-4327

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