Idaho History June 17, 2018

Yellow Pine, Idaho 1900-1930

(Valley County in 1917)

1905 First Post Office

(link to larger size)

“Mr. Merritt says that A. C. Behne, the deputy recorder at Morrison is putting up a good sized building to be used as a recorders office, postoffice and store. Mr. Behne aims to carry a good stock of goods which will be a great accommodation to that part of the country.” – Thunder Mountain News May 13, 1905

Yellow Pine Basin, Idaho. First post office; probably burned 1909.
This is probably at Morrison (later known at the Bryant Ranch)

Copyright Idaho State Historical Society Earl Willson Collection
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“Mr. Behne and Mrs. Abstein were instrumental in getting a post office by writing letters – to prove the need for a post office. Mr. Behne established the post office in 1905.”

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
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Gold Stampede at Thunder Mountain Brought New Life to Yellow Pine Area

by Earl Willson The Idaho Statesman, December 26, 1962

Yellow Pine – This story is about Yellow Pine and its site that took root among giant ponderosa trees in a meadow filled with quaking aspens and clumps of willows.

A remote settlement, it actually came into existence just after the well known Thunder Mountain gold excitement, but was little importance even as a tiny village, until the advent of the Bradley Mining Company operations, and subsequent establishment of Stibnite at the Yellow Pine mine near the headwaters of the east fork of the south fork of the Salmon River.

At the time of the Thunder Mountain gold stampede into the Monumental Creek area, Yellow Pine was practically an uninhabited “basin” only a very few miles above “Dead Man’s” Bar and Regan cabins on the east fork where isolated placer mining operations were carried on by the sluice box and the gold pan. Today, these cabins are a tumbled down decayed pile of logs, among which a crude sign was found a few years ago and is now on display over the door at the Yellow Pine mercantile store. The very skillfully cut lettering showed that the cabins were built in 1876, and occupied the winter of 1885 and 1886. Later the structure known as the Buckhorn cabin on Regan Flat, was apparently occupied by a prospector known as Fox.


Albert C. Behne – Postmaster, Justice of the Peace – Yellow Pine Idaho. Courtesy Sandy McRae

Three Cabins Built

When this correspondent first entered Yellow Pine in 1907, accompanied by his father, the late “Profile Sam,” there were only three cabins – the first to be built in the area was unoccupied, and the other two were inhabited by the late Theodore Van-Meter and the late Albert C. Behne who finally became the postmaster, mining recorder, justice of the peace and the founder of Yellow Pine.

Contrary to some people who connect Yellow Pine and its later business and social activities with the Thunder Mountain era, may we set the record straight by saying that it was many years later before a few scattered log cabin homes were erected, or any places of business opened up in Yellow Pine – in fact not until the Bradley mining operations at the Yellow Pine Mine seemed permanent, that the hamlet even reached the proportion of a village. Then its fatherly founder, Mr. Behne, who had applied for a post office in 1905, carried his own mail from the, Johnson Creek bridge (now known as ‘Twin Bridges’) for at least once a week until finally the Roosevelt-Thunder Mountain route was abandoned and in turn rerouted to Yellow Pine about the year 1909.

The site of Yellow Pine, more commonly referred to in the old days as Yellow Pine Basin by the few scattered patrons of the post office just proceeding the turn of the century, was only considered a very beautiful meadow nestling among the surrounding ponderosa forests, and inhabited by denizens of the adjacent areas–a place too, where the few scattered sourdoughs might drop into from the high, snow blanketed areas during the early spring months and somewhat relieve themselves of bad cases of “cabin fever” contracted by all too much isolation.

Homemade Brew

“Cabin fever” could be arrested, at least temporarily, by drowning it in’ the contents of Mr. Van-Meters open barrel of home brew he called “old hen.” Actually a mixture of raisins and other assorted fruits and juices that made up a concoction so highly impregnated with sugar that one tin cup full of the alcoholic beverage would either take one blissfully out of this world or loosen the tongue at both ends. Incidentally too, perhaps “Old Van” had the only tomcat in Idaho that could catch enough mink during the winter months to keep him in tobacco from the proceeds derived from the mink pelts – at least that’s the way the story goes.

The Yellow Pine of today is not just an attraction for the surrounding “hillbillies” and the, outside tourist, hunter or fisherman. Denizens of the surrounding yellow pine forests, after which the settlement was named, still wander through and around the town even as their predecessors did in the ancient meadow, perhaps even in pre-historic, times. Even the bear, whose ancestors came down out of hibernation from the high elevations early in the spring to feed on Mr. Behne’s garbage dump, seemingly are just as curious as to man’s recent endeavors in the village. And no doubt attracted by the scent of food lingering around the homes, these clownish animals have actually disturbed ladies’ privacy by looking in windows — unusual “peeping toms” that after being driven off, we are wondering whether perhaps bruin did not return for another look, so undeniably human are their many antics.

The first school to be held in Yellow Pine was conducted in a tent in the year 1920 by a teacher identified as Miss Smith, and who taught a total of eight children. They were identified as George McCoy, Doris Edwards, Leslie McCoy, Verna McCoy, Ted Abstein, Helen Trinler, Myron McCoy and Gil McCoy. A photograph of this group submitted by this writer, also shows the first log school house and the teacher’s cottage (now owned by William Schlerding of Yellow Pine). These structures were built in 1922, and the village showed little growth up to that time.

Somehow the Yellow Pine of today seems headed in the direction of making a modern hamlet that could well be likened unto the fictitious Shang-ri-la of the far away Tibetan mountains, so vividly portrayed in the book “Lost Horizon,” the similarity being in the isolation of both places. The real and the fictitious, the entrance covered over and then through the blizzard-swept mountain routes, until the final entrance into snow-free areas entirely surrounded by mountain pinnacles that tower above a basin where comparatively long summer seasons, and the greenery of a typical farming community, the likes of which are comparable to the Cox Dude Ranch on the adjoining Johnson Creek, and the Fred Holcomb place on the East Fork.

Comparable to Cascade and Long Valley in elevation, but much more protected from the rigorous winter blasts; Yellow Pine’s present population of “Johnny Come Latelys” are profiting by the small number of early pioneers who blazed the trails and constructed the first pack bridges to span the streams.

Packed in Supplies

These first few settlers from the high surrounding areas were kept busy packing in the supplies needed to last through the eight months of closed trails and the constantly drifting snow. Then the silence broken only by the snow-laden wind and the cry of an occasional tallow hawk.

This was pioneering that those now interred in Yellow Pine pioneer cemetery are but a part of the small group who scattered to the far flung areas of what is now known as the primitive wilderness.

Where in those days such pioneer ventures as the old Werdenhof and the Sunday Mine at Edwardsburg were in operation, and only a winding trail down Big Creek reached the Copper Camp and the Jensen brothers Snow Shoe Mine. These and many other small operations from Profile, Quartz Creek and clear to the Ramey Ridge, were the reason that held those men snow-bound and isolated in regions where only the melting snows of spring could free the trails and again make transportation by pack or saddle animal possible. This was indeed pioneering the hard way.

source: Valley County GenWeb
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Early Yellow Pine District Settlers Battled Hardships in Mountains


By Earl Willson Idaho Statesman September 2, 1963

Yellow Pine – This writer, who has frequently been referred to both sarcastically and humorously as: “Long Line” Willson, or preferably just as “Gabby” Willson, has returned to his retreat atop Profile Summit and the adjacent areas after nearly a months siege in the Boise Veterans hospital.

There successful efforts were made to arrest a badly hemorrhaging stomach ulcer that held him in that wonderful institution completely cut off from his regular line of research into the lives of those early day pioneers and their primitive way of life.

In this area, a road of sorts now winds its way up to this cabin’s steps where a salt lick belongs exclusively to our antlered friends, and occasionally even a mother ventures near with her two last season’s “two-heads” — albeit a little alert but nevertheless content to get her share of the mineral that even the brightly colored birds seem to have a monopoly on during the midday hours.

Early-Yellow-Pine-Settlers-Idaho-Statesman_2-aShadows Descend

And now, the deepening shadows descend on this domain from which we have such a magnificent view of Coin Mountain being tipped by the setting sun, even as this promontory is the first pinnacle over which that celestial body rises to again bathe us and our surroundings with the blessed light of long sweetly scented days and short nights.

As we reminisce further in retrospect, hack to the turn of this century, we can see where the western slope of Coin Mountain is covered with the stark remains of dead and charred lodge pole pines that tower grotesquely above a new stand of young seedlings and increased highland grazing made possible by increased light.

Even the eastern slope below where our original cabin stood, presented the same picture where now a thick stand of balsam, pinon pine and an occasional black pine towers into the heavens and obscures our former view down below where Profile Creek meanders in a southerly direction toward the east fork of the Salmon River and Yellow Pine Basin.

Early Traveler

This is remindful too, of the late Pringle Smith – that eccentric character, and native born southerner, who each season made his regular pilgrimage into the back country with his pack string. He refused to cross any mountain stream over any newly constructed pack bridge, because, as he said, he believed in traveling the bridge that had carried him safely across during all the past years.

Few pack bridges there were though, in those early days, and the fording of swollen mountain streams was often difficult and hazardous in the rugged terrain adjacent to the Copper Camp on lower Big Creek, and up toward Fern Creek and the quick silver mining prospects then owned by Pringle and his associates, then later taken over by the late John Oberbillig and successfully operated by that pioneer under difficult conditions for many years.

Those were the days too, when the late Albert C. Hennecy [sic] owned what later became the Yellow Pine Mine and the thriving inland town of Stibnite, owned and operated by the Bradleys.

Early-Yellow-Pine-Settlers-Idaho-Statesman_3-aTrip Recalled

Reminiscing further into the past, this correspondent can recall a stormy ski trip across this then “no mans land,” and an overnight stop with Hennecy [sic] before continuing the trip into the upper reaches of Profile. That, incidentally, was the rugged Irishman who, among other exploits, had the grueling task that many times forced old Hennecy [sic] to take shelter in the lee of a certain huge rock and an improvised lean-to. Here he would subsist entirely on his usual ration of chocolate and raisins until the storm permitted him to continue the trip on his long skis. In later years, “Old Al,” was equally proficient so they say, in the manufacturing of a special brand of “mountain dew,” often referred to as “squirrel whiskey.”

Those were troublesome times in the wilderness areas, when such characters as those depicted in the accompanying photographs lived that way and loved it. Those were the days too, when the mountaineer might he overtaken by “cabin fever,” to the point where he and his partner had violent quarrels or even came to blows before spring. However, there was that element of closely knit ties that immediately took over when an associate or any far flung neighbor needed assistance. In this hour of need, all differences were forgotten and the only concern was to render succor to a stricken partner.


No Communication

Often this assistance was difficult in those early days because of the primitive areas vast extent, and the settlers often lived isolated in these far-flung areas where no line of communication was available and contact with a fellow man sometimes extended into weeks or even months.

Then when death overtook any unfortunate mountaineer, no undertaker nor minister of the gospel presided over the remains. Usually a rough lumber casket was the individual’s last resting place, but very often not even a wooden box was available but the remains were swathed in a blanket before being lowered into a hastily dug grave.

Today many of these graves dot the terrain all over the back country, most of them unmarked, but mute evidence of the high cost of pioneering in any isolated areas. Some of the more fortunate, however, are resting in a pioneer cemetery like the one in Yellow Pine where community civic pride and mutual interest provides an enclosure and the facilities necessary to beautify the permanent pioneer shrine.

story and images credit Sandy McRae, courtesy Scott Amos, personal correspondence. Note: correct spelling “Hennessey”.
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Yellow Pine Pioneer Cemetery

(2011 personal photo)
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Skis and Skiers

by Harry Withers

In the mining boom days, skiing as a sport in this part of the country wasn’t considered at all. At least, I have never heard any of the real “Old Timers” speak of it as such. Skiing was only a very necessary mode of travel. Some of those old timers were the real experts when it came to making ardous trips such as getting mail into the back country: Thunder Mountain, Warren, Florence, Dixie, Buffalo Hump, and others.

I know some of those old timers and heard some of their accounts of their experiences and never grew tired of listening to them. To name a few, there were Al Hennessey, Charley Newell, Jake and Eric Jensen, Rufe Hughes, Ray Call, and Dan McRae. Big Dan was strictly a snowshoe man.

from “Yellow Pine, Idaho” complied by Nancy G. Sumner Pg 42
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Albert Behne, Founder of Yellow Pine

photo of Yellow Pine’s first postmaster, Albert Behne, at the facility he built. To the right of him is his sometime mining partner Ray Call.

source: Yellow Pine Museum
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Yellow Pine Basin

The Town of Yellow Pine takes its name from the Yellow Pine Basin. Early prospectors covered nearly every square mile of the central Idaho mountains after gold was discovered on Orofino Creek in 1860. Published accounts recall prospecting in the basin as early at 1881. Later, in 1897, a rich gold discovery was made at Thunder Mountain, 20 miles to the north east. By 1902, thousands of miners and prospectors had flooded the region, and a permanent settlement was established at Yellow Pine. The production of gold at Yellow Pine was negligible, although prospecting for gold let to the discovery of antimony which would become important later.

During this period Yellow Pine remained a small supply center and wintering place. Yellow Pine’s historical significance derives from its role as a supply and social center for miners in the area following the 1902 “Thunder Mountain Gold Rush”. It was not until 1930 that a plat was filed on the townsite by Albert C. Behne. A number of the structures which currently exist in Yellow Pine were moved to the site from Stibnite after the collapse of the tungsten market caused by the end of the Korean War. Perhaps a quarter of the town is made up of Stibnite houses built between 1940 and 1945, and moved to Yellow Pine in the 1960’s.

Yellow Pine has been identified as a potential historic district, but will not be clearly eligible for the National Register until the majority of its structures are 50 years old.

Source: Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Stibnite Project Gold Mine and Mill, Valley County, Idaho. By the Payette National Forest 1981, pgs 54-55
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Albert C. Behne

source: “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
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1910 – U.S. Census, Roosevelt Precinct

Idaho County [now mainly Valley County] (Clement Hanson, census taker)

Johnson Creek Trail:

Jacob Camp, age 51, prospector
Clement G. Hanson, age 46, miner
Ida B. Hanson, age 43, (wife)
Albert Hennessey, age 32, miner

Yellow Pine Trail:

Albert C. Behne, age 52, prospector
Oscar Ray Call, (partner), age 32, prospector
Theodore VanMeter, age 58, prospector
Lex(?) VanMeter, (brother), age 46, prospector

Profile Trail:

Samuel Wilson, age 45, prospector;
Samuel Jr. Wilson, (son), age 18, miner;
Charles Ellison, (partner), age 58, miner;

Big Creek Wagon Road:

Eric Jenson, age 40, miner;
Jacob Jenson, (brother), age 36, miner.
Benjamin F. Goldman, age 36, miner

excerpted from: the USGenWeb Project by Sharon McConnel November, 2005
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1912 Second Post office

(link to larger size)

Yellow Pine 2nd post office 1912 with Ray Call, (?) Smith, Theodore VanMeter and Albert C. Behne, postmaster and founder.

source: Copyright Idaho State Historical Society Earl Willson Collection
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Yellow Pine Basin

The Stibnite area was prospected during the Thunder Mountain rush (1902-1905) but developed slowly. Some likely outcrops of antimony were uncovered, as were some veins that showed brick-red streaks of cinnabar, the commercial ore of mercury. Many claims were staked; but the severity of the terrain, the tough, snow-swept, below-zero winters, and the long, roadless distance to a source of necessary camp supplies discouraged most people. Pringle Smith and Albert Hennessey were among the few that stayed and worked the area. During World War I, when mercury for the munitions industry was at a premium, Stibnite came to life again briefly. Some mining was done; some flasks of mercury were shipped and marketed. But it was impossible to get needed mining machinery into the mountains and almost impossible to get the mercury out.

J. J. Oberbillig envisioned development at Stibnite. He spent the years between 1921 and 1927 consolidating the small individual claims, sampling, testing, and blocking out ore that would prove the extent and validity of the veins. He interested Fred W. Bradley in the project, and Bradley took over in 1927. Only hand tools had been used for the exploratory work. There was one small cabin on the property and there were only two trails in. One, the Johnson Creek Trail, crossed high mountains and then a bad stretch known as No Man’s Land, and came down Meadow Creek twelve miles to the single cabin. The other trail followed the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River. Neither was easy to travel.

Bradley installed a mountain telephone line to Yellow Pine. During the summer of 1928, packers brought in 385 tons of machinery and equipment with mules, and they were using 75 head in the packing operation by fall. They could make one round trip between Yellow Pine and Stibnite in a day, and they packed in everything: mining equipment, construction equipment, food. In 1928, the Forest Service started building the road from Yellow Pine and got as far as the East Fork bridge. Bradley started building at Stibnite and reached Salt Creek. Meanwhile, George Stonebreaker, a contractor, hauled 85 tons around on the old Thunder Mountain road. Two steam boilers, one for the sawmill and one for the mine air compressor, were hauled by truck to Twin Bridges and then, with trucks pushing and pulling and aided by four mules, up the Thunder Mountain road to Riordan. There they were unloaded, put on skids, and dragged down the mountain to Stibnite. The load had to be anchored at times to keep it from getting away, and much of the lowering had to be accomplished by the use of block and tackle and snubbing lines thrown around tree trunks.

By 1929 motor trucks were replacing the old pack trains, and by 1930 a hydroelectric plant had been installed and mining machinery was switched over to electric power. A small landing field was cleared. Stonebreaker, who held the government mail contract, retired his dogteam winter postal service to Yellow Pine in favor of a new airplane. The dogs had required three days for the trip from Cascade. The plane was handy for carrying both passengers and light freight in and out of the mountains.

In 1931, the sawmill turned out more than a million feet of lumber for mine and building work; the powerplant was enlarged and rebuilt; a public school was started; and an assay office was completed, as were a post office, numerous warehouses, and new cook and bunk shacks. At the mine, a new record for speed in mine-tunnel driving was established: during the month of August, the Monday tunnel was advanced 663.6 feet. The tunnel, in hard granite, was six by eight feet in the clear where no timber was used and seven by nine feet where timber was required. Three shifts of six men each made the record drive, using two machine drills mounted on crossbars.

Yellow Pine had been a mountain wilderness in 1927; by the end of 1931, it was a modern, busy mining community.

Yellow Pine 1931

… And in 1936, Arthur Campbell, Idaho State Inspector of Mines, was able to write in his annual report: “This property led the State in the production of gold for 1936….Supplies are trucked in from Cascade and concentrates are shipped from that point. In winter, transportation is by airplane. The ore is antimony-gold….

Another wartime mercury shortage, during World War II, helped to make the Stibnite area the second largest producer in the United States in 1943. Important tungsten deposits came into production in 1944, and during the war Stibnite was the leading tungsten producer in the United States. Total yields for the active period, 1932-1952, amounted to $24,000,000 in antimony, $21,000,000 in tungsten $4,000,000 in gold, $3,000,000 in mercury, and $1,000,000 in silver.

source: pgs 14-15, History of the Boise National Forest 1905 1976, by Elizabeth M. Smith. Idaho State Historical Society, 1983
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Yellow Pine Pioneers

Left back: Charles Ellison, Red Metals Mine owner; Fred Holcomb, ranch owner; Henry Abstien, Mining man/horticulturist; Earl Willson, son of Profile Sam.
Left front: Albert Behne, founder of Yellow Pine; Albert Hennessy, miner; Sam (“Profile Sam”) Willson, miner; Bert McCoy, packer; Jimmie Edwards.
Photo courtesy of Long Valley Preservation Society, via Ron Smith
source: Valley County GenWeb
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1920 Census Yellow Pine Precinct

Compiled by: Wesley W. Craig, Ph.D. & Bea Snyder

Abstein, Ednah U. 35 Female Wife
Abstein, H. T. 41 Male Head
Abstein, Henry T. 4 Male Son
Behne, Albert C. 65 Male Head
Call, Oscar R 41 Male Head
Ellison Charles 67 Male Head
Hansen C. G. 56 Male Head
Hansen Ida B. 54 Female Wife
Hennessey, Albert 40 Male Head
Lewis David 75 Male Head
Routson Adelia 22 Female Daughter
Routson Edna 15 Female Daughter
Routson Emmett 12 Male Son
Routson Grant 3 Male Son
Routson John 46 Male Head
Routson John 18 Male Son
Routson Letty 32 Female Wife
Routson Noel 10 Male Son

excerpted from: the USGenWeb Project and the IDGenWeb Project Archives, Wesley W. Craig, Ph.D. & Bea Snyder, January 9, 1997
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1900 Yellow Pine Basin

(cropped from 1900 Idaho Map)
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Yellow Pine Area Timeline

1903 – Al Hennessey filed his homestead on the 160 acres on Johnson Creek that he called Morrison; he later sold it to Bryants (E. Oberbillig in Sumner, p. 19)

August 1906 – H. T. Abstein, president of the Federal Developing Co. came out from the company’s properties in the Profile & Big creek mining districts. They are developing the Crown King mine and assays on some of the ore shows a value of $5,000 per ton. He goes to Lewiston and will return in ten days. (WT)

October 1906 – Albert Behne established the first post office in Yellow Pine and the first mail service, (at age of 52) (Sumner, p. ) “Behne ran a general store for several years. Yellow Pine basin had been an old station on the trail from Warrens to Boise basin.” (Fuller, p. 225)
Hennessey built 3 miles of road from Twin Bridges toward his ranch (E. Oberbillig in Sumner, p. 19)

June 21, 1906 – The board of county commissioners recently received a communication from forest supervisor F. A. Fenn, of Boise, in which attention is called to the law restricting the sale of liquor within a forest reserve. This affects the saloons in Roosevelt, Knox and along the Boise-Roosevelt State Wagon Road. (WT)

November 22, 1906 – The votes counted in our local precincts as such: Warren 46, Roosevelt 78, Yellow Pine 7, Big Creek 6, Sunnyside 21, Warm Lake 4. (WT)

January 17, 1907 – The mail service at Roosevelt is very irregular. The mail arrived twice last week and was taken in with a dog team. The paper mail arrived twice in about sixteen days brought in on a rawhide with a horse on snowshoes. There was eight feet of snow at Cabin Creek summit and the last snow added four more feet. Roosevelt is quieter this winter than before. (WT)

1907 – Yellow Pine consisted of 3 cabins (Jerri Montgomery in Sumner) Yellow Pine residents consisted of Albert Behne, Theodore VanMeter, Sam Wilson & Earl Wilson (anon, in Sumner, p 73) (Earl was 18 yrs at time of 1910 census)

July 11, 1907 – News came out from Thunder Mountain this week that the town of Roosevelt has sustained a severe fire on July 2nd. Several buildings were burnt to the ground and it was good luck that results were no more serious. (WT)

September 3, 1908 – Deputy Van DeVenter stopped in Warren on his return trip from Roosevelt. That section has been visited by many severe electrical storms and he thinks Thunder Mountain is properly named. Much work has been done on the roads. Hay is selling at 7 cents per pound and oats the same figure. While you can get good accommodations for man at $2 a day, it costs $3 to keep a horse. (Idaho County Free Press, quoted in WT)

April 15, 1909 – The name of the post office on Big Creek is to be changed from Logan to Edwardsburg. (WT)

June 1909 – Sam Wilson is in Warren. He reports 5 ft. snow still at his cabin on Profile. (WT)

June 3, 1909 – A large mudslide began May 30 above Roosevelt & is slowly moving toward the town. (WT)

September 16, 1909 – “Notices are up calling for bids on the Warren-Roosevelt mail route. This is special and contract will be let for only one year. Heretofore the Roosevelt mail has gone by way of Thunder City. Bids are also asked for on a new route running from Edwardsburg to Yellow Pine.” (WT)

1910 – 1915 (circa) – bad fire year, Yellow Pine residents petition into national forest (personal comm. – Glenn Blickenstaff)

October 26,1911 – Theodore VanMeter, Curley & George Brewer, etal, sold Ramey ridge copper camp for $100,000 to back-east investors (Warren Times)

1912 – Henry T. Abstein and Edna Lister Abstein spend honeymoon in cabin he built on Big Creek just across from Profile Gap. (Ted Abstein in Sumner, p. 15)

1913 – Bryants arrive on Johnson Creek. (E. Bryant in Sumner, p. )

1914 – Gold and Antimony claims filed in Stibnite. (Wells, p 157)

March 14, 1918 – For the first time in the history of the state, a small production of quicksilver was made from the Fern Quicksilver Mining Co. about 18 miles SE of Yellow Pine PO. This is a recent discovery made less than 2 years ago by A.E. Van Meter. (WT)

1919 – Hennessey received patent on his Johnson Creek Ranch (E. Oberbillig in Sumner)

1920 – First Yellow Pine School held, in tent (Jerri Montgomery in Sumner)
First School in tent, with 8 students. (Cox p 31)
First teacher was Letha Smith (Fuller, p. 225) – (Willson)

1921 – Hennessey sold his 5 Meadow Creek claims in Stibnite to United Mercury Mines

1922 – A log school house and teacherage built in “town proper” [Yellow Pine] (Cox p 31) (Willson)

April 10, 1922 Henry Abstein receives patent on 160 acres which now is known as Abstein Subdivision. (Valley County Records, Book 3, p. 101)

August, 1922 – $114,000 to be spent in building Cascade-Knox Rd & road from Knox to Johnson Creek; $90,000 to be spent on road from Johnson Crk to Y.P. & S. to Deadwood (WT)

1923 – Johnson Creek Guard Station built, replacing earlier guard station which was east of the present day “Rec Hall”. That building was a storage building, similar in construction to those built by the CC’s in the ’30’s. (p.c., Glenn Blickenstaff, BNFS)

September 27, 1923 – Oscar Ray Call receives patent on the SE 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 21. (public record) (In the 1910 US census Call was 32 years old and living with Albert Behne; he was listed as Behne’s partner). Ray & Roy Call had a mine on Ramey Creek.

Hennessey located Hennessey 1, 2, 3 claims on the Stibnite Pit area and formed the Great Northern Mines Co. with J. L. Niday (Oberbilling in Sumner, p 20)

September 9, 1924 – Albert Behne receives patent on the 47.5 acres that he later plats as Yellow Pine townsite. (SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 21, and the northerly portion of NW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 28) (Valley County Records, Book 3, p. 62)

1926 – Harry Withers, age 28, arrives in Yellow Pine, to work at Stibnite. (Sumner, p. 3)

1927 – F. W. Bradley acquired Stibnite mines. (Wells, p. 157)

Clark & Beulah Cox buy Alec Forstrum ranch on Johnson Creek. Lafe 12 years old at the time. (Cox, p)

June 16, 1930 Albert Behne plats Yellow Pine townsite. (public record) (at age of 76)

August 11, 1931 – “Yellow Pine residents caught on booze charges and in jail at Cascade are Roy Elliott, Charles Carwater, Bert McCoy, Mike Smith, Morris Corbett, Wayne Shapply and Mrs. Shapply, Rose Pigg and LeRoy Parker.” (WT)

1932 – Stibnite production of gold & antimony begins. (Wells, p 157)

1933 – J. J. Oberbilling purchased the Great Northern claims from Hennessey and Niday for $15,000 (E. Oberbilling in Sumner, p. 20)

prior to fall of 1933 – Dan MacAskill worked in Stibnite; crew pulled out as result of forest fires, fires had already run them out of Boise Basin (p.c., CMcC)

excerpt from “Yellow Pine Timeline” – compiled by Sharon McConnel (personal correspondence)
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1930’s Yellow Pine

(click on image for original)
[Photo taken the year Fay Kissinger built The Corner Bar. Albert Behne’s cabin with vehicle and people out front. The date was before Murph’s Yellow Pine Tavern was built in 1940 and after 1932 when the YP Lodge only had one story. Zoom in for sharp details.]
source: Idaho Transportation Photo Collection
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1930 Yellow Pine Area Census

(sheet 1)

Name Gender Age Marital Status Birth Year

Clark Cox Male 46 Married Head 1884
Beulah Cox Female 40 Married Wife 1890
Lafe E Cox Male 15 Single Son 1915
H B Paxton Male 74 Widowed Head 1856
Willam H Basye Male 58 Widowed Head 1872
Albert C Behne Male 69 Widowed Head 1861
Homer Levander Male 52 Married Head 1878
Sarah H Levander Female 49 Married Wife 1881
John H Levander Male 21 Single Son 1909
C B White Male 62 Widowed Brother-in-law 1868
Albert Hennessy Male 56 Single Head 1874
George M Hennessy Male 57 Single Brother
Robert Beattie Male 53 Single Boarder 1877
Crosby Brewer Male 68 Married Boarder 1862
Leslie McCoy Male 22 Single Head 1908
George H McCoy Male 16 Single Brother 1914
Myron McCoy Male 14 Single Brother 1916
Ray S White Male 21 Single Boarder 1909
Frank F Foster Male 49 Married Head 1881
E M Hussey Male 48 Single Boarder 1882
Fannie B Farsher Female 38 Widowed Head 1892
Worth Farsher Male 14 Single Son 1916
Dorothy Farsher Female 5 Single Daughter 1925
H T Breen Male 48 Single Head 1882 Oregon
Michial K Pofovich Male 58 Widowed Head 1872
Dugen Swain Male 48 Single Boarder 1882
Joseph Powell Male 36 Married Head 1894
William Newell Male 35 Married Lodger 1895
John Hauntz Male 23 Married Lodger 1907
Earl Smead Male 37 Single Lodger 1893
Charles Heim Male 62 Single Lodger 1868
James Carpenter Male 50 Widowed Lodger 1880
Samuel Wilson Male 66 Widowed Head 1864
Wm Lutsfiesh Male 55 Widowed Head 1875
Geo Stonebraker Male 36 Married Head 1894
Louis E Cloff Male 20 Single Lodger 1910
Ralph Handley Male 28 Married Lodger 1902
Jack Ritter Male 29 Single Lodge 1901
Henry Abstein Male 52 Married Lodger 1878
Geo B Kennedy Male 61 Married Lodger 1869
James Thompson Male 53 Married Lodger 1877
Oscar Shatluck [Shattuck] Male 60 Married Lodger 1870
H W Power Male 48 Married Lodger 1882
Peter Hillman Male 36 Single Lodger 1894

source: Family Search

Leonard and Eva Vantrease in roughly 1930

(1930 Census sheet 2)

Name Gender Age Marital Status Birth Year

Leonard Vantrease 27 Married Head 1903
Eva Vantrease 24 Married Wife 1906
Jean Vantrease 3 Single Daughter 1927
Norman Vantrease 2 Single Son 1928
Mildred Young 17 Single Sister In Law 1913
Wayne Wright 31 Married Head 1899
Mary Wright 23 Married Wife 1907
Howard Wright 38 Brother 1892
Coral Wright 46 Married Head 1884
Zelma Wright 41 Married Wife 1889
John Wright 18 Single Son 1912
Gail Wright 14 Single Son 1916
Francis Wright 10 Single Son 1920
Dorris A. Wright 8 Single Daughter 1922
Charles D. Wright 6 Single Son 1924
Pauline Wright 2 Single Daughter 1928
Wirt Jackson 28 Married Head 1902
Edna Jackson 27 Married Wife 1903
Ralph Jackson 5 Single Son 1925
Virgil Jackson 3 Single Son 1927
Thomas OHern 47 Single Head 1883
Frank Lord 54 Single Head 1876
Alice Lord 79 Widowed Mother 1851
Butler Wells 66 Widowed Head 1864
Perry NethRen 45 Married Head 1885
Pierce Wannemaker 70 Single Boarder 1860
Elmar Taylor 41 Married Head 1889
Eva Taylor 28 Married Wife 1902
Roy Murdick 42 Single Brother In Law 1888
Earl Wells 26 Married Head 1904
Bessie Wells 23 Married Wife 1907
Autoissi Jorajuria 44 Single Head 1886

courtesy: Richard Vantrease (personal correspondence)
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1930 Plat Map of Yellow Pine

1930YPplatBk1p62-aSigned by Albert C. Behne
(click for original)
source: Back County History Project
[h/t SMc]
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Related Articles:

Link: Albert C. Behne
Link: Yellow Pine Area Historical Photos 1928
Link: Yellow Pine History Index Page

Updated October 23, 2020