Idaho History Aug 5, 2018


Idaho County, Idaho

Entrepreneur J.J. Goff

Sign in Riggins, Idaho

Goff Trail and Ferry

Before the wagon road from White Bird to Meadows was completed in 1903, travelers endured a trecherous and roundabout overland journey. Seeing the need for a faster and more direct route, the enterprising J.J. Goff offered ferry service across the Salmon River at Race Creek and built a one-mile trail from Race Creek to Gouge-Eye Flat. Parts of the primitive trail are still visible today.

Goff’s Exclusive Rights

In 1866, Idaho County Commissioners granted J.J. Goff the exclusive right to establish toll charges for his trail and ferry on Race Creek.

Goff — Salmon River Stage Stop


By the late 1870s, the area at the mouth of Race Creek was known as “Goff.” Ever the entrepreneur, Goff bought the Race Creek property, including a stone house and race. The race, or water ditch, was used for irrigation and nearby placer mining.

In 1894, John Levander purchased the property, built the Goff Hotel and Store, and established a post office and stage stop. Levander’s sons, Homer and Edgar, also operated the nearby Goff Ferry.

Goff Bridges

The first automobile bridge spanning the Salmon River at Goff was built in 1911 and 1912 at the then astronomical cost of $15,000. Construction of this bridge completed the first auto road between north and south Idaho. The original bridge was replaced in 1934 with a $34,000 bridge that lasted 65 years. In 1999, the bridge was replaced with the present modern design at today’s thrifty sum of 12.4 million dollars.

source: Idaho Historical Markers
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Goff Post Office 1894-1913

Source: Idaho Post Offices – Idaho County
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Goff, Idaho

The following description of the town of Goff was taken from the Grangeville Standard, Industrial Edition Newspaper. December 1904

One of the most picturesque places along the Salmon River is the stage station and post office known as Goff. It is the home of J.O. Levander, whose enterprise has made this station the beautiful point that it is.

Goff is situated at the mouth of Race Creek, six miles below Pollock. it is the supply point for about a dozen fine farms situated along Race Creek, as well as a large part of the ever-busy mining country along the Salmon river. Mr. Levander first settled at Goff in the spring of 1896. He conducted a general merchandise store, a post office and a hotel. He also had a feed barn and made a business of keeping travelers. His station is the first stop over on the stage line between the Meadows and Grangeville and the only place between the two points where a lay over is made longer than it takes to change the horses.

Two years ago Mr. Levander erected the fine hotel and residence shown in the accompanying cut. (*the microfilm was very faint and a copy of the photo was not able to be copied) It is a real treat to the eye of the stranger who is making his first trip up the Salmon river. He is told that it is a short distance to Goff. He looks up the river and sees nothing but barren hills for miles. He is usually joked and no explanation given. He is just reconciling himself to a long wait and commenting in his own mind upon the estimate of defiance made by his fellow travelers, when he suddenly comes to the little cove in the hillside which he would have never guessed was there.

The following is derived from information in various other publications.

It is supposed that Goff was a road station that was named after Mr. John Goff about 1871. John O. Levander started the first Post Office there for the settlement about 1895.

Mr. Levander was born in Sweden. He came to the U.S. when he was a teenager. He became a freighter in Boise for several years and then began raising stock.

There was once a ferry across the river near Goff, and later a swinging bridge was constructed near the town. There was still a hotel there in the early 1900’s.

source: ©pbc 2004-Present – Keeping Genealogy Free, Idaho County GenWeb
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(click for original)
Courtesy Idaho GenWeb

March 5, 1914

John Levander Dies

Death of a Well Known Resident of Goff Occurred February 24

A report of the recent death of J. O. Levander, the well known pioneer of Goff, in the Salmon river country, is contained in the following clipping from the Meadows Eagle. Mr. Levander was a highly respected citizen of this county and his death will cause regret and sadness among his many friends. The Eagle’s comment follows:

News of the death of John O. Levander reached town yesterday and brought with it sorrow to the many friends of the old pioneer. He passed away Wednesday, February 24, 1914 at his home near Goff, attended by his son and daughter, who have been his faithful attendants during the weeks of his last illness. We understand his funeral will take place tomorrow on the arrival of his children living in Washington county and in Oregon.

Mr. Levander has been a prominent figure in the life of this part of Idaho for nearly fifty years. He was a broadminded man of generous impulses and never forgot the hospitable ways of the pioneer. The stranger, tho in rags, never failed to find food and shelter and help at his home. He endured the hardships of the pioneer bravely and enjoyed quietly and without ostentation the prosperity that came to him as a reward of his industry. He filled the honor many posts of duty and as husband, father, brother, friend and public official proved himself every inch a man. Who can do more?

May he rest in peace and enjoy in the life to come, the reward of his services to mankind on earth.

Exerpt from the book, “Spirits of the Salmon River” by Kathy Deinhardt Hill, —–John and Sarah Levander share the only headstone in the Levander family cemetery, located on Race Creek Road, one-quarter mile west of Highway 95. According to the book, the Levander house still stands, and the cemetery is located directly north of the house where purple irises bloom every spring.—-even though the picture is not clear, it appears to be a beautiful stone monument with inscription–Chris Cornett

Idaho County Free Press, March 12, 1914


A recent dispatch from Riggins contains the following obituary of the late John O. Levander, who died there on February 24:

He was born at Gottenburg, Sweden, December 27, 1837. The father was a civil engineer, born in Flanders, France, and went to Sweden with Bernadotte, who became King Charles XVI of Sweden and Norway. He was closely associated with the king and held a high position in the army. When 16 years of age John came to the United States, and went to visit his brother, who was a California miner, having dug gold on Spanish bar, American river. In 1869, Mr. Levander fitted out a 6 yoke team of oxen, started for Pike’s Peak, but came to the Willamette valley. He had a hard fight with the Snake Indians at the Malheur river, which is near the present agency. Later on Mr. Levander drove cattle to California, returning to Douglas county, and later went to Pierce at the time of the excitement. He mined for Captain Pierce who discovered the diggings and then went to Boise Basin. He was on the stage with Governor Wallace and attended the first county convention ever held in Idaho at Pierce. He refused to act as a delegate to the territorial convention at the Meadows. At Boise, Mr. Levander freighted and also located a ranch. In 1891 Mr. Levander came with his wife, Sarah, to the Salmon river country, where he established a store, and also conducted a hotel. Here he resided till the time of his death. Mr. Levander was one of the most honorable citizens of the Salmon river section. That he had a great host of friends was evidenced by the large concourse of people who attend his funeral services. He leaves five sons and daughters to mourn his loss, Emma J. Hart of Union, Oregon; Edgar, of Cambridge, Idaho (biography located in the book, “Illustrated History of North Idaho, 1903”, Homer of Riggins, Ella May Riggle of Goff, Idaho (Allen L. Riggle biography, Illustrated History of North Idaho, 1903) and Virgil of Asotin, Washington.

Note: In addition to the information above located in his biography in the book, “Illustrated History of North Idaho”, relates he was the son of Gustave and Jane (Kay) Levander. Jane was born in London, 24 June 1796. Her father was a lieutenant in the British army. In 1884, he removed to the Meadows for his wife’s health and there raised stock. Mr. Levander was prominent in getting the wagon road to the little Salmon, building part of the road by his own contribution.

In 1864, at Boise, Mr. Levander married Miss Sarah E. Cox, of Gentry county, Missouri; this was the first marriage celebrated in the Boise valley and occurred in a tent. Mr. Cox was a pioneer of Oregon. Mrs. Levander has the following brothers and sisters, John, Jesse, Oliver, Elvira Prosser and Martha Teal. Mr Levander is the youngest of this family and his only brother, Charles A. died recently. His wife, Sarah, passed away May 29, 1909—“River & Prairie News, 1904-1913”, compiled by Carol Anglen.

Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.

source: Idaho County GenWeb, Information submitted by Chris Cornett
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Adams County Leader, June 15, 1951

“Jonathan Edward McMahan passed away at his home in New Meadows, Monday, June 4, at the age of 73. He was born at Burnt River, Oregon, April 17, 1878 and spent his early childhood there. When he was eleven years old he moved with his family to Indian Valley, Idaho, ad at the age of sixteen he moved to Meadows Valley. During the winters of 1896 and 1897 he packed the mail on his back and snowshoed into Warren, Idaho. In the winter of 1898 he carried the mail from Meadows to Goff, which was located at the mouth of Race Creek below Riggins. He owned an operated the first store in McCall.”

excerpted from : Newspaper References to the Council, Idaho Area 1877 through 1950 Compiled by Dale Fisk, Council Valley Museum
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Will Hanover was born Aug. 2, 1882, the son of Dr. William and Minnie Whelihan Hanover and spent his boyhood in Superior and Delvan, Wisconsin.

… The owner of it, the summer Will was twenty, paid his train fare and trusted him to care for, on the trip, and deliver 2 fine stallions to a horse dealer at Stites, Idaho and there collect the pay for so doing. There he heard of the mining excitement up Rapid River and after a few months took a stagecoach from Grangeville for Pollock, which was then a thriving village at the mouth of Rapid River and from which place travelers and supplies went to the mine. At a stage stop-over-station-hotel at Goff, Idaho, at the mouth of Race Creek, the ranch owner and proprietor there, J.O. Levander, convinced him that the mine promoters and suppliers made more money than the mine workers, persuaded him to stay on as an all around hired hand. He learned the various pioneer skills necessary to stock and ranch management and in serving the public in the Post Office, store, and stage station.

excerpted from: White Bird News, by Toni Baker, Idaho County Free Press, August 22, 2017


Goff, Idaho (6 miles from Pollock)

Idaho Daily Statesman – Boise, Idaho – October 15, 1904

Broke Revolver on Head

Assault on Tennyson Wright, Formerly a Resident of Boise

The following, from a Grangeville dispatch, tells of an assault made on a former resident of Boise: Tennyson Wright, who lives about four miles from Pollock and 60 miles from Grangeville, arrived here this morning stating that an attempt had been made on his life by A.E.(Fred) White, a stockman of Salmon River.

Mr. Wright is a prior settler and owns some valuable land which was given him by a decision of the land office at Boise last month. The claim was contested by A.E. White, who, Wright claims, took it away from him by force. Wright was arrested and brought [to] Grangeville about four weeks ago on a charge of insanity, but was dismissed as sane.

In relating the story of the attempt upon his life, Mr. Wright said: “My wife had company yesterday, and when our company returned home my wife and I accompanied her across this contested land. We met Mr. White and I gave him notice to move his improvements within 30 days. He advanced upon me and struck me about the face and head with his six shooter, knocking me down. He kicked me about the body until my wife interfered and gave me a chance to run into the house. He ran after me for about 30 yards and then turned back and tried to find the barrel of his revolver, which my wife afterward told me he broke over my head.

Later my wife and I went to Pollock. We heard that White and his gang were drinking in a saloon near by.

While we were in a store one of the gang came in and bought a box of cartridges, and I, thinking that another attempt was to be made on my life, slipped out of the store, through some brush and ran up the road about a mile, where I met a man with a horse, and came on to Grangeville, making the ride of 60 miles in 10 hours over a very rough road. I will swear out a complaint for White’s arrest in the morning. My head and body are very sore and cause me much pain every time I move. I am confident that if he had not broken his gun he would have killed me.

Mr. Wright’s face and head show the marks of violence. He also states that the Whites kill his stock and turn their own cattle into his fields, destroying his crops and breaking his fences. He says that he has been shot at several times by unknown parties, and that one night a man who was staying at his place was almost killed by someone in ambuscade.

Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Idaho Daily Statesman – Boise, Idaho – February 24, 1905

Tennyson Wright Killed at Goff

Is Shot to Death by Fred White as Result of Row Over Land

White Goes to Squaw Creek and Commits Suicide – Wright’s Father, Dr. J. B. Wright of Caldwell, Notified of His Son’s Death and Remains Will Be Held for Relatives

Meadows, Feb 23 – Tennyson Wright was shot and killed by Fred White at Goff on February 22. Immediately after the killing White went to Squaw creek where he committed suicide by shooting himself. The tragedy was the climax in a long series of bickering between the two men over the possession of land. On a previous occasion. White shot at Wright and gave him a sever beating.

White will be buried at Squaw creek. Wright’s father, Dr. J.R. Wright of Caldwell, has been notified of his son’s death and the body will be held at Goff until the relatives have been heard from.

Tennyson Wright was a son of Dr. J.R. Wright of Caldwell and a brother of Junius Wright of this city. He leaves a widow.

The father was notified by telephone from Meadows, the message conveying the additional information that the deceased met White at Goff, both being on their way to Grangeville to attend the trial of the latter for the assault upon deceased last May.

This information was telephoned by Dr. Wright to his son here last evening. He further informed him he was sending a messenger to the scene to bring the remains to Caldwell for burial.
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Idaho Daily Statesman – Boise, Idaho – February 26, 1905

Shot Down by an Assassin

Tennyson Wright the Victim of a Cold Blooded Murderer

Details of Double Tragedy at Goff

A.E. White Fired the Fatal Shots Without Warning and Then Committed Suicide

The Two Men Were on Their Way to Grangeville Where White Was to Have Been Tried for Assault to Murder Wright – Bloody Culmination of a Feud Which Existed for Years and in Which White Was the Persecutor and Wright the Persecuted

Details of the killing of Tennyson Wright by A.E. White at Goff on the evening of Thursday, February 22, and the subsequent suicide of White, show that Wright was shot down in cold blood without the slightest warning. The shooting occurred at Levander’s place in Goff and two of the Levander boys were eye witnesses. Wright was in the act of leaving the house in order to avoid a possible clash with. White, when the latter suddenly drew an automatic revolver and shot Wright twice, killing him instantly.

The story of the tragedy from its inception to its climax reads like that of a Kentucky mountain feud, excepting that Wright at all times was a law abiding citizen and did his utmost to keep out of trouble. He was shot at time and again, his horses, cattle, hogs and dogs were killed, his hay burned, his fences demolished, his crops destroyed and he was even arrested on a trumped up charge of insanity.

The trouble arose over the possession of a tract of land in the Squaw creek district. Wright being the oldest settler, had first claim to the land. When the survey was made it was found that White’s house and a portion of his improvements were located on the tract claimed by Wright. White contested Wright’s claim and was beaten in the courts.

Last autumn when Wright’s title to the land was cleared by the courts, he notified White that the latter must move his improvements from the land within 30 days. White became enraged and beat Wright over the head with a revolver and threatened to kill him. White was arrested on a charge of assault with intent to kill and bound over to the district court. The two men were on their way to Grangeville to attend the trial when the tragedy occurred.

Subsequent and prior to the last assault Wright’s life was in constant jeopardy. White and his friends were determined to run Wright out of the country and they resorted to despicable and criminal means to accomplish their purpose.

His cattle were shot down, one by one until he only had one head left. The same thing happened to his horses. Even his dog did not escape the bullets of his belligerent neighbors and his hogs were killed or stolen. ON several occasions White and his friends tore down Wright’s fences and turned their stock into his fields, daring him to interfere. Shots were fired into Wright’s house time and again and when he attempted to save his hay from from destruction by fire bullets whizzed by his ears.

Through the instrumentality of White and his friends Wright was arrested on a charge of insanity. Mrs. Wright was away from home at the time and it is supposed that the White faction intended to burn down Wright’s house and barns when the latter was under arrest. The timely arrival of Mrs. Wright on the night of her husband’s arrest, it is believed, prevented the execution of the plan. The charge of insanity was disproven with ridiculous ease and Wright returned to again become a target for his neighbor’s bullets.

Cold Blooded Murder

Wright arrived at Levander’s on the afternoon of February 22, intending to remain there over night. He was on his way to Grangeville to appear in court. A short time after his arrival White rode up to the house, tied his horse and went into the room where Wright and the two Levander boys were sitting.

What transpired afterwards is told by Stage Driver Freeman and a Mr. Thompson who was a passenger on the Meadows stage.

When White came in Wright said: “I’m afraid of you, White, and I don’t want to go out with you.” “That will be all right, Tenny,” responded one of the Levanders, “we will not put you in the same room and if you don’t want to you need not sleep in the same house.”

Wright immediately started to leave the room and as he did so White whipped out a revolver and shot him twice. One shot took effect in the neck and the other in the short ribs. Wright dropped to the floor dead.

Immediately after firing the last shot White dashed out to his horse, mounted and started back towards his home. The Levander boys started after him on horseback. As they neared Squaw creek, about three miles south of Goff, they overtook White. As they did so they heard a shot and supposing that White had fired at them they turned back for help. Returning with a posse they found White’s body about 60 feet from the road with a bullet through the brain. It is supposed that White feared he was about to be captured and committed suicide.

White was buried at Pollock on Friday afternoon. Wright’s body was brought to Pollock on Friday and will be taken in to Caldwell at once, reaching the latter place on Tuesday morning. The funeral will probably occur at Caldwell on Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Wright’s father, Mr. Fuller of Moscow, will accompany the remains.

Tennyson Wright came to Boise in 1876 and lived here until 1885. He went to Squaw Creek about 10 years ago and located the land over which the dispute arose. White and others came to the district some time later and immediately began to make trouble for Wright. Their conduct was notorious and at one time the matter was brought to the attention of the state authorities and the officials of Idaho County were instructed to protect.

It is possible that the tragedy will result in a searching investigation of conditions at Squaw creek and possibly some indictments.
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Idaho Daily Statesman – Boise, Idaho – March 6, 1905

Wright’s Murder Was Premeditated

Evidence Obtained by Idaho County Officers Shows That Alfred White Planned to Kill Wright at Goff

The Grangeville Standard published the following account of the investigation connected with the murder of Tennyson Wright by Alfred White at Goff and the suicide of the murderer:

Sheriff Greene and Coroner Irvin have returned from their trip up the Salmon River where they investigated the circumstances of the death of Tennyson Wright and Alfred White. They say that there can be no doubt as to the correctness of the facts as stated in recent reports. There can be no question as to the fact that White ended his own life, and the powder marks on his coat showed that the gun had been pressed close against him when the shot was fired. The bullet passed directly through his heart.

The evidence in the case they say shows that White had no intention of coming to Grangeville, but left home with the avowed intention of killing Wright. They were both sitting in the waiting room at the hotel. White had arrived late, his horse lathered with sweat, and when he entered he did not speak to anyone, a performance very different from his ordinary action as he usually was very sociable. He was asked by Mr. Levander if he was going to Grangeville. He nodded that he was. He was asked if he wanted a ticket, and only pulled out a $10 bill and handed it to Levander over his shoulder never taking his eyes from Wright. When it came time to go to bed everyone else had left the room, and White and Wright remained alone. It is supposed that each was waiting for the other to leave. Wright finally made a start, and he had no more than stepped outside the door, when White sprang to his feet and was after him. Riggles who was standing in the door saw him draw the gun, and spoke to him, but White turned the weapon threateningly to toward him, and he kept silent. An instant later a report rang out, “oh,” was the only exclamation which came from the wounded man. White shot him twice more as he was falling, and a fourth time as he lay prostrate on the ground.

The weapon used was an automatic Colts, that belonged to Wright. It is supposed that White has had the weapon ever since their trouble last fall. It is supposed that White heard Levander and Riggles coming after him and fearing there was a mob that would end his life, he decided to turn the weapon upon himself rather than be caught. White was buried at Riggins.

Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
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Grangeville-Salmon River-New Meadows Stage Lines

Shortly after the discovery of gold at Florence in 1861, settlers and miners became interested in the Salmon River area between Riggins and White Bird. Ranches along the river provided needed supplies for the miners, and some served as way stations along the trail to the mines. Although it attracted a few early placer miners, the area did not receive too much attention until the 1890’s. The Nez Perce War in 1877 had an unsettling effect on the river population, but soon after the cessation of hostilities the area experienced an increased growth.

Pack trains and saddle horses remained the standard mode of transportation for supplies and travelers until the beginning of a road system in 1894.

… In September Fred McGaffee replaced Roy Gordon as driver on the White Bird-Goff portion of the line. Gordon moved to Lewiston to care for his brother Sida, who was incapacitated with typhoid fever.
(Idaho County Free Press., September 28, 1898, p. 4, c. 3)

In the spring of 1899 a tri-weekly stage was operating between White Bird and Goff, where connections were made for Meadows. The stage left White Bird on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:30 a.m. The return stage left Goff on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 4 a.m. and arrived in White Bird at 11 a.m. A. A. Robinson, the general state agent, maintained an office in Grangeville.
(Idaho County Free Press., March 24, 1899, p. 3, c. 7)

In September 1901 the State Wagon Road between Grangeville and Meadows was nearly completed and wagons passed over the route daily. By November the road had been accepted as completed by the State Wagon Road commissioners and officially opened for traffic.
(Idaho County Free Press., September 5, 1901, p. 4; November 7, 1901, p. 4, c. 2)

On July 1, 1902, a daily mail service went into effect between Grangeville and Meadows, which made Boise accessible in two days from Camas Prairie. “The stage leaves here every evening at 5:40 and keeps going until Meadows is reached, where there will be direct connections with the P. I. & N. Railroad at Council. From Grangeville to White Bird Leroy Gordon will operate the line, and from White Bird to Goff and from Goff to Meadows the line will be in the hands of Allen Riggles and Freeman and White.”
(Idaho County Free Press., June 2, 1902, p. 1, c. 5)

… In February 1903 Homer Levander and Charles Goodno purchased the Goff-White Bird portion of the line from Allen Riggles, Levander and his wife soon moved from Meadows to the stage station about twelve miles out from White Bird.
(Idaho County Free Press., February 26, 1903, p. 4, c. 2)

excerpted from: Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series Number 793, 1985
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Building a North South Road

With surging populations and the establishment of postal routes, it was becoming clear to those in the north that they needed a reliable and passable route between Lewiston and the population centers to the south. And, when the 1864 Territorial Legislature met in Boise instead of Lewiston, it was clear that a competitive spirit between the two sections of the territory had developed, a rivalry that some believed could only be cured with a physical connection between them.

Recommendations on a route were first made in 1872, when Washington town (in today’s Washington County) postmaster C.A. Sears proposed a joint stock company to construct a toll road from Boise to the head of the Weiser Valley, then down the Little Salmon River to the site of old Goff’s Ferry, situated at the mouth of Race Creek, approximately six miles below the town of Pollock, near modern-day Riggins. Presumably, a traveler could connect to other trails there and get to Florence. However, a new competition soon arose in the quest to unite north and south Idaho, one that pitted one rough route against another. While residents of Warrens desired the construction of a wagon road to their camp further east, which would then connect over several mountainous divides to Florence via a rough trail, residents of the Weiser and Meadows areas believed that traversing the Little Salmon River canyon was the more logical way to proceed. Neither was ideal, though, thanks to the rough terrain, steep mountains and canyons, and the raging rivers.

Territorial leaders nevertheless recognized both the importance of the link as well as the impossibility of sparsely populated and poorly funded counties independently taking on the task of construction. In January 1874, the Idaho Tri-Weekly Statesman first reported that the Idaho congressional delegation was advocating a military wagon road between Fort Lapwai in the north and Fort Boise in the south, traveling along the Little Salmon River from Goff’s Ferry, down the Weiser River valley and into the Snake River valley to Boise. According to the paper, there was “already a trail over this whole route,” and the paper urged the bill’s passage to improve communications between north and south Idaho and to quiet northern rumblings regarding dividing the territory into northern and southern portions. The 1879 General Land Office surveys in the area show a trail along the Little Salmon River as well as another trail, coming up the Weiser River Valley, and connecting with the Little Salmon trail. (See Figure 2.) Furthermore, the paper argued that branch roads to this route – including to Warrens – could be constructed to allow for easier travel to the mining areas in the Salmon Mountains and for the introduction of machinery to the mines, which would bring additional revenues. This road would also shorten the route between from Boise to Lewiston from the existing 400 miles to a mere 260.


The Statesman reported nothing further on the north-south route until January 1877 when the Territorial Legislature passing a memorial for a military road between Fort Boise and Fort Lapwai, in which Idaho’s governing body reiterated the $80,000 request to Congress to build the segment of military road from White Bird Creek to the head of the Weiser River Valley (in Meadows). The Statesman reported that roads already existed between Fort Boise and the Upper Weiser and from White Bird to Fort Lapwai, which left only the construction of the 90-mile stretch along the Salmon and Little Salmon to complete a road between northern and southern portions of the territory.

excerpted from pgs 8-10: “Road of No Return” The Story of Travel Through the Little Salmon River Canyon
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Goff Bridge

The bridge, named after early local pioneer John Goff, also is known as the Time Zone Bridge because it marks the boundary between the Mountain and Pacific time zones in Idaho.

The current bridge [1997] was built in 1935-36. It replaced a smaller steel and timber truss bridge built in 1911. The first bridge also was moved. It went about 50 miles north to Stites, where it spanned the South Fork of the Clearwater River.

excerpted from: The Spokesman-Review May 19, 1997

Note: the bridge was replaced in 1999.
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Idaho State Historical Society Photos of Goff Bridge

1911 Old Goff Bridge – photographer Leonard J. Howard
link to original:

1935 Goff Bridge construction – photographer Leonard J. Howard
link to original:

1936 Goff Bridge – photographer Leonard J. Howard
link to original:

link to all 9 photos: Copyright is held by the Idaho State Historical Society.
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New Time Zone Bridge

Time Zone Bridge in Riggins in 2017.

The bridge marks the dividing line between the Pacific and Mountain time zones in Idaho. (Riggins Ambulance)

source: Eye on Boise

page updated Aug 7, 2020