Idaho History July 31, 2022

1948 Stibnite Mine Roads

19480115Headline

Payette Lake Star January 15, 1948

Truck Drivers Having Difficulty On Stibnite Road

Cascade, January 15 — The untimely three day rainy spell which hit this area late last week played havoc with the Stibnite roads and caused considerable inconvenience to the drivers.

Johnny Nock, driver of the Stibnite Stage, reports that he left Cascade Tuesday morning for Stibnite, and things went smoothly until he left Yellow Pine. This stretch of road is usually dangerous because of rock slides, and as he got within a couple of miles of Hopeless Point, a big slide slid in just ahead of him — about six feet deep and thirty feet wide. After backing up and taking a run at it time after time, he finally had it worked down enough to drive on over it. Then right at Hopeless point, another slide came in behind him, close enough to give him a thrill.

He left Landmark about 8 a.m. on his way out the next morning (Monday) and it was necessary for the rotary to pull him over Warm Lake summit. He was met by the jeep driven by Lee Watson in Scott Valley about 3 p.m., where he left the stage with Watson and drove the jeep and the mail to Yellow Pine. The roads were so slick between Yellow Pine and Stibnite that he couldn’t stay on the road, so he stayed in Yellow Pine that night and went on to Stibnite the next morning when it wasn’t quite so slippery.

But it isn’t just the stage driver that gets the hard knocks. This instance was recounted concerning the truckers: On a trip to Stibnite Bud Harp started up a hill, followed by Carney, when a truck stalled in front of Bud’s truck causing him to put on the brakes so suddenly that the truck back of him rammed into him smacking one headlight off and guaging [sic] a hole in the side of the door. The truck in front received a broken oil pump in the fracas and Bud Harp pulled and Carney pushed him on to Yellow Pine, where he unloaded his load of coal onto Milton Burlile’s truck and went on into Stibnite.

This trip is dangerous at any time, but at this time of year, it is particularly hazardous. So when you hear the big diesel engines roaring out of town in the chill of a winter night, just remember that Bud Harp, Milton Burlile, Lloyd Marnella, Barney Skogerson, Jake Smith, Sam Stillwell, Jerry May, Sasner, and Bobby Hoobler aren’t in a nice cozy bed like you are, but are starting out on a long, cold trip where most anything can happen – and usually does.

source: City of McCall Laserfiche Public Portal
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Photos

83MilesMailStage1
– Whitmore Photo
This is a 939 Chevrolet Suburban, used by Carl Whitmore to haul the mail and passengers to Stibnite. This was maybe one of the first rigs Carl used to haul mail to the mine. I suppose there are many people who can remember traveling in this bus.

83MilesMailStage2
– Whitmore Photo
This was Carl Whitmore’s 1945 Ford Special-built mail and passenger stage from Cascade to Stibnite. This picture was taken on the rote to Stibnite. The printing just below the windows reads “Cascade, Warm Lake, Landmark, Yellow Pine and Stibnite.” Carl took over the mail route on July 20th, 1944 and turned it over to Ray Arnold in 1988. I didn’t ask Carl how many years he used this bus, but I do know many types of vehicles were used.

83MilesSnowPlow1
– Leonard Photo
Truck Number 9 was converted to a tanker after Gordon MacGregor bought the trucks. A snowplow was added during the winter months to help plow the road. This pictures was taken while plowing the rim of Warm Lake Summit after a wet storm. With one truck pushing, they were eight hours opening the rim of Warm Lake. Frank Leonard drove the number 9 truck and Bobby Harrison drove the pusher truck.

83MilesSnowPlow2
– Leonard Photo
Frank Leonard was the driver of truck #9 when wet, heavy snow sucked the plow into the ditch on Warm Lake Summit.

from: “83 Miles of Hell The Stibnite Ore Haul 1942 to 1952”
by Duane L. Petersen
Valley County Museum and Bookstore link:
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Further Reading

Link to Stibnite History Index Page
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