Warm Lake History Part 2
(Link to Warm Lake History Part 1)
Updated Jan 27, 2018
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Warm Lake c. 1911-1914
(click image for larger size)
click to see original
Description: Panorama of Warm Lake from hill 1/2 mile to east
Date: circa 1911-1914
source: U.S. Forest Service Payette – Boise National Forest
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Warm Lake, Idaho
Warm Lake is a 640-acre (260 ha) lake in Idaho, United States. It is located 26 miles (42 km) east of Cascade in Valley County, at 5,298 feet (1,615 m) above sea level. It is the largest natural lake in Boise National Forest.
The lake’s abundance of wildlife makes it very popular for camping, fishing, and hunting. Large mammals present in the area include moose, mule deer, black bear, and elk. Large birds present in the area include bald eagles and osprey. The lake contains rainbow, brook, lake, and bull trout as well as mountain whitefish and Kokanee salmon.
There are two lodges at the lake, North Shore Lodge, which was established in 1936, and Warm Lake Lodge, which was established in 1911. The Forest Service operates three campgrounds around the lake.
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Warm Lake Lodge, Warm Lake, Idaho
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Postcard of the Warm Lake Lodge in Warm Lake, Idaho. All cabins at Warm Lake Lodge have electricity, Frigidaires, innerspring mattresses and are completely furnished for housekeeping.
Publisher Eric J. Seaich Co., Salt Lake City, UT
source: Digital Image Copyright 2013, University of Idaho Library
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Warm Lake Lodge Operators 1911 to 2001
1. Wm. (Bill) and Mary Lou (Molly) Kesler established the hotel around 1911. They sold in 1939 to Dr. Leo E. Jewell.
2. Clark and Beulah Cox leased the hotel for three years (1924-1926).
3. Mr. and Mrs. Louis Gannon operated the hotel 1934-1938 and were called owners in a May 28, 1937 Cascade News article. It states he purchased the Kesler and Gannon interest at Warm Lake. They may have been contract buyers.
4. Mr. Donald Merritt ran the hotel at the time of a newspaper article in May 1937. He may have been a contract buyer or lessee.
5. Dr. Leo E. Jewell M. D. of Meridian bought the hotel from Kesler’s and operated it from 1939-1945. His brother-in-law Leonard W. “Bill” Dodds was manager. Dodds became postmaster at Warm Lake March 15, 1940 (from book “Postmarked Idaho”). They built the first part of the existing lodge and removed the hotel. Several new cabins were built for rent over the years and when they were built old ones were removed.
6. Harold G. “Bert” and Ester Brewster were owners 1945-1947. He became postmaster July 15, 1945.
(Book “Postmarked Idaho” about early post offices in Idaho)
7. Pat and Betty J. Clark were owners 1947-1961. Betty became postmaster June 30, 1947 (PMI). Aug. 31, 1953 the post office was discontinued but soon reinstated. Pat Clark died in 1955. Betty married Andrew J. Wolfe in 1958. Mrs. Betty J. Wolfe was postmaster June 1, 1958 and post office was discontinued on April 30, 1960 (PMI).
8. Bob and Ellie Remington were owners 1961-1977 (plaque says 1976).
9. Ron and Pam Harper were owners 1977-1987.
10. Mike and Lauann Rowland were owners April 1987-____. They were owners on Oct. 4, 1990. They are reported to have the historical letters and papers about the lodge.
11. Lloyd and Linda Glass were owners ______ to May 1995. They now live in Lewiston ID.
12. Russ Cadenhead and June D. Lopez, May 1995 to January, 2011.
This was drafted Oct. 13, 2001 and is a work in progress. This may contain many errors. Any corrections would be appreciated. Additional research will be done. By LeRoy Meyer
source: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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Warm Lake, Idaho – 1951
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From the Mike Fritz Collection courtesty Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
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Charles Gill Interview About Warm Lake
Audio taped by Richard Wilkie July 1978 and transcribed by LeRoy Meyer
Gill: Bill Darling was a fellow who might be classified as a hermit in a way; he lived down on the South Fork of the Salmon River. He had a little acreage down there I would say probably five miles below Poverty Flats. He had a little lean-to shack that he lived in and a shed along side where he kept some horses I guess. He made his living primarily taking hunters out in the fall. This was in the 20’s and I knew him in the early 30’s. He had been here quite some time prior to that. He was well acquainted with Molly and Bill Kesler. They had all been in this country many years. He knew Bob Barr and he was well acquainted with the well-known Dead Shot Reed but Dead Shot at that time was no longer living on his land down of the South Fork. Dead Shot Reed’s is still down there and signs still indicate it but it must belong to his descendants, his boys. It was interesting; I ran across those people and got acquainted with them, visited and talked with them.
Wilkie: I think Bill Darling was a caretaker at my fathers place one winter (North Shore Lodge) and helped my father get in wood or someone with a similar sounding name.
G: That could well be.
G: Old Burt Bostwick was another one of those fellows they all knew and he knew all of those people. They would all get together up at Molly and Bill Kesler’s lodge (now Warm Lake Lodge) there for a session.
W: When did they build that lodge at Warm Lake?
G: Oh, I don’t know, that was built sometime before we came up here. It could hardly be called a lodge. It was a frame building called Warm Lake Hotel, a two story building. I don’t know how many rooms it had; I imagine it had four or five rooms in it and they, Molly and Bill, lived on the ground floor. Then off to the side they had a little building they called a store, not more than 20′ x 20′ as far as size was concerned. Just a frame building.
W: Was it where the new lodge is? No, it was further down towards where the workshop and shed is. That’s further down.
W: Did that burn down?
G: I don’t think it burned down, I think they tore it down after Molly and Bill sold out and left here. They left Warm Lake because it was getting too crowded and went up some place near Yellow Pine but not in Yellow Pine. They wanted to get away but away from Yellow Pine. I don’t know where their home was up there; anyway they sold out to some body that bought out the place (Dr. Leo E. Jewell). They tore the buildings down and built the cabins and lodge that are now there. Molly and Bill lived up there a few years. They were getting along in years and came down to civilization. I don’t know where they went to first. But Bill seemed to me Bill Kesler died in Emmett, I’m not certain of that. After that Molly went to Portland where she had a sister and spent some time with her sister. Then she died and she was buried at Weiser, which was a surprise. When we lived there and noted she was buried there I didn’t know why, but found out later she had relatives that had been living in Weiser. It might have been her mother or father (daughter).
W: When did she die?
G: I can’t recall but it seemed like the 50’s when she died (Nov. 19, 1951). I don’t know how much longer before Bill died (Aug. 3, 1955). Never the less that’s where she was buried.
W: What happened to Darling? He died and I can’t remember what year he died (Aug. 6, 1963). His property was empty for many years and whether he had any family who inherited it, I don’t know or whether it went back to the Forest Service.
W: How old was he when he died, would you guess?
G: He must have been in his late 60’s that was my judgment. Because in the 30’s he was a well matured man in his 50’s, late 50’s, or early 60’s. He may have been 70 or better. I was a little bit young to be able to judge people’s age at that time, as I was only in my 20’s and early 30’s at the time (he died at age of 11 days, 1 month, 86 years at Cascade).
W: How did you happen to come up here?
G: Well we just came up here on a fishing weekend. Mr. Kinney and Mr. Glenn and I, we enjoyed the fishing and scenery and the lake. So that evening after we had fished we were setting around our campfire near the outlet of the lake on the Warm Lake Lodge side. We were setting around and Mr. Kinney said he wondered if anyone could build a cabin on this lake. Not knowing of course, we decided in that case, we stopped in Cascade on the way out and find out, in 1932. The Forest Service, I can’t recall the man’s name at the time, he didn’t know and he would have to write Ogden office, the regional office at the time, and he said come back in a couple of weeks and we’ll have an answer. Two weeks later, we went up and he had an answer. Yeah, we can give permission but we will have to survey the place for lots and a site to build on. But he gave us permission to go up and pick our spot before he even started surveying because we were the first ones to think about it. For that reason we were entitled to the breaks. They didn’t get the surveying of the lots done until 1933. But we started with one cabin in 1932 and built our first cabin. That’s the little cabin. The point was named after Mr. Kinney because it was his idea in the first place and so that’s how we happened to be here and we have been here ever since.
W: What did you do, go all around the lake looking for the best spot?
G: Pretty near all the way but on the one side ever there you can’t get around it because it’s swamp and it’s wet all the way. We walked the shore line pretty completely and got around here and saw it’s beautiful view and then right off this point at that time was where most of the fishing was being done for kokanee or silver sides or red fish because during the fall spawning season the sides turn red. The fish when not in the fall they are silver.
W: Were they still fishing than as well?
G: Yeah, they came here still fishing.
W: Did they rent the boats across the lake?
G: Molly and Bill Kesler had a couple of boats over there. Most people brought their own boats. There was very little fishing being done, very little. But after that when the place opened up for lots, the lots were grabbed up real quick. It was but a matter of years before all the lots were taken and cabins were built. After the first round of lots were taken the Forest Service decided to expand it and they moved to a second level of lots on top of the hills and opened up some lots in Paradise Valley where old Bob Barr had his place and so there were about eight cabins over there I think (10).
W: This was all in the 30’s?
W: When did they put in the swimming pool?
G: The CCC’s did that; they had their camp where the Conservative Baptist camp is now. That was the CCC camp and the boys of the CCC’s put the roads around the lake and roads into the cabin sites and build the corrals, fences at Stolle Meadows and put the swimming pool in and laid the pipe line for our water system around from Chipmunk Creek. They were a real productive organization, the CCC’s at that time in this area in particular. Most of the boys were from New Jersey and New York and far east states.
W: They must have been awed by this?
G: Yes, it was fun to talk to some of them. The fantastic stories and beliefs some of them had. They heard that gold was in Idaho and they thought all you had to do was pick gold up off the mountain and stick it in your pocket. One of them made quite a lot of fun ribbing him about fine gold that we found and they found those in areas where the yellow pines grew the big pinecones. Some of the people that knew a little better used to kid him and got him to believe those were immature pineapples. I guess he wised-up before too long.
W: Where were they housed?
G: Oh they had houses built for them.
G: Right where the Baptist Camp is. And there camp down below Poverty Flats quite a few miles down even beyond Dead Shot Reeds ranch on the South Fork of the Salmon River about 20 miles downstream from here.
W: Did you do any salmon fishing in those days?
G: They didn’t bother fishing you did salmon spearing.
W: You walked on their backs across the river?
G: No, spearing them was legal and everybody up here had a salmon spear. Generally a handle 12 to 15 feet long and we’d walked the riverbank and spot them. Sometimes you would get them under a log, sometimes would get them under a cut bank. Sometimes we would catch them on the riffles. There was a lot of salmon spearing done by people here. The women would go along with a man and they would often wade out in the riffles and stand there while the men chased the salmon up and down until they got them cornered some place where we could spear them. The women would stand and splash the water in order to keep the salmon from going between their legs and swimming on upstream and getting away from us. It was a lot of fun in those days with a lot of salmon. There were thousands of them in the river. Since the dams have filled the Columbia River up there is not as many salmon as there used to be.
W: I think when we bought the resort we didn’t know there were salmon up here. My father went over fishing with a little spinner over on the river and before the next thing he knew he had a salmon on and thought it was the biggest trout he had ever seen.
G: I caught them on a pole and line with a spinner. They don’t strike it too well yet at some of them, at certain times when they are freshest up here they will fight it especially if they had some red salmon eggs tied to it or red rags or something tied to it. I don’t know what there was about the red that made the salmon mad I guess. They thought it was eggs and they would come to drive anything away from the eggs and would come and hit the spinners.
W: They thought they were stealing the eggs or something?
G: Well I think they thought the spinner was probably another salmon or fish or something that was coming to eat them and they were hitting the spinner to try and drive it off. They didn’t really come up and try to swallow it because they say salmon don’t eat anything after they leave the ocean. All I ever caught or killed had empty stomachs so I’m sure they weren’t eating. They strike the lure because they are mad. That days gone forever, because there will never ever be more spearing done. I guess the Indians are still allowed to. There are not near as many salmon as there once was so there is not as much salmon fishing done really except in the main Salmon. The South Fork and Middle Fork, there is not much there.
W: Have you ever heard whether there were Indian groups around the lake in prior times?
G: I have never heard that but I assume there must have been. Whether they lived here or hunted in this area I don’t know but there must have been some.
Female: The Sheepeater Indians have a monument up here on the summit.
G: The Sheepeater Indians killed a white man on that first grade as you come out of Cascade. There is a monument commemorating that man.
W: I remember that monument. You can’t get to it now.
G: You have to take the old road to get around to it. He was, actually the Indians that killed him were horse thieves that had stolen his horses around Indian Valley and he had tracked them. They way-laid him. They knew he was after them and that’s where they killed him. I don’t recall what his name was but it’s on the tombstone down there. I’ve seen it and I’ve read it in a few history books about highlights of Idaho history but those were suppose to be Sheepeater Indians as they were called, that did the killing. I don’t know whether they were ever apprehended or ever anything done about it or not.
W: The cavalry came through here once chasing them and went into the Middle Fork, Artillery Dome was named after the military because they drug a cannon all the way in there. No roads.
G: That wouldn’t be part of the route Chief Joseph took?
W: No. His retreat was farther north toward Lewiston. Different territory entirely.
W: There weren’t too many Indians around this area.
G: There were Indians in this area; this isn’t too far from Council Idaho you know. Council was the meeting ground. That’s how it got its name. The Indian chief’s had their pow-wow’s there when they gathered to make plans and meet at the area where the city of Council now stands. There were plenty of Indians all right in this part of the country. How much they, whether they lived in any length of time any given spot or not is highly questionable. I suppose they were on the move most of the time. They probably hunted up here and maybe got salmon up here and picked berries up here in this country.
W: In the summer time?
G: Yeah, they wouldn’t stick around here in the winter. It’s too tough a winters, they would go down the Salmon River. They might have followed the elk herds and deer down the river for the winter. If a person had all the facts it would be a real interesting history.
W: I would like to know more about the town of Knox (Knox was one mile NW of Warm Lake). Who founded it for example and who built the buildings that are there and what they all were. I know they had one main street that had a blacksmith shop and a tavern or a bar.
W: There was a town there?
G: Store yeah. It could be called a town, a town of Knox. You are using the term town rather loosely when you call it a town because it was just a way station on your way to Thunder Mountain. The pack strings and stuff stayed overnight there. They had a place to sleep and feed their horses. A place to shoe there horses or do things like that they had to have done but when we came up here that day was long since gone. I don’t remember who was over there. The only building that was there that was being occupied was the big house that still stands there. I can’t remember the name of the people that lived there. It was pretty nice. We bought milk there and eggs there and bread. The lady that ran the place for some reason or another she had been nicknamed gold tooth. She had a gold tooth in front of her mouth. She was a beautiful woman and was one of those women who was absolutely spotlessly clean and anytime of the day when she came to the door you would think she had just stepped out of the beauty parlor. Her hair was made up. Her apron was spotlessly clean, her dress was spotlessly clean she looked like she stepped out of a bandbox as often say. A very pleasant person. I guess her husband; oh he ran a few cows in that pasture they had over there and then he packed in the hunters during the fall. He had a pack string and would take hunters in to these high lakes for deer hunting and elk hunting trips. But I don’t know what their names were and what became of them.
W: Then the Renieke’s bought it?
G: I think it was the Renieke’s that bought it, got it after that. I don’t remember what her or her husbands name was, I don’t think there name was Reineke. Reineke came along later I’m sure.
W: Where would one dig that information up?
[G]: Probably at the county court house, you would have to dig it from the records there. I imagine any transaction of the property would go on record. I imagine it might be at the Forest Service office. It was not Forest Service land; it was private land so I don’t know why the Forest Service would have it on their records. Any transaction would have been recorded at the courthouse.
W: When were the forests established here? Do you have any idea on that?
G: No I haven’t. I haven’t the slightest idea on that. I don’t know when they started calling that the Boise National Forest. I suppose it was just one of the national forests that was established. Way back in the early statehood days back in the 1800’s whether the boundaries were the same as they are today is questionable because I doubt if there had been any major surveys conducted in the state before the 1900’s. The boundary lines were ambiguous I presume. Probably based on a mountain ridge or a river or a stream would be the determining line until the surveys were completed.
W: Where did you get that bear?
G: Old Burt Bostwick shot that bear. Shot it at the upper end of the lake and he gave the skin to Mr. Kinney. Mr. Kinney had it made into a rug. It laid on the floor of this cabin for several years until it began to get kind of beat-up from walking on it so we put it up there to preserve it.
W: It looks good up there.
W: What year was that?
G: It must have been around 1938.
W: Any grizzly up in this area when you first came?
G: No, I don’t know if there has ever been grizzly in this country, none around when we were here.
W: Do you know when North Shore Lodge was built, Carters Camp, North Bay Camp?
G: I don’t know what year it was started but it must have been in the 1930’s (built in 1935). I would judge it was probably, if I were to make a guess I would say 1936 to 1938 somewhere in there. I don’t know how many years he kept it either.
W: We brought it from him in 1945.
G: He probably, it was probably 36 or 38.
W: Did they put in lawns and flower gardens? It was actually beautiful. None of those things would last. We kept them up quite nicely. It sure went down fast when we sold it to Chapin’s.
G: Well you know there are people who get these things like a lodge to make a quick buck and then get out from under it so they don’t care how it looks as long as they get the money. Yeah, and they will sell and this happens quite often when you get an unscrupulous owner. All he is interested in is making money and because it is the popular thing for a while and then he sells out. And that’s happened up here a time or two on both lodges.
W: Yeah, I guess they stopped a dentist from Phoenix or someplace from coming up here and doing this and wanted to use it for a tax right off.
G: Well I don’t remember that case but I can remember one owner that came from California and bought Warm Lake Lodge and he was advertising through his friends in California and the wealthy people in that area. He guaranteed they would catch all the fish they wanted. He was taking in pack strings of fishermen to Long Lake. This was at the time Long Lake was the best fishing lake in the country and was loaded with beautiful rainbows and cutthroat. He took parties up there 10-15 in a party on horseback and they would stay overnight and maybe stay two night and just catch those fish by the dozens and bring them out. Of course it didn’t take but a couple three years before the lake was fished out. But his sole interest was the moneyed crowd he wanted to get them in here and get their money and when fishing ran down and things went haywire he got rid of it.
W: Was it Clark?
G: I’m not sure. It seems to be it was though.
G: Did he die up here?
W: He died someplace yeah he died.
G: His wife and boys were partners and then they got to fighting and so the boys sold out.
G: They didn’t want anything to do with Warm Lake residents and Idahoans. I think that’s probably the person that … [?]
W: Long Lake in the old days was a real fishing spot.
G: Oh it was a terrific spot. It was about a four-mile hike when you drove up to Mormon Creek. If you were willing to make a four-mile uphill hike to get to the lake you got some fine fishing. But of course when you rode up on horseback it wasn’t much of a trip.
G: But there were a lot of us who hiked up there 2 or 3 times every summer. Well, I don’t know whether you remember the fellow by the name of Bill Allen who had a cabin over there by North Shore Lodge, owned by Rudolph now. Bill Allen was the one who had the cabin first. Bill was quite a fisherman, surprisingly a fine physical specimen for a man his age. He would hike to Long Lake 2 or 3 times every summer to go fishing up there and I’m sure he was in his 60’s when he was doing that but he was a tough man. He and his wife stayed in here all winter 3 or 4 winters, they stayed in all winter.
W: He was retired then.
G: Yeah, I don’t know what his: I think he had been a railroad man.
…. would have been the hunter and the roamer but he was a house cat. He wouldn’t leave the place at all, but the beautiful Angora cat; he would leave the cabin and sometimes be gone a week or 2 or 3 weeks and come back fat and sassy. He would kill gophers and squirrels and tramp the woods like a wild animal. He was a beautiful cat but when wintertime came he stayed around home. Bill Allen and his wife were fine people and they stayed up here all winter and cut a hole in the ice and fished. Before the snow was too deep they kept it scraped off and they were a great pair to ice skate, over in front of their cabin. They were a fine pair and their home was Emmett.
W: When did they sell, would you guess?
G: I can’t remember but it would have been sometime during the war years. Between 1945 and 1950 somewhere. Before Rudolph’s bought? They were there when the drowning occurred (Aug. 31, 1945).
W: Did anyone else stay there in the winter?
G: Burt Bostwick always stayed up all winter and Bob Barr and Bill Hall stayed a couple of winters and Molly and Bill Kesler. There was anywhere from 6 to 10 people for a period of 4 or 5 winters that stayed up here together.
W: Who was Hall?
[G]: He was Bakers brother-in-law.
W: He stayed at Bakers cabin?
G: No, he had a cabin around there on North Shore Drive on the other side of North Shore Lodge, next door to where Kniefel’s cabin is.
W: The first one or the second one?
G: The one toward the lodge. I don’t know who has it now. But that one Bill Hall built, I don’t know if his name was Bill or not (his name is Earl Hall). But anyway he built that one himself. He stayed in all winter. He was kind of a hermit type fellow. I remember one fall he took me in there to his cabin. He took my upstairs in his attic to show me his huckleberries. He would go out and days on end he would pick huckleberries. He had a framework built up in his attic. It was covered with canvas and he would spread his huckleberries all over that canvas. Under that roof on a hot summer day, hot sunshine in September, it would dry those things. They would shrivel up just like a raisin. When they got dry and shriveled up he would put them in sacks and clean bags. When ever he wanted to make a pie he just took a handful out and put them in water and they would pump up and just as nice as fresh huckleberries. He would do that ever fall, he would do that for muffins and hot cakes and pie all winter long. He would have several gallons of them all dried. When they pumped up they, a handful would make a bowl of them.
W: There don’t seem to be too many huckleberries around here any more.
G: This year there sure isn’t. Some years, I don’t know the reason why, some years we get a real good crop and might go three or four years and hardly get any and then another year we get all kinds of them. Year before last was a real good year. Last year there was just a few it was spotted here and there. I can’t find any this year yet. I haven’t been able to run across any so I’m afraid they all must have got frozen. But I thought it would be a good year for them, we had so much moisture and I didn’t think we had any cold weather this spring. We might have had a freeze at the wrong time.
Three western folk songs are played at the end of the tape.
This audiotape is a real treasure. Isn’t it wonderful that Charles Gill and Richard Wilkie took time to record these stories in July of 1978.
source: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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Warm Lake – from near Warm Lake Summit
(click to see original photo)
Photographer: Ansgar Johnson Sr.
source: Idaho State Historical Society, Harry Shellworth Album
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Post Offices in the Greater Warm Lake Area
From a book “Postmarked ID” in the ID State Historical Library
The names of the postmasters are listed.
Post offices are listed in chronological order of the date the post office was established.
1. Washington established Jan.28, 1869 and discontinued Apr. 27, 1868. Reestablished July 27, 1870. Renamed Warren on Aug. 14, 1884.
2. Van Wyck established Mar. 14, 1888 about 3 mi. SW of Cascade. Discontinued on Sept. 29, 1917. Mail service was moved to Cascade.
3. Lardo established Nov. 30, 1889, 1 mi. west of McCall. Discontinued Oct. 15, 1917 and mail service moved to McCall.
4. Crawford established Sept. 19, 1890, 4 mi. NE of Cascade. Moved to Cascade Mar. 15, 1915.
5. Resort established June 1, 1898. Renamed Burgdorf Nov. 16, 1915. Also called Fred (Burgdorf) Warm Springs Resort.
6. Roosevelt established Feb. 15, 1902 about 18 air miles east of Yellow Pine. Discontinued Sept. 15, 1915. Mail moved to Yellow Pine.
7. Comfort established Oct. 7, 1903, Lawrence J. Phelan: Ernest W. Heath, June 15, 1904; Charles S. Smith, March 22, 1906; discontinued June 29, 1907 mail to Warren. On South Fork of the Salmon River 7-8 mi. SE of Warren, Center Sec. 2, T21N, R7E.
8. Knox established April 5, 1904, Charles C. Randall; La Velle L. Bush, May 6, 1907; closed June 30, 1908 mail to Thunder (rescinded); discontinued Oct. 15, 1908 mail to Thunder. 25 mi. NE of Cascade, SE Sec. 2, T15N, R6e.
9. Thunder City about 6 mi. west of Cascade. Established June 11, 1904, Minnie M. Avery; Charles T. Barringer, May 16, 1905; Just R. Warner, July 27, 1905; Fred S. Logue, Apr. 17, 1906, Thomas L. Armstrong, Dec. 14, 1908; John S. Logue, Jan. 4, 1911; Ella Smith, June 10,1912; Ella Cromwell, Nov. 5,1914; discontinued Dec. 30, 1916, mail to Cascade.
10. Elo established Mar. 31, 1905. Moved 1 mi. north and renamed McCall on July 13, 1909. Located 3.5 mi. SE of McCall.
11. Thunderbolt established Nov. 17, 1905, Wm. L. Standatler; discontinued Sept. 29, 1906, mail to Knox.
12. Yellow Pine established Oct. 5, 1906, Albert C. Behne.
13. Cascade established Sept. 19, 1890 as Crawford; renamed Cascade Mar. 15, 1915, Sarah A. Jones; Charles B. Mirgon, Nov. 23, 1921; Eva Hurd, July 1, 1927; Harold P. Gorton, Jan. 31, 1928; Leroy Lisenby, Dec. 19, 1930; Ira F. Madden, June 25, 1931. On UPRR 80 mi. north of Boise; 27 mi. S of McCall; on Payette River, center Sec. 26, T14N, R3E.
14. Stibnite established May 29, 1927, Harold D. Bailey; discontinued July 7, 1957, mail to Yellow Pine. Located 73 mi. NE of Cascade; 13 SE of Yellow Pine. NE Sec. 15N, T18N, R9E.
15. Warm Lake established Mar. 15, 1940, Leonard W. Dodds; Harold G. Brewster, July 15, 1945; Betty J. Clark, June 30, 1947; discontinued Aug. 1, 1953 mail to Cascade (rescinded) Mrs. Betty J. Wolfe June 1, 1958 (wed); discontinued April 30, 1960. A summer post office. 29 mi. NE of Cascade; 3 mi. SE of Knox; Sec. 7, T15N, R7E. At a summer lodge.
16. Deadwood established June 2, 1944, Oliver J. L. Hower; Charles F. Talbot, Aug. 20, 1945; Mrs. Frances Cahill, June 10, 1946; Mrs. Twilia L. Pratt, Aug. 13, 1946; discontinued June 30, 1948, mail to Cascade. At Deadwood Reservoir; about 25 mi. NE of Garden Valley. Summer office; made year around 11-5-46.
source: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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Warm Lake Post office History
established Mar. 15, 1940, Leonard W. Dodds
Harold G. Brewster, July 15, 1945
Betty J. Clark, June 30, 1947
discontinued Aug. 1, 1953 mail to Cascade (rescinded)
Mrs. Betty J. Wolfe, June 1, 1958 (wed)
discontinued April 30, 1960
A summer post office.
29 mi. NE of Cascade; 3 mi. SE of Knox;
Sec. 7, T15N, R7E. At a summer lodge.
source: Valley County GenWeb
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Thunderbolt Post Offce
Thunderbolt mine located 4 miles up Cabin Creek from Paradise Valley
1905, Nov. 17 a post office was established at Thunderbolt with Wm. L. Standatler as postmaster.
It was discontinued Sept. 29, 1906 with Knox as the nearest post office.
From the book Post Marked Idaho.
Excerpted from: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
Valley County Post Office History
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Thunder Bolt Mill and Mine
By Ron Smith
Located Northeast of Knox was the Thunder Bolt Mill and Mine. Bob Barr, an early settler in the Knox, Warm Lake area, states that this was a typical gold investment scheme. The investors lost their money to the promoters. A bucket tramway was constructed to deliver ore from the mine to the mill. According to Mr. Barr the mill had two stamps to process the ore. A sawmill was also installed.
After a period of time with no dividends paid to the stockholders, the money for the mine operation was halted. This also stopped all work at the mine. As so often happens, the mine workers and local merchants didn’t receive the money owed to them.
excerpted from: South Fork of the Salmon River Mines, “Pans, Picks and Shovels, Mining in Valley County, Idaho”, Valley County History Project
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Bob Barr Interview
This is transcribed from an audio-recorded interview that Dick Wilkie and Skip Dolphin made while visiting with Bob Barr in the early 1950’s. Bob Barr was an early settler in Paradise Valley, north of Warm Lake one mile. They started off talking about the mine platted as the Golden Bar Placer Mine on Cabin Creek northerly 4 miles from Paradise Valley.
Barr: Just a big pile of timbers I guess. Yeah, there’s nothing left there now. You know (Bill) Kesler I think claimed that and he took dynamite and shot it down. You’ve seen the picture down there… haven’t you? Well he claimed they owed him for stuff there at the hotel and he claimed he shot that down and hauled out a lot of lumber. That cabin where I lived was the assay office that was like new stuff. They had a sawmill up there you know to make all that and he gave that to his nephew when he took that, I guess he got him to take the lease down there (Warm Lake Hotel). He was a Pritter, Pritters back in to the Cinnabar Mine.
Wilkie: Well the mine was right under the building then, huh?
B: Yeah, they had two big stamp mills down in the bottom there they was all in, everything was in running order the first time I was there. Pig Starr took us right there and we stopped down the road, there was a little barn down there to get the four horses in and we packed our grub box and everything up there. They had slab wood about three feet long. Oh you could have a roaring hot fire there and we dried out and we camped right in there. We made us a grub box out of some of that new lumber while we was there. I don’t think we had any saw, just whittled across it. We stayed there till the weather was over.
W: What kind of ore did they get out of there, silver wasn’t it?
B: Gold was it, what was supposed to be, they never got any. If there was ever any that showed up in there the fellow that was running that stole it. He skipped out just before the stop orders began to come in from back east. A fellow by the name of Snow was superintendent there. I don’t know, maybe it was like the mine Reach, old Airpreson, Halloway and them down there, old Richards, maybe he put the gold in it that was taken out. They sold it, them days you could sell anything that (the name) gold mine would use. Old (John) Reeves, old (Elmer) Bell and John Knox, now the one that had the cabin here by Warm Lake. They was all in that (mine). They had a cabin that was made out of great big logs right over north of us a little ways. It was a standing when I was new up in there. I don’t know if they, how they worked it, they sold it and got plenty of money out of it, if there wasn’t anything in it. They put in that mill and they had a double cable there that brought that ore down and when the buckets full, the great big buckets, and sent the empty back when the one come down.
Young boy: Where is the Thunderbolt mine at?
W: Right where we went to, the big pile of timbers.
B: You see it was on the hill above where the old mill was.
B: That’s where the cable come down from, that’s where the old cabin was.
W: Well there was a building up there over the mine or something wasn’t there?
B: Oh yes. They had a new building built over the mine, over everything. The sheriff took that. I don’t know as they had much on the rift. They just took it, hoisted that up and put it in the buckets and ran it down on the cable about a quarter of a mile and they had a road that went right around the hill. I was up there a lot of times.
W: Was the tunnel way up on the hill, is it?
B: Yeah, just a straight down shaft down to that and they was shoveling out the ore. They had a… old Reeves and old Bell and John Knox was all in that and they had a cabin there right over north of the shaft where the gold mine was. When they sold it this company built that mill. Two big stamp mills to work that ore and a big crusher you know, it came in at the top, the cable did.
W: That’s the stamp mill in the picture over there in your cabin is it?
B: That’s the mill just above the road. They had a lot of houses around there, new cabins, the first time I was there.
W: And the shaft is right up the hill behind it.
B: Right up west. I guess about a quarter. They had a road that ran around it was a mile or more to it by the road to get around by wagons you know. I went that way quite a lot of times hunting for birds and huckleberries and up that road there was plenty of birds and huckleberries both. They had an old time cabin and then down this side of there about one and a half miles or so old John Knox had a cabin of his own. They all had several rich claims but old John Knox and old Reeves and Bell was in that. Old Reeves I recon he was the big shot, he got $17,000 for his part. I think old Bell and old Knox just got $10,000 apiece. That is enough money if you took care of it and if you left the fools alone. That fall old Reeves went back to St. Louis and stayed all winter and came back dead broke and ready for someone to grub stake him. I never did feel very sorry for him.
Deadwood Area Mining: Of course he got in on the Deadwood (mining) and got somebody to grub stake him down there. I guess when that Bunker Hill and Sullivan took over that tall mine down there he could have sold out and got money out of that. Old Baker, old Bill Baker who lived here in Scott Valley, he had a shaft right there in their way, right under where they dumped that stuff and they offered him $3,000 for it. He had 20 acres and you get 20 acres with every claim you know and they wanted that timber too. No, old Bill wanted $30,000 for it so he died on a little pension he got. He never got anything out of the mine. They wanted to get him out of the way and dump their millings right there you know, where his shaft was and they would use a lot of that timber he had, he had on that 20 acres, not all of it had timber. That $3,000 would have done him quite a bit of good and he was awful hard up. But he was afraid they was going to make a million-dollar mine out of it, but they ran at a loss all 8 years there. They mailed out a lot of stuff and hauled it in but ran at a loss all the time. It never did pay its way. During the war (WWII) they got the government to back them down. Old Reverend Davis out here, he got a company St. John National Zinc Co. to take it over and run it and the government had to pay a lot there. I knew lots of fellows that was working there. I was there at Landmark. They said if the government or something was paying it that they wasn’t selling enough stuff out of there. They ate meals and stamp hauled it out and got everything they could find. The government wouldn’t let them quit on account of that lead and zinc in there. That mostly was silver in that; they didn’t care so much about that in time of war. As quick as the war was over the government withdrew there half, it went down right then.
W: It never made any money, huh?
B: Well they had some ore in there, they thought they would strike a big knot of it you know and they were doing that. The Bunker Hill and Sullivan would get, as long as they were developing it they would get their money back on income tax and finally after they got to milling it they couldn’t get anything back. Then they developed where they thought maybe they were going to make some money out of it but silver, that was what they had to most of, got down so low it wouldn’t near pay its way. Then they wanted to shut down for a while and wait till silver came up so it would pay expenses, the stockholders there in Boise, some were Hawe and Jack Troy and a few of them like that wouldn’t let them. They said they would keep all the tunnels open and everything ready to go as quick as silver came back up to where it had been, but in less than two years silver came back up to more than twice what it was when they shut down. They had it opened up and running again but they kept on until all them died paupers.
Young male: How did Cupp Brown get its name?
B: Some old fellow by the name of Cupp Brown …
B: I guess he was a younger fellow that had sheep up in there. I don’t know if he was Sam Cupps father or what, I knew him in here.
W: Well he built an old cabin up there then, huh? Well Cupps did. Well there’s an old cabin up there.
B: Well I don’t know if he built that or not. There was a trapper cabin somewhere up there.
W: Maybe that’s it.
B: Yeah, but I guess Cupp ran sheep through there and made them corrals about working the sheep you know. He came in there in the spring and had that, but I’ve known Cupp corrals ever since I had been in the country. I don’t know how it was named. I knew a packer Sam Cupps back in here about as no good a fellow that ever breathed. He paid all of his bills with checks back in here. Never did know of anybody who got a dollar on one. If he got a hold of any money why he took it in his pocket. They say he was a good driver and a good packer and all but dump master of …on earth and never paid anything. I didn’t have a chance to teach him, and finally somewhere back up here I seen in a paper where one of then poison rocky mountain wood ticks bit him and killed him. I never thought them things ever done any good before. It was good they killed as no good a tramp as he was. Done a little good.
Now him and Cy Johnson packed that old millionaire oilman in that come up for the summer. He come to Nampa and come from Bunker City, old Mack Passage it was getting way up in years, then turned 70’s he liked hounds I guess. He had 40 hounds. He had metal crates made for all of them. Money was no object to him. He had a young wife. I expect he had set a lot of money on her when she married him. Fairly good looking gal but she come through in the fall and went back to the camp in Chamberlain Basin where they was going to try and get a grizzly but they never did get any. I heard old Cy say several times, there’s never a grizzly in the Basin. There wasn’t any in the country but then old Sam Phillips getting on a big drunk in the fall started on, a big snowstorm caught them on the other side of Landmark and they lost their horses. There was one along the trail they found, old Sam put the poison in that and killed a grizzly bear. Somebody was with him, I don’t know who, later on, he had one that belonged to me (horse), it and two more got way back of the Chillkoot Pass, I seen the bones where they died over there and old Stone was trapping in there when they was two of them there. He said he seen them after they got snowed in way high and didn’t have his pistol with him. The next time he came back he brought his pistol but one of them was dead and he shot the other one (horse). But that old Lilly he was along, old Lilly the fellow that hunted in Colorado with Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt got him to hunt bear with him in there. He said there was sign of grizzly in there on the trees. Their claws are different than other bears. For the last 20 years there was one over their where I worked on the head of Meadow Creek. I would see its tracks about every fall but it would den up somewhere right in there. See they have great long claws that stick out of their long fingers, out from their pads. But I don’t know what went with that. I never did hear anything about any tracks of it or anything after I quit staying back there. Which I would see them tracks every fall in there. He had a place he denned up in some cave or something with a bed in there you know. They stay around, all them bear have their place fixed to winter.
I went one summer, I and another fellow we had a wagon and three horses and got up in there and stayed till, he stayed till he claimed he had to go home that week. We camped at the mouth of Sulphur Creek, oh Lord; fine fishing there. As we came in we met a big bunch of horses and some old mining man, that was old Con Murphy. He went to the pen for old Con Dewey when Conner’s killed a man down there once. He shot him in a fight and some way old Murphy took it upon himself and took the rifle. (Laughter.) The view is they was kind of taking care of him after he got out of the penitentiary. He was getting pretty old then.
We left them at the ford and we come on up and we met the horses back on this side and Wes Wyatt was riding a big buckskin horse and just as we, I was coming out of there for some more grub and George was a going to take his team and wagon, they was his, and go back to Ole (Ola). He claimed he had some big business there. I didn’t have any and I don’t think he did either. Just as we was getting up there old Clint turned this horse around, the other side to us, and after we got there he said did you notice Clint turned that horse around so we couldn’t see the brand on it? I said yeah, it was a big buckskin horse and stole out of a pasture there by Montour. They took it down.
Jeff Dokin he had a horse ranch down in Oregon. They would take them off down there, get them in the night you know, on that hill with the Masters boy Claude De Masters and another feller and they took another horse and in a week or so here they would come back with their saddle on the fringe. They would get a little money out of their catch. I don’t know, Duncan brought a big bunch of horses up and taken back and old Clint in with him you know. He turned that horse around he thought we might well he’d have done that with anybody so they couldn’t see the brand on it. I come out and got my grub and went back.
George, sheep man, took a job as bodyguard down on Sulphur Creek. He was down and around there quite a bit. We had to get our camp back up on Sulphur Creek and back up on the hill when Traylor Kinder was working on the trail a little. When I got back he said they come in there and old Sam Phillips had that horse there. He said he was up after his horses.
God, I don’t know why I can’t think of his name. They were Scotchman’s I knew that oldest boy that ran sheep, when I was there at Knox. The old man finally had to have a leg took off and died, the old father of him. He said, old Sam take my new horse and ride up there after his. Well he said he rode that horse for me, knew the brand and everything. He said that buckskin horse was stole out of a pasture there at Montour. I forget who it was that had it. Then, big buckskin, he said and I rode in. Says I took and rode him up and got my hara and your gates and everything. Says what would you do about it? I said I think I’d get word to that fellow that was the horse still out. So I guess he did.
Anyway they got word and when Duncan and them, when they brought the horses out they had 50 head or so. They brought them out, there was somebody watching them at Cascade but that horse wasn’t in the bunch. A couple of days after that Duncan came through there leading that horse behind a buckboard he was driving. But they went down there and got him. Found out about him going through there you know then they went down to his ranch with an officer and got the horse. But that old Clint, I’ve been acquainted with him a long time there at Ole (Ola), he was pretty hard up for money.
(Break in talk.) I don’t know about that. (Barking sound.) I had 8 ewes and 8 lambs in there and I had ….
This next segment was apparently recorded years later because Bob Barr’s voice sounds much older.
[B]: The silver blutton they called it. But I never did fish in there but I think there’s fish in it. I don’t know why there wouldn’t have been. They was little bull trout all the way up in Reardon Creek.
Young male: Have you ever, did you ever hear about the lost Cleveland mine or something like that?
B: The lost which? Cleveland, oh I guess I have, I don’t remember now. There’s so many of them lost mines that were just so rich you could just scoop up the gold nuggets in them. Never did find many of them much after I was in here. I know I never got anything out of them.
Young male: That old boy looks like he’s traveled mine up there to the gentleman’s bear.
B: Yeah, that’s a very poor picture. Bear don’t bother you that a way and grizzlies will go to Wanashawan you know. When down at Given Springs Barry told me once he was a hiding out he was, they had him in the pen a good deal of the time them days for horse stealin’ and one thin and another. He and some feller was makin’ a run on some one and they went up on the third fork and then they come across a trail that came in somewhere over there. He said up through there was a great big bear a comin’, it cut across just before it got to ‘em, come along about 20 yards out there and the other fellow said don’t shoot at that bear, said that’s a grizzly and you cripple him and he’ll kill us. I don’t know if he had a notion to shoot that or not. I suppose they had some kind of a rifle. He said he was a great big brown bear long slung. There was kind of a crook in the trail where he seemed, where he wanted to head, he just went out to one side and went along.
Possibly at Knox:
B: One time I was cutting hay, I had pretty good hay crops there, timothy and stuff and then get it chopped and haul in there and pack it back in them little old log buildings they built in the Thunder Mountain boom you know. We would pack it about as far as the back of this house. I guess he thought I looked a little mad, I didn’t have anybody helping me and he told me, when I had only worked an hour or so he could work like a fool for that long but that would do. He told me, I had it all cut then and when I got that in why and the (irrigation) water on it, I could take a little striped leg mule and have a week off. Well I got it off the upper part. There was a road that went down to where he had an old cabin right across the edge of the woods over there.
Paul Limeings family was living in that and I turned it on (irrigation water) that when I got the hay off and it run off and it run off down there and ran all around the house. The kids had a lot of fun paddling around in that water. I was afraid maybe she would get a little mad but she didn’t. Then I got old Clint Warnickton to come up there and shock some I had below. One evening he had come in from Pistol Creek. He had a lot of horses, most of them was stolen horses I guess, they were way down toward the mouth of Pistol Creek. Greg had told me I could have a week off you know. Old Clint thought that would be a good place. You could get all the fish you want anywhere.
A fellow was freighting into the sheep camp at Reardon Lake. They had a camp right there where the Reardon Creek goes in right where I camped. I camped a little above that when we went in there to work. He said, oh my God you can get all the fish you want over there.
But I kind of wanted to go to the Middle fork I’d heard a great deal about that and I got somebody to write me a map where to turn from Landmark here and there on up by Whiskey Creek and went down there. Dragging that little old mule with house keeping outfit on it. I didn’t know anything about packing then and thought I had a terrible load on it but guess I didn’t have much. I finally went over the summit that goes down close to that little town of Sulphur Creek that leads up to the summit there. But the sheep had been on that. I just kept a goin’ and goin’. The mule he was pullin’ back and me was pullin’ hard. Greg told me to turn the mule loose ahead of me and I was afraid it would get away from me with my camp outfit and grub and everything.
I went on until the sun went behind the hill and I camped in that little meadow where they have a corduroy bridge now and a big spring right across the creek from me and I didn’t know it. Right there I camped in the trail, a snow slide and things on one side. The mule couldn’t get by me there so I turned it loose and made camp right there. That’s where I caught my first red side. I cast out in there, riding along you could see some of them trout in there, just, or salmon everywhere. Well I cast out in there and caught a red side and cast back and caught another one. Next morning I got where I could see down in there it was right over a salmon bed they was around there eating the eggs.
Boy: How big were they?
B: The red side? Oh from 1 to 3 pounds. I put a handle in my spear that night. I took it along with me salmon fishing, a salmon spear. Got one right off the nest. I thought I might get the eggs maybe for bait but they were all gone, it had layed up. There was a big tent up right across the meadow there. I’d never seen that when I camped. Next morning when I got ready to go I went over to there to see, I’d never seen nor heard nothing of my mule. I had a little bell on it and had it hobbled. I went over there to hunt it up and there was a big tent. A lot of whiskey kegs layed around.
Old Sam Phillips had brought up a bunch of cattle for somebody to summer in there and he didn’t want to waste any time and so he would stay there at the big spring and watch ‘em from going back and make whiskey while he was there and not lose any money. I just went over the ridge and heard the bell and went down and there was my little mule and 4 or 5 horses with it. I went back and packed up and when I got back there I came down to the flat there was old Dick Sanford. We always called him old Bean Billy Dick, in camp right across in front of where Prescott’s cabin is (at Warm Lake, Lot 2) is right down to the creek and cooking a big pot of beans and set there till he would eat them up. Ever day he would eat on ‘em.
That’s the way it was, somebody in Boise gave him the outfit he had, wanted to get rid of him and he came up the Boise River and going back to Warm Lake. I think I would have turned the horses loose, there was feed all up and down the river and fished around in there, going and get me a couple of good fish ever time I wanted to eat.
Are you still camping on Tripod?
Dolphin: No we are on Lodgepole.
B: Did you see in the paper where they found a meteor (meteorite) that hit a tree on Lodgepole?
D: Yeah, I found that, I’m the guy that found it. Yeah, that’s why I wanted to see your paper.
B: Yeah, well I’ve got the Cascade paper in there. I don’t know but I thought I seen that in the Boise paper, said the tree was hollow and rotten in there, I suppose it was a yellow pine maybe.
D: No it was a big white fir. Yeah, but that burnt down in there.
B: You know I seen one of them things go by one spring while having guard training there at Crawford. We went, we just went to bed, they had a little hay in the barn, open in the west, all at once there was a big light busted in there. My God, lighter than the city, I rolled out and went back to look and it looked like it was going slow and looked low. Great big light and it went on a little while, the damdest boom I ever heard. Old Drake said it hit right there somewhere but nobody ever did find where it hit.
He thought Jim Carpenter had got his powder and blowed up himself. He was working on the road up on the summit. It looked like it was going right square toward Knox and it probably was higher than I thought. I don’t know if it hit somewhere but nobody saw it, they thought all summer somebody would run onto it, where it hit. Dwight thought his man Friday he had working on the road, thought his man had blowed up his powder cache up there, but he hadn’t.
D: I got about half of that over by the fence.
B: What’s it like?
W: It’s like a burnt lava rock, yeah.
B: I worked one summer where there was a big one fell over by, east of Walla Walla Washington kinda black rock there. Old fellow had homesteaded there, he hauled a big hunk to the park and left it. I don’t know how much was in the ground, it stuck up 5 or 6 feet. It was a big one that had landed there.
D: I chopped into this tree to put the fire out, see. In the center of the tree. I hit it with the edge of the pulaski, it bent the edge of the pulaski out of sight. It was like hitting a rock. It was quite hot. Oh man it was hot. You could get anything you wanted out of it too. Water came out of it, rolled down the burn. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it. You wouldn’t know they would be that much water in it.
Music on the tape
A repeat of some of Barr’s earlier comments
A repeat of earlier comments
End of recording
What’s a red side? Chinook or kokanee salmon?
Transcribe from the audiotape by LeRoy Meyer Sept. 20, 2000.
source: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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Thunderbolt lookout was built of logs and rebuilt in 1961-1962 using helicopters to transport material.
Excerpted from: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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Location: 24.8 miles and 37 ° from Cascade, Idaho
Elevation 8654 ft.
GPS Coordinate: 44.7326 -115.64
link: The Pictures of Cascade Photo Gallery by area resident Mike Huston
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Thunderbolt Mountain fire burnt north of the lake 3 miles & north.
Excerpted from: Warm Lake History by LeRoy Meyer
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2002 Warm Lake in Boise National Forest, Idaho
U.S. Forest Service, Wikipedia