Big Creek / Edwardsburg

This index page links to stories of the people and places in the Big Creek Drainage.

Page last updated October 2, 2022

Table of contents

Link to Big Creek – Edwardsburg 1879 – 1911
Link to Big Creek – Edwardsburg 1920’s
Link to Big Creek – Edwardsburg 1930’s
Link to Big Creek – Edwardsburg 1940’s
Link to The Wolf Fang (1950’s)
Link to Big Creek – Edwardsburg 1960’s – 1980’s
Link to Big Creek Lodge (part 1)
Link to Big Creek Lodge (part 2)
Link to Thunder Mountain – Big Creek Mining Area
Link to Frank Church Wilderness
Link to Packing In
Link to Kennedy, the Gillihan’s Mule
Link to Gillihan Family History
Link to 1959 Gillihan Mule Train Idaho to California
Link to Big Creek Ranger Station History
Link to History Post Offices
Link to Back County Mail Carriers
Link to Wilbur Wiles (part 1)
Link to Wilbur Wiles (part 2)
Link to Wilbur Wiles (part 3)
Link to Idaho Hunting Stories
Link to Curley Brewer
Link to “Sheepherder” Bill Borden (Thunder Mtn, Edwardsburg, McCall, South Fork)
Link to Lafe and Emma Cox
Link to McRae Family
Link to Grace Carrie Turner McRae
Link to Story of Marge McRae and James Collord
Link to Sheepeater Campaign
Link to Cabin Creek History
Link to Cougar Dave Lewis Part 1
Link to Cougar Dave Lewis Part 2
Link to Cougar Dave Lewis Part 3
Link to Taylor Ranch History
Link to Chamberlain Ranger Station Historic District
Link to Stonebraker Family
Link to Valley County Murders Part 1
Link to Mysterious Death at Cabin Creek Orlando Mel Abel

Postcard from Edwardsburg, Idaho, March 26, 1912

Contributed by Marvin Housworth
photo source: Valley County GenWeb

Letter on the back:

“A picture of the cabin as it was in the early days when Napier was a little boy – I suppose you met him when he was South – Father wrote me of your sorrow and I have thought of you but as my days are full of work at night I have so much writing for Mr. Edwards I don’t have much time for myself – The (ore ?) at (ditch?)* is fine & at last things are coming our way. Write when you feel inclined- give my Love to the girls – especially Elizabeth.”
– Annie Napier Edwards

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“Napier Edwards was a son of William Edwards and his wife Annie. In 1904 when Napier was two years old, they came to [Edwardburg], where they acquired a mining interest. The predominant metals were gold, silver, lead and copper. It was a 40 mile horseback ride from Warren to [Edwardburg]. Soon Edwards built a road from Warren over Elk Summit [down Logan Creek] to Big Creek [Edwardburg]. This family were real pioneers.”

Pg. 114 “Idaho Mountains Our Home” by Lafe and Emma Cox – Copyright 1977 by V.O. Ranch Books
— — — —

Smith Children with Napier Edwards’ wagon, Edwardsburg 1948

The Lawrence and Paul Smith kids from Stibnite playing with Napier Edwards wagon at Edwardsburg. The Passengers are: (L to R) Patty, Karen, Lorene and Gary Smith. The two ‘critters’ doing the pulling are Ron on the left and cousin Tim on right – 1948

“Nape Edward’s wagon is what they used to call a ‘Hack,’ a light, get-there-quick-type of wagon, sort of a poor man’s buggy.” – Ron Smith.
(photo courtesy of Ron Smith)

source: Valley County, ID GenWeb Project
— — — — — — — — — —

Cowman’s Big Creek Lodge in 1939


Big Creek Lodge is a little over a mile down river from Edwardsburg, the road connecting the two locations was built in the 1930’s.
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Where the Road Ends Outdoor Idaho

Copyright 2017 © Idaho Public Television

Big Creek

Deep in the heart of central Idaho, the isolated community of Big Creek was once the sole province of miners, Forest Service personnel and eccentrics. Today, the hodgepodge collection of homes on the boundary of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness still remains a destination for those who want to get about as far away from city life in Idaho as possible.

We travel the rugged roads to Big Creek to talk with those who have thrived on its remoteness, including 100-year old Wilbur Wiles, who used to live there through the deep winters; Earl Dobbs, the first wilderness ranger in the area; and two backcountry pilots who forged a deep relationship over their mutual love for Big Creek.

8:45 video:
source webpage:

Offsite References

“1928 Photos Warm Lake to Yellow Pine to Big Creek to Cougar Dave Lewis Ranch”
Harry Shellworth Album Idaho State Historical Society, photographer Ansgar Johnson Sr. Link

“Tales from the Last of the Big Creek Rangers“ by Earl Dodds (33 megs)
Link to e-Book

“Stalking the Mountain Lion – To Save Him” by Maurice G. Hornocker, Ph.D. 1969 National Geographic Wilbur Wiles story (10 meg file, article starts on page 4) Link

“In Search of the Perfect Prospector” by Bob Weldin, February 7, 2006 Mining History News Wilbur Wiles story Link

“A Campfire Vision: Establishing the Idaho Primitive Area” by Dennis and Lynn Baird – Journal of the West (link)

“Mineral Resources of the Idaho Primitive Area and Vicinity, Idaho”
By F. W. Cater, D. M. Pinckney, W. B. Hamilton, and R. L. Parker, U.S. Geological Survey, and by R. D. Weldin, T. J. Close, and N. T. Zilka, U.S. Bureau of Mines
With a section on the Thunder Mountain District
By B. F. Leonard, U.S. Geological Survey, and a Section on Aeromagnetic Interpretation by W. E. Davis, U.S. Geological Survey
Studies Related to Wilderness Primitive Areas
Geological Survey Bulletin 1304 : 1973
Library of Congress catalog card No. 73-600164
An evaluation of the mineral potential of the area (link)