“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Montpelier in Bear Lake County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)

Beaver Divide

The Summit

Beaver Divide Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
1. Beaver Divide Marker
Inscription.  To load their wagons with salt from the salt springs on Crow Creek, Mormon settlers of Bear Lake Valley followed the Native American Indian trail over this pass about 1865. In 1868, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle Charles C Rich sent Edward Homer and company to explore a possible wagon route all the way down Crow Creek to the Salt River. With the homestead act of 1862 and the enthusiastic report by Homer’s Company, the wheels of progress start turning. In July 1879, William Henry Harrison Heap pioneered the first wagon train with 14 wagons and stock over this Beaver Divide and down the lower Crow Creek drainage to the Salt River Valley. The party of 27 men, women and children traveled north to Tin Cup Creek just below the Cariboo Mountain Mining District, and established the first settlement in what Apostle Moses Thatcher called the “Star Of All Valleys,” now known as Star Valley, WY.  By November that year, Heap’s company had made three more trips to Montpelier, ID for supplies.  When the last supply wagons bogged down in the mud of Beaver Canyon two miles south of here, the freighters rode their teams on
Beaver Divide Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
2. Beaver Divide Marker
to Tin Cup leaving their winters grub behind.  Before spring Albert Rolph, Jay Rolph, John Hill, and William Heap snow shoed 75 miles to Beaver Canyon and back with the flour from their marooned wagons to save the starving settlement. Over the next 50 years, the Crow Creek Freight Road was improved, mostly by the freighter who used it and businesses that relied on it. The success of the Bear Lake Valley and Star Valley depended on the road that passed over the divide between them. Passage over the route has been described as steep and at times hazardous. Snow would be as deep as six-feet on the summit. By spring, the packed snow road became a three foot high rail of ice.  Horses had to learn where to place their hoofs to stay on the track so the load would not cut off.  When the horse drawn sleigh slid off, help from a fellow traveler was always appreciated to get back on track.  High snow drifts in the winter and the mud in Beaver Canyon always challenged the best teamsters.  A shovel was used a lot to handle the snow.  To avoid that mud in Beaver, at Squaw Hollow a teamster could turn up the Hogs Back, (to the) west with the hope of surviving the Devils Dive right down to the Halfway House.
Erected 2010 by Star Valley Historical Society.
Location. 42° 29.31′ N, 111° 
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9.18′ W. Marker is near Montpelier, Idaho, in Bear Lake County. Marker is on Crow Creek Road (Forest Road 111) near Caribou National Forest 147 (Forest Road 147), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Montpelier ID 83254, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Halfway House (approx. one mile away); White Dugway (approx. 3˝ miles away); Camp Giveout (approx. 5.2 miles away); Nield Ranch (approx. 6.4 miles away); Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch (approx. 6.6 miles away); Old Tithing Office (approx. 13.7 miles away); Pioneer Church (approx. 14 miles away); Bank Robbers (approx. 14.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier.
Regarding Beaver Divide. For nearly five decades, the (40-mile) Crow Creek Road served as the main link in and out of Star Valley. Starting in 1879 the route was used by Star Valley’s first settlers. Later the road proved to be vital route for commerce between the rail lines in Montpelier and the families that now called Star Valley their home. Crow Creek Road was used extensively until a new road was built over the Salt River Pass...connecting Star Valley to rail lines in Cokeville. -- Star Valley Independent
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More. Search the internet for Beaver Divide.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 168 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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