“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)

Nield Ranch

(Crow Creek Road)

Nield Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
1. Nield Ranch Marker
Inscription.  “I have always felt I was at a disadvantage in making a living for my self and family if I did not have a wagon and team.” – John Nield Diary

John and Sarah Broadbent Nield moved their family to Star Valley in 1888 over the Crow Creek Road. Hauling all of their earthly possessions over the route taught them first hand the dangers of the mountain road. Their story is much the same as most early settlers to the valley.
In 1890, sons Joseph L and John E subcontracted the mail for two years from Montpelier to Afton and then the Nield family carried the mail under contract for twelve consecutive years. So with the need to have fresh horses and a stopping place along the route, John Edward and Jane Parker Nield moved to THIS LOCATION on Cozzens Ranch. Horses were pastured or fed, rested and prepared for the next mail carrier, stage driver, or freighter who was in need of fresh horse power.
A milk house was built over the large spring that flows out of the hill so the water could be used as a cooling agent for milk. Jane hired help to milk cows, make butter and cheese to sell in Afton and Montpelier or
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to travelers on the road. Sometimes the customer was a Shoshone Indian to whom she gave a large slice of her best cheese. The road station served the family and other teamsters well.
Later on John William Nield, Ben Nield, Seth Broadbent Nield, and Joseph Taysom moved the mail for eight more years. By the end of this contract, 1934, trucks rolled over the Crow Creek Road in the summer.  This Nield mail contract was the last to use team and sleigh. For 22 years the Nield cousins carried the US Mail between the two valleys but it took the help of every freighter on the road to get it through on time. In the early days, the Alleman, Wells, Books, and Lowe Ranches had a cabin with a welcome warming fire for emergency stops. Other friendly faces along the way belonged to Tolmans, Kenningtons, Beyelers, Halls, Thorntons, Bagleys,  and Allreds.
When Lavar, Floyd and William Nield moved to Montpelier the cousins worked both ends against the middle, hauling cheese and butter for Burton Creamery Company to be shipped by rail from the Montpelier Depot. By the time they were seven years of age, cousins Ellis and Horace followed close behind their dad’s wagons with their own rigs, third generation freighters on the Crow Creek Freight Road.
Erected 2011 by Star Valley Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these
Nield Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
2. Nield Ranch Marker
topic lists: Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1879.
Location. 42° 34.848′ N, 111° 8.694′ W. Marker is near Montpelier, Idaho, in Bear Lake County. Marker is on Crow Creek Road (Forest Road 111) near Forest Road 740, 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 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. White Dugway (approx. 3.3 miles away); Halfway House (approx. 5.4 miles away); Beaver Divide (approx. 6.4 miles away); Camp Giveout (approx. 11.6 miles away); Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch (approx. 13 miles away).
Regarding Nield Ranch. 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
Nield Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
3. Nield Ranch Marker

Also see . . .  Crow Creek Road -- Morrell Allred. ...the early Star Valley settlers were mostly from the Mormon settlements of Bear Lake Valley and the valleys of northern Utah. In fact, the settlement of Star Valley was an LDS undertaking — the last such in the region. So this favored the Crow Creek route of access. Another factor favoring the Crow Creek route was that the Bear Lake cattlemen were abeady grazing their cattle on the Crow Creek drainage, and probably into Star Valley. (Submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2017. It was originally submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 440 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 16, 2024