Near Melba in Canyon County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Guffey Bridge Snake River Idaho
The historic Guffey Bridge is an elegant Parker-through truss railroad bridge, the State’s largest artifact, and the site of the most spectacular train wreck in Idaho. The Boise, Nampa and Owyhee Railroad (BNO), was organized by owner Col. Wm. Dewey to transport gold and silver ore from the Silver City mining district. The bridge was constructed between May 14 and Sept. 7, 1897. This 450 ton bridge was, by all accounts, the tallest in the U.S. for many years.
Unfortunately, the mines closed before the bridge was completed. Although it never hauled ore, shipments of livestock and other agricultural products kept the railway busy until 1947. The bridge saw more sheep and cattle transported across its span than any other in the west. The BNO railway was taken over by the Idaho Northern Railway in 1907, and absorbed by the Oregon Short Line in 1912, then a subsidiary of the Union Pacific.
After the line closed, the bridge was rescued from being sold for scrap. Canyon County Parks, Recreation and Waterways, Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Military, Idaho Fish and Game, Idaho Heritage Trust and the National
Erected 2012 by Canyon County Parks, Recreation and Waterways and the Snake River Chapter, No. 1811 E Clampus Vitus.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list.
Location. 43° 17.97′ N, 116° 31.334′ W. Marker is near Melba, Idaho, in Canyon County. Marker can be reached from Sinker Road. The marker is mounted on a boulder in main parking lot of Canyon County's Celebration Park. Celebration Park is on the Snake River, near Melba and south of Nampa, Idaho.
Heading west on I-84 take the Meridian/Kuna exit. Turn left onto S Meridian Rd. Continue onto E Avalon. Turn left onto Swan Falls Rd. Turn right onto Victory Ln. Continue onto Warren Spur Rd. Turn left onto Sinker Rd. Turn left at Historic Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Melba ID 83641, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Steamer "Shoshone" (approx. 5 miles away); Tower Theater (approx. 5.3 miles away); The Otter Massacre (approx. 5.9 miles away); The Murphy School House District 14 (approx. 6 miles away); War Eagle Mines (approx. 9.8 miles away); Diamond Gulch (approx. 9.8 miles away); Givens Springs (approx. 12.3 miles away); Givens Hot Springs (approx. 12.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Melba.
Also see . . .
1. Boise, Nampa, and Owyhee Railroad.
Large-scale lode mining at Silver City created a serious need for rail transportation to come closer than Nampa, so as soon as a severe national economic depression (Panic of 1893) no longer paralyzed eastern capital investors, William H. Dewey managed to get J. M. Guffey of Pittsburgh to join other investors there in funding a line headed that direction. Reaching Silver City was totally impractical, because any such line would have to climb almost a vertical mile above Snake River. But construction to a point below that steep ascent clearly could succeed. Guffey and his associates managed to fund Dewey's project in 1896, so construction began in Nampa that September. Its primary feature, built a year later, was a 500 foot, two span bridge across Snake River. (Submitted on April 30, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area/Celebration Park.
This historic bridge is within the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA). This park was established by Congress in 1993 to protect a unique desert environment that supports North America’s highest density of nesting raptors. More than 700 pairs of raptors nest each spring along 81 miles of the Snake River Canyon. (Submitted on May 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,578 times since then and 311 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 30, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 1, 2014, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.