“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)

Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch

(Crow Creek Road)

Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
1. Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch Marker
Inscription. By 1881, just five years following the opening of the Crow Creek Freight Road, freighters had started calling this canyon by that name. Snowslides were frequent on snowy, windy days as drifts would build up on the shale ridge. Unable to hold the steep side hill, the snow would come crashing down on anything in the canyon below, damming off the creek. Over the years many loads were buried and several teams of horses were crippled or killed as they triggered a snowslide while pulling their loads along the road.  It was truly a blessing that no man ever lost his life here as several had very close calls. Tommy Ritson was buried with his team while traveling with the Inez Campbell and Clifford Thornton wedding party on January 12, 1912.  By holding his head up out of the rising water while digging him out, the party was able to save Tom’s life. His team drowned in the water because they were unable to free them in time. In February 1914, 18 sleighs were caught in a blizzard in the canyon.  Blocked by snowslides ahead and then behind them, freighters managed to ride their horses out over the slide to Hanke’s ranch.  They took turns by the fire to keep warm during the four days it took to dig out of Snowslide Canyon. Always hospitable with food and shelter for freighters, Jacob Henggi (Hanke) had a dairy and road ranch on Montpelier Creek
Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 21, 2017
2. Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch Marker
located on what is now just above the head waters of Montpelier Reservoir.  Hanke was a horse trader, a farrier, and a welcome sight to a weary freighter out on the Crow Creek Road.
Erected 2010 by Star Valley Historical Society.
Location. 42° 23.592′ N, 111° 10.194′ W. Marker is near Montpelier, Idaho, in Bear Lake County. Marker is on Crow Creek Road (Forest Road 111) near Road 239, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Montpelier ID 83254, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Giveout (approx. 1½ miles away); Beaver Divide (approx. 6.6 miles away); Halfway House (approx. 7.6 miles away); Pioneer Church (approx. 8½ miles away); Rich Building and Theatre (approx. 8.8 miles away); Bank Robbers (approx. 8.8 miles away); Butch Cassidy Robs the Montpelier Bank (approx. 8.8 miles away); Ritter Bros. Drug and the Roxy Theatre (approx. 8.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier.
Regarding Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s 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
Also see . . .  Historical Routes Near the Oregon Trail Center - Oregon Trail Center, Montpelier. The route is known even today as the Crow Creek Road and was the link between the settlements of Afton, Wyoming and Montpelier, Idaho. The 100 mile round trip between Afton and the rail head at Montpelier would take a team of horses from three to seven days depending on the conditions along the way. The route started in 1879 and was used by Star Valley's first settlers. (Submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
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Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 95 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 21, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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