Orofino in Clearwater County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
Oroﬁno: A Fine Place
With over 50 years of success, this three-day annual celebration in September attracts locals as well as international audience. Some compete in the lumberjack events. Others test their endurance in the Lumberjack Fun Run. Most simply enjoy being spectators.
Captain Elias D. Pierce uncovered Oro Fino Creek’s fine gold in the winter of 1859. The following year, Pierce City and Oro Fino City, built two miles apart, became Idaho’s earliest mining towns.
The Town Timber Built
When Oro Fino City burned down in 1867, the gold rush was coming to an end. A new town named Orofino was platted in 1898 and incorporated soon after. By 1905, most of the 207 residents were loggers and for nearly one-hundred years, timber shaped Orofino’s economy. Today, a diversity of employers are making Orofino a fine place to call home.
Across the Clearwater River from Canoe Camp is the largest and highest straight-axis, concrete-gravity dam in the United States. A visitor center is located at the top of the
Dworshak Fisheries Complex
Because the dam blocks migrating steelhead trout from their natural spawning grounds, a fish hatchery at the confluence of the North Fork of the Clearwater River was built in 1969. It is now one of the largest producers of steelhead trout and spring Chinook salmon in the world. The hatchery releases 2.2 million steelhead and up to one million Chinook into the Clearwater River each year. Returning from the sea several years later, some steelhead weigh over 25 pounds.
The fish hatchery, located three miles west of Orofino on State Highway 7, is open for self-guided tours from 7:30am to 3:00pm. The best viewing times are February through April for steelhead and June through September for Chinook salmon.
Location. 46° 30.054′ N, 116° 19.874′ W. Marker is in Orofino, Idaho, in Clearwater County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 12 and 140th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in Lewis & Clark Canoe Camp State Park, on the north side of the highway, between the highway and the Clearwater River. Marker is in this post office area: Orofino ID 83544, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to Canoe Camp (here, next to this marker); Canoe Camp Pit House Village (within shouting distance of this marker); 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery (within shouting distance of this marker); Ahsakha Village Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Canoe Building Site (about 400 feet away); Lewis and Clark (approx. 6.8 miles away); Gold Rush Ferry (approx. 11.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orofino.
Also see . . .
1. Orofino, Idaho.
Nearby is the historical "Canoe Camp," where the Lewis and Clark expedition built five new dugout canoes and embarked on October 7, 1805, downstream to the Pacific Ocean. Some 4 miles (6.4 km) north of town is the Dworshak Dam, third-highest dam in the United States, completed in the early 1970s. Nearby is the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, started to try to compensate for the loss of migratory fish upstream after the dam was constructed. (Submitted on November 10, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Orofino is Rich in its History.
Miners came into this area in the 1860s hoping to strike it rich in gold. Gradually as the area was opened to homesteaders and towns were built, timber became the new green gold. Early settlers cut timber to build homes and heat those homes. As the 1900s were approaching the timber was being discovered as a great commodity for wealthy timbermen. (Submitted on November 10, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Dworshak Dam.
Dworshak Dam began construction in 1966, and the main structure was completed in 1972. The generators came online in 1973. It is a hydroelectric gravity dam located in Clearwater County of Idaho. It was originally slated to be named "Bruces Eddy," but the named was change to honor Senator Henry C. Dworshak. Dworshak Dam is the highest straight-axis concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, and the 22nd highest dam in the world. There are only two other dams in the United States that exceed it in height. (Submitted on November 10, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Clearwater County Idaho History.
Except for missionaries, few white men were seen after Lewis and Clark until the winter of 1859 when Captain Elias D. Pierce found gold. He returned in the winter of 1860 with a party of 12. One of the men made a significant gold discovery. That winter, 1860-61, Pierce City and Oro Fino City were established only two miles apart. Pierce City was to become Idaho's second oldest town. Oro Fino burned down in 1867 and was not rebuilt. (Submitted on November 13, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Exploration • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 10, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 10, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.