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Near Oldtown in Bonner County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Albeni Falls

 
 
Albeni Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
1. Albeni Falls Marker
Inscription.
...the falls
As you look down at the Pend Oreille (Pond O'Ray) River and Albeni Falls Dam (Albany) you may be looking for the falls. In 1887 a 26 year-old French Canadian farmer living in Blanchard, Idaho, also wondered where the falls were. Hoping to discover the falls, Albeni Poirier traveled north by foot and cayuse (Indian pony). He located the falls and was so captivated by their beauty he built a log cabin at the site from which he first saw them.

This site is directly across and downstream from where you are standing.

Albeni built and operated a hotel and eating place used by hunters, fishermen and gold prospectors. He added a barn and a combined saloon, dance hall and blacksmith shop after the Great Northern Railroad completed its link to Troy, Montana, in 1892. Fishing and picnicking excursions to the falls became popular Sunday activities with travelers riding the train from Spokane, Washington. It is said that many people couldn't pronounce his last name, Poirier (Pwá ree áy) so his first name was used to name the falls -- Albeni Falls.

...the dam
Albeni Falls became Albeni Falls Dam in 1955. The region had experienced an increased need for water storage and power production to support the growing shipbuilding and aluminum industries downriver. To meet these
Marker Detail: Albeni Falls Map image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
2. Marker Detail: Albeni Falls Map
growing needs Congress authorized the dam in 1950 and construction began in 1951. A log chute was included as log drives on the river were still a common practice. Boommen stood on floating log booms poking and prying the logs through the chute to flow downstream to the mills.

Looking down upon the site of the original falls you see the dam and powerhouse. Storing water for power production, Albeni Falls Dam is an important link in the Columbia River hydropower system.


 
Location. 48° 10.815′ N, 116° 59.721′ W. Marker is near Oldtown, Idaho, in Bonner County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 2 3 miles east of Le Clerc Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Albeni Falls Dam Visitor Center, about 3 miles east of the Pend Oreille River and the Washington/Idaho state line. Marker is in this post office area: Oldtown ID 83822, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Albeni Falls Dam at a Glance (a few steps from this marker); Corliss Steam Engine (approx. 2.2 miles away in Washington).
 
Also see . . .
1. The Naming and Taming of Albeni Falls.
In 1883, two young French Canadian brothers, Albeni and Louis Poirier settled in what was then known as Spirit Valley (Blanchard, Idaho). It
Marker detail: Albeni Poirer’s hotel image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
3. Marker detail: Albeni Poirer’s hotel
On the far left is Albeni Poirer’s hotel and eating place. In the center, is his homesteaders log cabin as it looked in 1894. The saloon with the dance hall upstairs, is in the lower right, with the rist school house in the area on the upper right.
was located about twelve miles south of the Pend Oreille River. They homestead in the valley and engaged in farming and cattle raising. In 1886 Albeni sold his interest in the Poirier Brothers farm at Blanchard and relocated. He homesteaded the land at the falls on the Pend Oreille River and the area was named for him. (Submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Peter Albeni Poirier.
Peter Albeni Poirier was born June 29th, 1861 in Roubille, Quebec, Canada. The promise of free land to be settled and the urging of brother Joseph was what convinced Albeni and his brother Louis to come to this area. They came driving a herd of cattle and started a joint venture in farming and raising cattle. When Albeni discovered this area, 14 miles from his home in Blanchard, ID., he sold out his half of the business to his brother and moved here to set up his new home. The Native Americans destroyed his first camp while Albeni was out getting supplies in an effort to discourage him from staying. But he had already fallen in love with the falls and had no plans of leaving. Soon after he’d built himself a homesteader’s log cabin, he added a two-story hotel and eatery to accommodate hunters, fisherman, and prospectors coming through the area. Later he added a large barn, blacksmith shop, saloon and dance hall. In 1894 the little community had the first schoolhouse of the area. The saloon and dance hall
Marker Detail: Great Northern Train image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
4. Marker Detail: Great Northern Train
A great Northern Railway train which brought folks from Spokane to Albeni Falls
attracted many people on Saturday nights. Many would ride the train in from Spokane in the morning and return again in the evening. (Submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker Detail: "Boommen" August 20, 1953 image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
5. Marker Detail: "Boommen" August 20, 1953
The first raft of logs being poked and pryed through the log chute by the “Boommen” on August 20, 1953.
Bench Overlooking Albeni Falls Dam image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
6. Bench Overlooking Albeni Falls Dam
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 14, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 11, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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