“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Bear Lake County, Idaho

Clickable Map of Bear Lake County, Idaho and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Bear Lake County, ID (48) Caribou County, ID (60) Franklin County, ID (34) Cache County, UT (39) Rich County, UT (7) Lincoln County, WY (30)  BearLakeCounty(48) Bear Lake County (48)  CaribouCounty(60) Caribou County (60)  FranklinCounty(34) Franklin County (34)  CacheCountyUtah(39) Cache County (39)  RichCounty(7) Rich County (7)  LincolnCountyWyoming(30) Lincoln County (30)
Paris is the county seat for Bear Lake County
Adjacent to Bear Lake County, Idaho
      Caribou County (60)  
      Franklin County (34)  
      Cache County, Utah (39)  
      Rich County, Utah (7)  
      Lincoln County, Wyoming (30)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Bloomington — 380 — Bloomington
In Spring 1864 Miranda Campbell and sons, Warren and David; John B. Dunn and family arrived here. Others followed, dug irrigation canals, surveyed townsites into 1 acre lots. By Fall, 40 one-room log homes, also 16 x 20 ft. log schoolhouse with huge . . . Map (db m140163) HM
2 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Bloomington — 319 — British SettlersBear Lake — LDS Church —
Most early Bear Lake settlers came from Britain. One was the first woman convert to the LDS church in Europe. Born in Preston, England, Aug. 24, 1806. Ann Elizabeth Walmsley Palmer was baptized July 30, 1837. An invalid, she was carried into the . . . Map (db m99318) HM
3 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Fish Haven — 384 — Bear Lake
Discovered in 1812 by trappers returning home from Astoria, Oregon, this valley and its large lake soon became an important fur trade center. Donald Mackenzie, Jim Bridger and a host of famous beaver hunters operated here. Two major summer . . . Map (db m105867) HM
4 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Fish Haven — 294 — Settlement of Fish Haven
The Bear Lake resort town of Fish Haven was founded in 1864. Most of the original settlers moved away, leaving Thomas and William Shirley, Henry Howell, John Stock and their families the first permanent settlers. Joseph C. Rich and John Bagley threw . . . Map (db m140164) HM
5 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Georgetown — 499 — First Public Building
In 1870, Brigham Young appointed Ezra T. Clark, David Hess, and Nicholas Barkdull to colonize this area. Originally known a Twin Creeks, Joseph C. Rich surveyed the site in 1871. In 1872, the new settlement was named Georgetown in honor . . . Map (db m140244) HM
6 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Georgetown — 410 — Georgetown's First Public Building
In the spring of 1871, Joseph C. Rich surveyed the Twin Creeks area, later called Georgetown. In 1874, logs were hauled from the mountains for this cabin built originally on the corner of the block across the street and one block east and used for . . . Map (db m140243) HM
7 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Georgetown — This verdant valley, a welcome oasis
"Here we found pure water, sufficient for all of us and our cattle. Here we found oceans of grass and thousands of acres of rich, level land covered with wild flax." P.V. Crawford, July 8, 1851
Lush . . . Map (db m140217) HM
8 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Liberty — 238 — Bear Lake Valley
In 1863 Charles C. Rich with others explored this valley. A group of settlers in eleven wagons traveled through Emigration Canyon in September and founded Paris. Log huts with dirt floors and roofs sheltered 48 men, 40 women, and 30 children during . . . Map (db m140162) HM
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9 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 9 — A Look at Memory Lane
The pictures below reflect first views of the downtown entering Montpelier from the west in different times in history. Brennan-Davis Building The building was built for Edward Burgoyne by Jacob Tueller and Sons prior to 1899. The . . . Map (db m90920) HM
10 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 8 — A Strong Building, Stock Chevys and RailroadMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Strong Building and Stock Chevrolet This red brick building, note the brickwork circles, was built for Lish Strong by the Tueller brothers of Paris, Idaho. It became known as the Strong Building. Part of the upper level was also used for . . . Map (db m90911) HM
11 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 446 — Bank Robbers
On Aug. 13, 1896, Butch Cassidy and his infamous Wild Bunch of gunmen invaded Montpelier's bank and scooped up more than $16,500 in gold, silver and currency. Leaving a surprised cashier and his terrified customers, they calmly rode away. A . . . Map (db m90806) HM
12 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Beaver DivideThe Summit
To load their wagons with salt from the salt springs on Crow Creek, Mormon settlers of Bear Lake Valley followed the Native American Indian trail over this pass about 1865. In 1868, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Apostle Charles C . . . Map (db m105896) HM
13 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Big Hill
"... the greatest impediment on the whole route from the United States to Fort Hall." - Theodore Talbot, 1843 Near the Wyoming/Idaho border the pioneers face Big Hill, on of the most challenging obstacles of their journey. The dusty . . . Map (db m90854) HM
14 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 335 — Big Hill
On their way west to Oregon and California, emigrant wagons often crossed high ridges in order to avoid gullies and canyons. When he came here in 1843, Theodore Talbot noted that he "had to cross a very high hill, which is said to be the . . . Map (db m90807) HM
15 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Big Hill...
"the steepest and longest ascent we have made on the route..." - James Wilkins Looking east across the fields is Big Hill, one of the most difficult obstacles along the 2,000-mile Oregon/California Trail. The trail crosses the Thomas . . . Map (db m90851) HM
16 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 5 — Butch Cassidy Robs the Montpelier BankMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
On the hot afternoon of August 23, 1896, Butch Cassidy with two members of his Wild Bunch Gang, Elza Lay and Bob Meeks, robbed The Bank of Montpelier which was originally located in the building across the street from this sign. The Bank of . . . Map (db m90877) HM
17 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Camp Giveout(Crow Creek Road)
Within five years after Apostle Charles C Rich was called to establish a settlement in Bear Lake Valley, 1868, he looked at western Wyoming as a possible expansion of the Mormon community. By 1879 the Bear Lake Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of . . . Map (db m105895) HM
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18 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 7 — Cleaners, Hospital, Plumbers and a Big BearMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Schmid Building Carl (Charles) Schmid, a tailor from Freienstein, Switzerland opened a tailor shop in Montpelier in 1892. He named his business Chas Schmid, The Tailor. He made men's suits and coats and did repairs, alterations and dry . . . Map (db m90910) HM
19 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 1 — Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour
Welcome to the Historic Downtown Montpelier Business District on Washington Street! Take a few minutes to enjoy a walking tour filled with interesting information about this area and its place in history. Also, spend a few minutes visiting . . . Map (db m90878) HM
20 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Halfway House(Crow Creek Road)
The Crow Creek Road was the link between the Mormon settlements of Bear Lake and Star Valley for 50 years. The 100-mile round trip between Afton, WY and the railhead at Montpelier ID would take a team of horses from 3 to 7 days depending on the . . . Map (db m105897) HM
21 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Hot, Cold, Dry, Wet, Dusty, 2,000-Mile Trail
Beginning in Independence, Missouri, the Oregon/California Trail passes through present-day Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, and Idaho. it ends in Oregon, California or Utah - depending on the destination of the pioneers. While the . . . Map (db m90876) HM
22 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Idaho's Emigrant Trails
Westward-bound emigrants entered Idaho after crossing Thomas Fork Valley. They soon encountered the climb and descent of Big Hill, witnessed nature's curiosities at Soda Springs, and discovered willing traders at Fort Hall. In 1843 wagons first . . . Map (db m90852) HM
23 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 456 — McAuley's Road
Coming west with Ezra Meeker in 1852, Thomas McAuley decided to build a road to let emigrants bypass Big Hill. Worst of all Oregon Trail descents, Big Hill needed replacement. Eliza McAuley reported that her brother Tom "fished awhile, . . . Map (db m90808) HM
24 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 6 — Model T's, Odd Fellows and the NewsMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Early sheriff and mayor Fred Cruikshank owned the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909. Bear Lake Motors Early sheriff and mayor Fred Locke Cruikshank was the owner of the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909 and closed it down in . . . Map (db m90908) HM
25 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — News Examiner
This building presently occupied by the News Examiner was built early in the 1900's by the Whitman family. It was used as a dry goods store until it was sold to the Robinsons in 1942 for use as a newspaper building. Among the features of the . . . Map (db m90922) HM
26 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Nield Ranch(Crow Creek Road)
“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 . . . Map (db m105901) HM
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27 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 311 — Old Tithing Office
In 1895 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints built this sandstone structure, consisting of three rooms and a basement, to serve the community as a tithing office. When the Montpelier First Ward was divided in 1916, meetings of the new . . . Map (db m140216) HM
28 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — One Continual Stream
"One continual stream of honest looking open harted people going west" - James Cayman, mountain man, captured this sentiment in his diary as he watched pioneers heading west in 1846. Between 1841 and 1869 nearly 300,000 farmers, . . . Map (db m90853) HM
29 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 66 — Pioneer Church(was located 1/2 block east and 1/2 block north)
In the spring of 1864, fifteen families of pioneers came from Paris, Idaho and settled Clover Creek, the name used until President Brigham Young changed it to Montpelier. After building crude homes the settlers erected a large building of logs, . . . Map (db m105874) HM
30 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 4 — Rich Building and TheatreMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Early Montpelier was well known for its pine trees placed down the center of Washington Street. As U.S. Highway 89 became more popular to the traveling public, the trees were finally cut down amid much discussion throughout the town. Rich . . . Map (db m90907) HM
31 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 3 — Ritter Bros. Drug and the Roxy TheatreMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
The streetscape of Montpelier has changed through the years. The early years of this Oregon Trail town began with only horse power including wagons and horseback. Streets were packed dirt with hitching posts. With the advent of the horseless . . . Map (db m90880) HM
32 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Second Bank of Montpelier
Grove C. Gray built a brick building in 1907 to house the second bank of Montpelier. On June 25, 1910, two men attempted to rob this bank by dynamiting the vault. While attempting to dynamite the vault, they jostled a loaded pistol that was on top . . . Map (db m90909) HM
33 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 159 — Smith's Trading Post
In 1848, Pegleg Smith established a trading post on the Oregon Trail at Big Timber somewhere near here on the river. Some travelers called it "Fort Smith", though it had only four log cabins and some Indian lodges. Packing a plow and tools . . . Map (db m90805) HM
34 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — Snowslide Canyon and Hanke’s Ranch(Crow Creek Road)
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 . . . Map (db m105894) HM
35 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 2 — The Bank and The BurgoyneMontpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Bank of Montpelier's Impact on Local Banking History Residents of Bear Lake county have discussed the Butch Cassidy bank robbery for years with varied endings. Not unlike fishermen's boastings, tales of the exact amount of Butch's loot will . . . Map (db m90879) HM
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36 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — The McAuley Cutoff
On April 7, 1852, seventeen-year-old Eliza Ann McAuley, with her older brother Thomas and sister Margaret, left Mount Pleasant, Iowa, to travel overland to California. For a time they were accompanied by the "Eddyville Company," led by William Buck . . . Map (db m90850) HM
37 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — 157 — Thomas Fork
A bad ford gave trouble to wagon trains crossing this stream on the trail to California and Oregon in 1849. In that year, gold-seeking 49'ers developed a shortcut that crossed here. Then emigrants built two bridges here in 1850. But an . . . Map (db m90804) HM
38 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Montpelier — White Dugway(Crow Creek Road)
Clinging to the white shale formation a mile east (on the Crow Creek Rd.) is the White Dugway. There was moisture in the shale and when frost had it in its grip the road was very slippery. Freighters learned to be cautious as a wagon or sleigh could . . . Map (db m105899) HM
39 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Ovid — Bear Lake County Transit
Past travel and settlement across the rugged lands of the Bear Lake Valley were strongly influenced by the valley's hydrologic features. The shifting rivers, sloughs, and marshes presented natural barriers and were prone to flooding. This often . . . Map (db m140215) HM
40 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Ovid — Overland Emigration Routes
The region comprising Bear Lake County has alway been an important juncture for overland travel. From the 1800s onward, migrants on the Oregon and California trails traversed the area, relying on knowledge garnered by Native Americans, early . . . Map (db m140213) HM
41 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Ovid — Ovid Townsite Reported damaged
Settled in 1864, the community of Ovid was among the first permanent settlements in the Bear Lake Valley. Its first residents were predominantly Scandinavian immigrants, and the first home was a dugout cabin constructed by Thomas C. Peterson. Over . . . Map (db m140214) HM
42 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Paris — 73 — Charles Coulson Rich
In honor of Charles Coulson Rich 1809-1893 Pioneer builder of the west. Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion Alderman of the City of Nauvoo, in the time of Joseph Smith. Pioneer of Utah, 1847. Chairman of the first committee . . . Map (db m105849) HM
43 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Paris — 289 — Our First Church
Paris, Idaho was settled in the fall of 1863. Two years later a building used for church, school and recreation was erected by James Nye and others, of logs hauled from George Sirrine's sawmill It was 20' X 60' with two large rooms and a stage at . . . Map (db m105873) HM
44 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Paris — 275 — Paris
This pioneer Idaho town was founded Sept. 26, 1863 when a wagon train brought more than 30 families of Mormon colonizers. More pioneers soon followed, some living in huts of quaking aspen and others building log cabins for the mild first . . . Map (db m105836) HM
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45 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Paris — 386 — Paris Tabernacle
Designed by one of Brigham Young's sons, this imposing Romanesque tabernacle was built between 1884 an 1889 by skilled local craftsmen. Swiss stone masons cut and carved red sandstone that horse and ox teams hauled from a canyon 18 miles . . . Map (db m105848) HM
46 Idaho, Bear Lake County, Paris — 441 — Thomas Sleight Cabin
The Thomas Sleight Cabin was built in the fall of 1863 by Thomas Sleight and Charles Atkins, who with their wives, Marianne and Ann, occupied it together during the first winter of the settlement of Paris, Idaho. It was first finished with . . . Map (db m105866) HM
47 Idaho, Bear Lake County, St. Charles — Gutzon Borglum Monument
Erected in Honor of Gutzon Borglum Born in the village of St. Charles Idaho, March 25, 1867 He is internationally known for his painting and sculptoring and most famous for Mount Rushmore National Monument Gutzon . . . Map (db m105878) HM
48 Idaho, Bear Lake County, St. Charles — 211 — St. Charles
In May, 1864 Brigham Young called Swan Arnell, Sr., Charles G. Keetch, Sr., Robert Pope, and Johh Windley with their families to settle here. Soon others followed. Charles Windley was the first child born in the village. The town site was surveyed . . . Map (db m105869) HM
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May. 25, 2024