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THE IRRIGATION AGE
Pulse of the Irrigation Industry
Volume 06, Number 3, March 1894, Page 120
Outlook in Eastern Oregon - Mr. Wilson, who owns part of Ontario town site and valuable lands near, is getting ready to construct a canal fourteen miles long to parallel the Owyhee canal, but on lower ground. Both these canals are to have water running through their entire length early next April. Just over the Snake river in Idaho the Payette and other ditches are in good Shape, thousands of fruit trees are being planted this fall, and more will be in the spring. Surveyors are busy running lines looking to the extension of the high ditch from Payette river to Weiser and the Country around.
Pulse of the Irrigation Industry
Volume 06, Number 3, March 1894, Page 124
It is rumored that there is a project on foot for a German syndicate to put out 300 acres of hops near Payette, ldaha, We shall await developments with a good deal of interest, because such a move would at once bring this section of the country into prominence it has not heretofore enjoyed, resulting in great benefit to all.
Pulse of the Irrigation Industry
Volume 06, Number 3, March 1894, Page 125
Payette, Idaho – Hon. R. A. Cowden says that the Payette canyon canal is now assured. It will be 15 miles long and cover 25,000 acres of choice bench land.
Pulse of the Irrigation Industry
Volume 06, Number 4, April 1894, Page 163
Should Have Had Credit - Articles of the Payette Canyon Ditch Co. have been filed with the Secretary of State of Idaho. The object is to take a ditch out of the Payette above Emmett.
Canal Notes, Idaho
Volume 06, Number 4, April 1894, Page 164
The parties Interested in the construction of the new ditch on the north side of the Payette river were notified to appear before the State Land Board and present argument on their petition for a relinquishment of about 3,000 acres of state lands located under the proposed canal.
Pulse of the Irrigation Industry
Volume 06, Number 6, June 1894, Page 272
Idaho - Articles of incorporation of the Riverside Irrigation Co., Limited, have been filed with Secretary of State Curtis. The company propose to extend the Methodist ditch, which is taken out near Caldwell, about 15 miles down the river. A plan under which the company is working is to give each purchaser of water rights an equal amount of stock. By this method the consumers will, in time, own the ditch. The directors of the new company are Judson Spofford, W. P. Hard and A. J. Wiley, of Boise; D. W. Ross, of Payette; I. H. Lowell, of Riverside. The capital stock is $150.00.
The Payette Valley Irrigation Co. has filed with Secretary of State Curtis notice of the appointment of D. M. Hollins, of this city, to be an agent of the company.
Articles of incorporation of the Crook Irrigation Co. have been filed with Secretary of State Curtis. This is the company headed by A. J. Crook, of Payette, that has purchased the Last Chance ditch at Emmett, which it is proposed to extend to Payette. The capital stock of the company is $100,000, $16,000 being paid up. The directors are A. J. Crook. A. A. Branthoover, R. Pearse, E. Antz and C. L. Haines, all of Payette.
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Volume 07, Number 1, July 1894, Page 39
Idaho – A.J. Cook says work will be commenced shortly on the extension of the Last Chance ditch in the Payette Valley. The promoters of the enterprise are now considering the estimates, the lowest of which is $40,000.
An Effort to be Made in Denver
Volume 07, Number 02, August 1894, Page 53
In the May number of this journal the writer presented an article entitled, "The Republic of Irrigation." The design of that article was to set forth an outline of the possibilities of colony-making on irrigated lands. It was stated that the writer would invite the most influential and thoughtful men of the various States and Territories to meet him at the next irrigation congress with a view to perfecting plans looking to the development of a high type of colonies in various portions of the West. It is still the writer's purpose to make this effort. The nature of the undertaking is such as to make it impracticable to publish details at this time, but we wish here and now to extend a hearty invitation to those interested in the settlement of irrigated lands to meet the writer at Denver during the sessions of the congress between September 3d and 10th. The duties of the congress will, of course, be very pressing and will occupy the time very fully, but the night is long and time can be found for the thorough discussion of this matter before the delegates depart for their homes. It is high time that the problem of making homes where the common people may realize the highest average prosperity were approached intelligently and courageously. The task is great, but the world has never lacked men capable of performing great tasks when such men were demanded by the relentless pressure of events. There is clearly a call for enlightened effort. We promised in the Los Angeles platform "to evolve new forms of civilization, to give new life to popular institutions." The promise must be kept. It must be kept because the best interests of our beloved West, of our common country and of humanity alike demand it. It is not necessary that it be undertaken in a spirit of pure benevolence. Men require a reasonable incentive to induce them to work hard in any cause. It is no reflection upon our pilgrim fathers to remark that when they founded a colony where they might enjoy religious liberty they created a demand for corner lots in the town of Plymouth.
HORTICULTURE BY IRRIGATION
Volume 07, Number 2, August 1894, Page 85
Idaho as a Fruit Country - The Producers Association of Nampa have gathered and compiled some interesting data with reference to the fruit acreage of Ada and Canyon counties. The association was unable to get reports from a number of growers, principally in the Payette valley. The table prepared and printed by the association gives the acreage of trees set out from 1887 to 1893 inclusive, at 3,321.1 acres, of which 604.5 acres is apples, 86 is peaches, 2,388.3 is prunes, 120.2 is pears and 32.1 is cherries. The most remarkable increase is noticed in prunes. In 1887 there were 81 acres of prunes planted in the territory embraced in the two counties. In 1892 this had been increased to something over 1,135 acres, and, in 1893, 1,252 acres were set out. The largest prune acreage is at Orchard Farms, where there are 414 acres. No record is made of trees set out prior to 1887.
Idaho As A Field For Homes
Volume 07, Number 4, October 1894, Page 217
In Southern Idaho, and notably at Boise, Nampa and Payette, the writer found some peculiar conditions which account largely for the disappointments of irrigation investment. Large canals have been built, but the land has been gobbled by great numbers of speculators who have neither the money nor the disposition to improve it. The speculators cannot buy water and the companies cannot control the development of the land. Progress is being made and the future is full of promise, but the situation forcibly illustrates the evils of our wretched land laws. Southern Idaho will be the field of wonderful development in the next few years. It has the ideal climate for the Anglo Saxon. The twenty-acre farm is large enough to support a family with comfort and thrift. Forty acres should be the outside limit for a family of ordinary means. Eighty acres constitutes a misfortune, and one hundred-sixty acres a calamity. No ordinary family can cultivate so much land wisely and intensively under irrigation. And only wise and intensive cultivation fits the conditions of the arid region. Southern Idaho has the advantages of cheap land, ample water and good transportation facilities. To study the opportunities which it offers for the making of independent homes for free men is to experience a thrill which has not been felt since Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation of Emancipation. That meant much to black men. This means much to white men. Intelligent effort in the way of colonization will start Idaho upon a wonderful era of prosperity. She has all the elements of a great civilization except the chief one, which is men. She can readily sustain hundreds of thousands where she has tens of thousands today. The writer is under obligations for courtesies received at the hands of leading citizens of Boise, Nampa and Payette.
Volume 07, Number 5, November 1894, Page 241
Idaho – Payette – The Idaho Orchard Company, limited, incorporated by J. J. Toole, F. C. Moss, David Gorrie, D. C. Chase and I. R. Berry. The capital stock is $5,000.
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THE PROJECTED COLONY A TYPE OF THE NEW LIFE OF ARID AMERICA By WILLIAM E. SMYTHE
Volume 08, Number 03, April 1895, Page 76-81
New Boundaries Described
Volume 08, Number 12, February 1895, Page 52
Area, 70,000 square miles; population in 1890, 42,000; estimated population in 1894, 75,000; comprising all the Shoshone valley, from the river's source in the Rocky mountains to a point a little below the mouth or the Malheur, including the Owyhee and Malheur valleys, together with the country around Lakes Malheur and Harney; thus embracing the southern half of the present Idaho, and sections from the present Wyoming, Utah. Nevada and Oregon, the northern boundary being brought to the river from the east along the watershed between the Boise and Payette rivers, and from the west along the height of land north of the Malheur.
Volume 08, Number 3, March 1895, Page 100
A NOVEL ORCHARD PLAN
I. R. Beery and several associates at Payette, Idaho, are arranging to develop a large orchard property in the Payette Valley on lands in the neighborhood of the Plymouth Colony tract. They will plant this land to peaches, pears, apples and prunes, and sell stock in the Orchard Company. It will be conducted under the California method of irrigation and cultivation and it is hoped that the stockholders will realize good dividends as a result.
The conditions for the enterprise are most favorable. The soil, climate and water supply are the best, as the success of other orchards in the neighborhood amply demonstrate. Such a company in such a locality, with thoroughly competent management and a conservative basis of capitalization, ought to prove a good investment. There are great possibilities in this line of business, and it would seem as if they might be realized in the case of this enterprise. We would suggest that another good feature of the plan would be to make the stock good for the purchase of tracts of these fruit lands and improvements, so that investers who might desire to make their homes upon the lands at some time in the future would be able to do so without further investment. The outcome of this enterprise will he watched, with great interest.
Volume 08, Number 03, March 1895, Page 104 - 105
Volume 08, Number 6, June 1895, Page 186 - 187
COLONIAL LIFE FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE By OLIVER N. GOLDSMITH
Volume 8, Number 08, December 1895, Page 237
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Volume 09, Number 01, January 1896, Page 48
The Washoe Irrigation and Power Company has been incorporated, $20,000 to construct a canal in Canyon county, taking water from the Payette River, for irrigating the lands in the Washoe bottom.
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PUBLIC OPINION AND THE IRRIGATION CONGRESS
Volume 10, Number 3, September 1896, Page 99 - 100
Volume 10, Number 04, October 1896, Page 137
The Irrigation Age is indispensable and is a very valuable paper.
Dr. J. B. Burns, Plymouth Colony, Payette, Idaho.
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New Leveling Instrument, M.B. Sherman, Payette, Idaho
Volume 11, Number 1, January 1897, Page 33 (Advertisements)
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PHOTO – Home of James M. Wells, Plymouth Colony, Idaho
Volume 12, Number 01, October 1897, Page 15
First Picnic of Plymouth Colony
Volume 12, Number 02, November 1897, Page 34
Irrigation In Idaho
Volume 12, Number 09, June 1898, Page 246 - 249
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Unprofitable Irrigation Works, Number 8, By T.S. Van Dyke (Excerpt)
Volume 13, Number 04, January 1899, Page 121 - 122
The system of a central village of acre lots with the cultivated tracts outside, which was started in Payette, Idaho. I believe, by Wm. E. Smythe, the founder and former editor of the Age, seems the best of all to meet the wants of modern times where people dread isolation. It certainly lies great advantages and no objections that I can see because no one is obliged to live in the center. Hut there are some things that settlers should be compelled to do, such as arrange waste water ditches and plant timber along them so as to be at no expense for fuel, save the manure, use gates in the laterals instead of dirt dams, etc., etc., etc.
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THE COLONY BUILDERS
THE LIGHT OF EXPERIENCE ON COLONY PLANS
Volume 14 (15), Number 06, March 1900, Page 210
THE SOCIAL PLAN (Excerpt)
By WM. E. SMYTHE
"It is a mistake to ignore the social instinct in human nature." Not only in the European colonies to which reference has been made, but in European agricultural life generally, the plan of assembling homes in a village center has been followed to the marked satisfaction of the people. This is the universal method among the Mormons and has largely contributed to make them a contented people. We chose this plan for our Plymouth colony of Idaho and the settlers testify that if they had realized no other advantage than the social one from the general scheme this alone would have made it well worth while. To be close to the school, church, store, and post-office, to have a pleasant company of neighbors immediately at hand, and to be able to assemble in the little hall for social contact without inconvenience - these things took the rough edge off pioneer days and kept the people contented while their farms wore improving. Much of the charm of life in Southern California has been due to the same consideration. Anaheim, the mother colony of that famous district, was made in this way. Riverside and its neighboring beautiful settlements have all the advantages of the finest New England town. It is a thoroughly practicable plan and one that should not be ignored unless it is found that settlers are distinctly prejudiced against it.
THE COLONY BUILDERS By WILLIAM E. SMYTHE
Volume 14, Number 01, October 1899, Page 19 - 23
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Irrigation in the Northwest (Excerpt)
Volume 16, Number 2, November 1901, Page 53 -54
"Idaho is considered one of the best wooded states of the arid region, its narrow northern end being covered to a large extent with forests and woodlands. The broad southern part, however, extends over the lava plains bordering on Snake River, and is destitute of the larger vegetation, the most conspicuous plant being the so-called sage brush, which grows on this rich soil often to extraordinary size. The water supply of the state is large, but, unfortunately, only a part can be utilized to advantage, as the most important river - the Snake - soon after leaving the mountains, cuts for itself a deep canyon in the lava, and by cascades and rapids falls to a depth of hundreds or thousands of feet below the plains.
"Tho vacant land of the state - over 75,000 square miles - forms nearly nine-tenths of the total area. The great mass of it, untouched by settlement, lies in the almost unexplored mountain passes of the central and northeastern parts of the state. On the great laval plains of the Snake, also, are many miles of vacant land, the soil, though fertile, being too dry to attract the pioneer. Along the northwestern edge, adjacent to Eastern Washington, the cultivation of cereals by dry farming is successful; and in the valley of the Weiser, Payette, and Boise many irrigating systems have been constructed carrying water to farms on the benches and lowlands. There is still a surplus of supply, and the area thus cultivated can be extended, although it is probable that the lands now in private ownership will demand all the water easily obtainable.
"Considerable areas of vacant public land can probably be watered by large canals heading on the Snake River near or below Idaho Falls, and small tracts can doubtless be made valuable by the construction of storage reservoirs upon or near the edge of the lava plains. Several such reservoirs, as, for example, in the vicinity of Mountain Home, have been built and are in successful operation, the relatively low altitude and genial climate rendering possible the production of prunes and similar fruits."
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Editorial - Cause For Our Delay
Volume 19, Number 2, December 1903, Page 37
The delay in issuing our December number was caused by storms delaying matter for a special El Paso and Payette edition. El Paso matter is not yet all in, but will be made a special feature of a hundred-page New Year's edition to appear early in January.
AN IMPORTANT IRRIGATION WORK
Volume 19, Number 11, September 1904, Page 377
The Secretary of the Inferior has tentatively approved plans for a stupendous irrigation project to be constructed in the valleys of Payette and Boise Rivers, in southwestern Idaho. This information will be especially interesting to those who are familiar with the publications of the United States Geological Survey. One of the most recent geologic folios issued by the Survey is that relating to the Nampa Quadrangle, which is situated near the lower end of Snake River Valley, mostly in Canyon County, Idaho. Mr. Waldemar Lindgren, author of the folio, states that in this region, owing to the lack of rainfall, vegetation is scant, and the entire quadrangle may be called a sagebrush desert. He calls attention to the fact that, with the exception of the flood plains of the Boise and Payette Rivers, tributaries of Snake River, where there is a natural subirrigation that keeps vegetation growing, and some places along Willow Creek, where underground water provides similar subirrigation, the agricultural lands of the quadrangle must be irrigated. In view of this great need, it is gratifying to learn that work has been begun to bring under one comprehensive national irrigation project 372,000 acres of land, or more than the total irrigated area of Arizona, Washington, or New Mexico. In compliance with a request from the majority of the land owners of the Boise and Payette Valleys, the Secretary of the Interior has ordered a continuance of the surveys and investigations preliminary to actual construction work. A sufficient sum for the completion of the work will be set aside as soon as the settlers perfect the necessary organization to secure to the reclamation fund the return of the money required for the undertaking.
The project comprises two features, a masonry dam in Payette River and works for the diversion of water from Boise River. Associated with the dam in Payette River is a canal on each side of the stream, that on the south side connecting with a large pumping plant. The dam will he ninety feet high, 450 feet long on top, and 125 feet long on the bottom. The capacity of the reservoir will be 190,000 acre feet. The north side canal will have a length of twenty miles, the south side forty miles. The estimated cost of these works is $1,200.000. By means of them 1,000. cubic feet of water may be diverted every second for the irrigation of 150,000 acres of land.
The works for the diversion of waters from the Boise River consists of a dam ten feet high, 400 feet long on top, and 400 feet on the bottom, constructed of concrete, steel and timber. The capacity of the reservoir will be 150,000 feet. Two diversion canals, one on each side of the river, will have a combined length of 135 miles and a bottom width varying from forty-five to ninety feet. The estimated cost of this section of the project is $2,000,000. making the cost of the entire project $3,200,000.
No other region of the United States presents a more attractive field for the engineers of the reclamation service.
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EDITORIAL New Plymouth Colony with Photos
Volume 20, Number 03, January 1905, Page 69
Letter from Payette
Volume 20, Number 04, February 1905, Page 117
United States Reclamation Service (Excerpt)
Volume 20, Number 05, March 1905, Page 147
Reprinted from Biennial Report of the State Engineer of Idaho (Excerpt)
The Canyon Canal Company was organized to irrigate about 32,000 acres of land on the west side of the Payette River, near the town of Emmett. The company is under contract with the State to construct irrigation works and furnish water at a fixed price to settlers upon Government and State lands, and all proceedings of the company have been approved by both the State and National Governments; but they have suffered much in their financial negotiations, due to the direct opposition and interference of the employes of the Reclamation Service of the United States Geological Survey.
Add to this the fact that nearly all the available irrigable land of the State (amounting to over three million acres) has been withdrawn from the public domain, subject only to the uses of the Reclamation Service, under such regulations as its officers may from time to time establish, and we have a state of affairs that offers no inducements to private or corporate capital or enterprise, and has entirely checked irrigation development in the State along these lines, except in the ease of enterprises too far advanced to recede. It is not now probable that any new Carey act work will be undertaken while present conditions obtain.
As a substitute for this great activity, from which so much was expected and so much already accomplished, we now have a cessation of development of larger enterprises and an atmosphere of expectancy among all classes of citizens that the "Government" will somehow improve the conditions of irrigation in all sections of the State. The farmer stands ready to sign any contract that is presented to him on behalf of the Government, and has abandoned individual effort.
It is well to bear in mind during all this hue and cry in favor of "Government aid" that so far every particle of work done in digging ditches and irrigating land in the State has been by private capital or individual effort, and to remember that not an acre of ground has as yet been irrigated by Government aid. It is well to remember that all our splendid development under the provisions of the Carey act was begun before the Reclamation act was passed, and to remember further that there would have been still more work under way had this act never been passed. It would be well for sober minded citizens to pause in their hurrahs long enough to inquire in what particular they will be benefited by a substitution of the apparent policies of those having charge of the work of the Reclamation Service. Will they get something for nothing? The law provides that every dollar shall be paid bock to the National treasury. Will they get works constructed more cheaply? Compare the methods of organizing an irrigation district under our State laws and of organizing an association to seek Government aid. Will they get irrigation works constructed quicker? Compare the time of starting work under the irrigation district system with the progress made under Government aid.
United States Reclamation Service (Excerpt)
Volume 20, Number 05, March 1905, Page 148
Reprinted from Biennial Report of the State Engineer of Idaho (Excerpt)
The irrigators of the Boise and Payette valleys, acting under the guidance of the Reclamation Service, are organizing themselves into a "Water Users' Association," in order to eventually enter into a contract with the National Government by which they will become equal sharer in whatever water the engineers may be able and willing to conserve and supply. The organization is an excellent one, and, when once formed, will be one great irrigation district. The members will then be in position to construct their own irrigation works under our irrigation district law. The benefit to them of having signed a contract to mortgage their lands to the National Government, to agree to make no changes in their by-laws except with the approval of the Hon. Secretary of the Interior, and to accept and pay for whatever irrigation works may be designed and constructed without their knowledge or approval, is not apparent. The irrigator must eventually pay the bills, and the only advantage he can have in accepting and paying for the Government works is in the apparent saving of interest charges. It is doubtful if this will offset the disadvantages incident to Governmental supervision and control of his every act and the increased cost to him of the works which becomes daily more inevitable.
BROUGHT BY THE POSTMANS
Letters from Correspondents to The Irrigation Age
Volume 20, Number 06, April 1905, Page 183 - 184
Editor Irrigation Age
Dear Sir - Intense interest in the negotiations of the National Reclamation Bureau has been manifest in Idaho for the past six months, during which time surveys and plans have been male for the reclamation of over a million acres of land in the Payette and Snake River Valleys.
A large portion of this vast acreage is contiguous to the Oregon Short Line Railway and the highly developed farms and orchards of southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
Already the suburban telephone system has spread its net of wires throughout the fettle valleys and the rural mail routes extend from the cities and villages of recent development to the interior settlements which have sprung up during the past few years under the magic wand of the irrigator.
All the canals of the Payette Valley are owned and operated by the farmers; these are the most successful canals in the State, with an ample and never failing supply of water and efficient and economical management. The largest of these canals, known at the Farmer's Cooperative Irrigation Company, is thirty-five miles in length and will irrigate 20,000 acres of land. The Noble Ditch and the Lower Payette Ditch are about twenty miles long and will each water about 10,000 acres of land.
The seven or eight tons of alfalfa hay per acre raised on these farms each year is fed to the sheep and cattle which find pasture during the summer months in the surrounding mountains. The large orchards of apples, prunes, peaches, pears and cherries furnish employment for an army of fruit pickers and packers, and the luscious and tempting fruit is marketed to the far East as well as in the inter-mountain States, being handled through the large packing house at Payette owned by the fruit growers' association.
Adjoining this prosperous valley the Government now proposes through its Boise-Payette project, to reclaim some 250,000 acres of sage brush desert, using the Payette lakes as a great reservoir and diverting from the Payette River with a dam over seventy feet high.
Directly across the Snake River in Oregon it is proposed to irrigate 100,000 acres from a reservoir to he constructed by the Government on the Malheur River, a short distance above.
The Water Users' Associations are just now trying to cope with the many complex difficulties which must he removed before Government aid an be secured.
The Boise-Payette project has the merit of having sufficient land which can not he watered by other canals to warrant the proposed expenditure of some three million dollars, and contracts will probably be let before the end of the year for this great work.
The Malheur proposition is more difficult to handle and it is doubtful if the benefit to be derived will warrant the incurring of the estimated cost of three million dollars for the reclamation of less than 50,000 acres of land not susceptible of irrigation from other canal systems.
Much indignation has been felt in this section against Mr. Newell on account of his attempted interference with the completion of the canal and reservoir system of the Malheur Irrigation Company, which has been in course of construction for more than a year past and will reclaim over 50,000 acres of choice land when completed.
On account of the heavy cost of the Malheur reservoir and the limited amount of acreage which could be reached, aside from the land already reclaimed, it was thought necessity to secure about 30,000 acres from the lands under the partly constructed canalss of the Malheur Irrigation Company and notwithstanding the fact that the officers of the company were well known capitalists, who had already made a success of the largest canals in southwestern Idaho, and had done more in the way of home building by colonizing the lands in that section, during the past four or five years than had been accomplished by all other sources combined during the preceding decade. Mr. Newell kept some of his Government employes engaged for several days in making a personal canvas and misrepresentations to the farmers until he secured the required amount of acreage from the lands under the partly constructed canals of this company. Many of the stockholders of the company were those having homesteads and desert entries and their ability to make final proof and hold their claims depend upon the prompt completion of the canals and reservoirs of this company, as the Government does not contemplate building its reservoir and canal system in time to be of any service to these entry men in their immediate need.
As yet no official protest has been made to the Interior Department, but a vigorous one is being formulated which will not reflect any credit on Mr. Newell as the chief engineer of the National Reclamation Bureau. (Exerie)
DISCREDITING CLEAN ENTERPRISE
Volume 20, Number 08, June 1905, Page 243
A subscriber writes from Payette, Idaho as follows:
A number of our most substantial promoters of irrigation projects are interested in the construction of canals in Malheur County, Ore., just across the Snake River from Payette. This canal system has been in course of construction for over two years and will ultimately water some 50,000 acres of choice land, unless Mr. Newell succeeds in discrediting the enterprise to such an extent that it becomes impossible to carry out our plans. He has already placed several Government solicitors in the field to misinform the settlers under this system to such an extent that they would be willing to sign contracts to be furnished by a Government proposition which will, if completed, water a portion of the land covered by our canal system and, while we would be glad to have the Government assist in the development of this country, we shall protest vigorously against any direct interference of this kind with private industries, now in the hands of capable irrigation and colonization men who have been very successful indeed in the development of this country, and we are heartily in sympathy with the Governor of Wyoming in his protest against the "imperialism" of Mr. Newell.
Opportunities in Idaho (Excerpt)
By Hon. T.W. Hunt, Ex-Governor of Idaho
Volume 20, Number 11, September 1905, Page 334 -335
In Idaho the Government is building a canal at Minidoka to reclaim 100,000 acres, and is enlarging the Boise River canal system to cover possibly 200,000 acres of new land. Private capital in this State is constructing canals at Twin Falls, 270,000 acres; at Blackfoot, 95,000 acres; at Mountain Home, 15,000 acres; at Glenns Frery, 25,000 acres; at Bruneau, 200,000 acres, and at Emmett, 25,000 acres. It is of the latter that you have asked for some description.
Emmett is situated on the banks of the Payette river, is a rapidly growing town of 3,000 people, on a standard gauge railroad, twenty-eight miles from Nampa and thirty miles from Boise City. The river emerges from a closed canyon four miles above Emmett and the valley begins to spread to a width of seven or eight miles, with the river in the center, and continues a distance of fourteen miles before the hills on the north side again break into the river. It is much like an oasis in a desert and the view is one long to be remembered. To the south is the divide between the Payette and Boise Rivers and on the north a low range of hills and the great rugged volcano, Squaw Butte, 2,000 feet high, completely sheltering the valley between and making the mildest climate in all of Southern Idaho. In the winter season it is safe to count on weeks of weather when the thermometer will not get under forty degrees above zero, and will never go below zero during the entire winter. The river does not freeze and ice must be put up from water run into ponds.
The bench land on the north side of the river from Emmett consists of about 20,000 acres, and is the land that the Canyon Canal is designed to cover. It is generally conceded to be the choicest agricultural spot in Idaho. The soil is a decomposed lava washed from Squaw Butte and the lower hills that fringe its upper edge, and varies from thirty to eighty feet in depth. It will raise anything that a temperate climate can produce. Fruits of every description, especially peaches and apples, are a certain crop, but hay is the staple of the country, as it is of all far western farmers. This soil has yielded from six to eleven tons of alfalfa hay to the acre, with three cuttings in the season. Seven tons is considered an average crop of a well ordered farm, which is worth $8.00 a ton fed to your own stock.
PAYETTE VALLEY WATER WHEELS
Volume 20, Number 10, August 1905, Page 300
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