An Illustrated History of the State of Idaho
By Lewis Publishing Company, 1899, Page 304-306


West and south of Payette, just across the beautiful river from which that village derives its name, lies Washoe bottom. It is a fine body of land, alluvium and loam, almost entirely bounded by the left bank of the Payette and the right bank of the Snake rivers. It contains about two thousand six hundred acres, four-fifths of which was converted into an island when A. Rossi built a head-gate at the Payette river and constructed a ditch out of a certain "sloo" for the purpose of running logs down to his saw-mill on the Oregon Short Line Railroad at Washoe. Through this ditch a large part of the bottom receives its water for irrigation. The Washoe Irrigation and Water Power Company also owns a fine ditch from the Payette, which waters the remaining and larger portion of the land. These ditches will sufficiently irrigate all the land on the bottom at an expense not to exceed twenty cents per acre.

All of the cereals, vegetables, forage plants and fruits of the temperate zone can be produced here in abundance and of special fine quality. Five tons of alfalfa to the acre have been harvested at two cuttings. Thus far, since the settlement of these lands, hay has been the principal crop, much of which is still produced from the native grasses. Orchards, what few we have here, are young and bear in from two to three years from setting. Apples and pears give fair yields at four years from setting of one and two year old trees.

Be it known that the crop of vegetables, grain and hay was less in the season of 1897 (with one exception) than any during the past 13 years, yet it amounted to the following: Hay, 526 tons; wheat, 2,900 bushels; oats, 4.458 bushels; alfalfa seed, 5,000 pounds; potatoes, 36,000; winter squashes, 252,000; tomatoes, 4,500; grapes, 5,000; apples, 15,500; peaches, 4,750; prunes, 5,000; pears, 1,380; apricots, 800; cherries, 400; and other crops in like proportion. There are also a large number of cattle owned on the bottom. In the gravel and sand underlying its fields there is untold wealth. Experts in mining state that gold abounds all through them to a depth of thirty feet to bed-rock. There is an underflow of water beneath every acre which will facilitate mining by means of the use of centrifugal pumps, and it is believed that the Snake river valley will in the near future rival the famous Yukon.

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