30. October 2018 · Comments Off on Fall Ride & Potluck – Sweet/Montour · Categories: Around The Campfire, Fun Rides

Montour, Gem County, Idaho, USA sits at the base of Regan Butte on the Payette River. At an elevation of about 3300 feet, the peak of Regan Butte rises 800 feet above the small farming community below. Off not far in the distance a little east of north one can see the small town of Sweet, Idaho and off in the distance in the same direction just out of sight is Ola, Idaho. Looking just a little south of west one can see a portion of Emmett, Idaho. The Payette River wraps almost entirely around the butte, bordering about 3/4th of its base. 360 degree ViewIn the early 1860’s the first ranch was established at what is now Montour and it was used as a stage/mail stop along the road to the Boise Basin. Montour was officially platted after the railroad came through in 1911. Montour once vied for the Boise County seat but in 1915 it was incorporated into Gem County, Emmett being the County seat. In 1941 a new highway bypassed Montour which greatly slowed growth and shortly thereafter the school closed.

In the early 1860’s the Marsh-Ireton Ranch was established as a stage and mail stop along the freight road to the Boise Basin. After the railroad came through the Valley in 1911, the Montour business district and town were platted. They vied for the Boise County seat, but in 1915, the town was incorporated into Gem County with Emmett as the County seat. Dreams of prosperity faded, when in 1941, the new highway bypassed Montour, and shortly thereafter the school closed due to school reorganization.

The last store closed in 1968. In the 1970’s, ice jams along the backwaters of the dam flooded the Valley. The Bureau of Reclamation bought out the landowners and has since turned the area into a wildlife refuge and camping area. A natural landmark is the small butte, generally known as Regan Butte, named after the homesteader who ran cattle there in the late 1800’s.

Riders: Terry MacDonald, Mike & Karen Heilman, Carmen Tyack, Janelle Weeks

During the gold rush to the Thunder Mountain Mines, Sweet served as an important freighter’s supply station. At the turn of the century, Sweet boasted of three hotels, three saloons, a bank, a newspaper, two lodge halls, and other business. It was named for the first postmaster Ezekiel Sweet. After the gold rush subsided and a series of fires in the business district, the town began to deteriorate, and was not rebuilt.

Potluck – Was held after the ride at the hobby ranch of Linda & Rob Adams located south east of Sweet. It was well attended by members and guest who enjoyed great food and interesting conversations.  Stories were swapped of our summer adventures and plans started to form for 2019.  No one went home hungry!

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