Fiddling with History
History on the Salmon River
If you enjoy history, but aren’t crazy about a rigid lecture schedule,
You will love this unique historical Main Salmon River rafting trip. Idaho history comes alive when Dave Wolfe shares his many memories of growing up in the back-country along the Salmon River.
Calling all musicians!
Dave is an accomplished musician, and if you are too, bring along your instruments! We’ll unwind around the campfire each evening, reveling in music and compelling tales from Idaho’s past. This is really a fun Whitewater River Rafting Trip on the Main Salmon River for the whole family!
Dave Wolfe, of the Rhett Creek Wolfe family, joins us on the Main Salmon River.
Dave’s parents came to the Salmon River country in the early 40’s, first to the Crowfoot ranch, then to Allison ranch. Later, in the late 50s, Dave’s mother Reho got the mining claim and cabin at Rhett Creek. She brought her large family into the cabin year-round for a year or two, home-schooling them at the cabin. She and her family maintained the cabin, visiting primarily in the summers up until her death in 1998, on the river. The family continues to occupy the cabin even now.
Dave knowledge of people and their way of life along the river, back through the depression period and earlier, is extensive. He knew many of the old timers personally and carefully gathered family stories about others. Dave’s stories are brought to life as we occasionally take a break from rafting the Main Salmon River to examine rustic cabins, sample fruit from the trees homesteaders planted, and wonder at a way of life gone forever.
Dave’s roots, memories, and photos come to life on this memorable trip.
Because of its remote, rugged, terrain and public land, the Salmon River retained a frontier atmosphere up to WWII and beyond. Up through the depression, before power boats and environmental impact statements, people could find an unoccupied bench along the river, build a log cabin, raise a garden and orchard, mine a little gold, trap, try to raise and sell some livestock or produce, and do whatever they could to scratch out the few hundred dollars a year they needed for whatever supplies they could not produce themselves. These are Dave’s roots. His grandpa ( a professional saloon gambler) is buried at Richardson Creek, his mother at Rhett Creek, his brother at Campbell’s Ferry.
Dave’s parents came to the Salmon River country in the early 40’s, first to the Crowfoot ranch, then to Allison ranch. Later, in the late 50s, Dave’s mother Reho got the mining claim and cabin at Rhett Creek. She brought her large family into the cabin year-round for a year or two, homeschooling them there. She and her family maintained the cabin, visiting primarily in the summers up until her death in 1998, at the cabin. The family continues to occupy the cabin to the present. A biography of Reho is “Reho Wolfe–the End of a Salmon River Era” by her son John Wolfe, 2002. Conley’s “River of No Return” has a brief entry on Rhett Creek and the Wolfe family.
“Gold at Dixie Gulch” by Marian Sweeney…
Is a great book to help set the stage for this Fiddling With History Main Salmon River Rafting Tour. (“Gold at Dixie Gulch”by Marian Sweeney, 1982, Clearwater Valley Publishing Company, Kamiah, Idaho.) It deals mostly with the history of the old mining town of Dixie, but Dixie was the closest town to that part of the Salmon River, so there is quite a bit of reference to Salmon River residents. Many people from the Salmon River also lived in Dixie at various times. Another book is “My Mountains–Where the River Still Runs Downhill” by Frances Zaunmiller Wisner, 1987, Idaho County Free Press, Grangeville, Idaho. Frances lived at Campbell’s Ferry from the early 40s until 1986. She wrote a column for the weekly Grangeville newspaper, and this book is a collection of her better pieces, published soon after she died.