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Cottonwood Field Office

Cultural History Phases

HISTORIC PHASE-AGRICULTURE AND RANCHING along the Lower Salmon River

Agriculture had its beginnings near the stations and stops along the trails to the mining regions. The keepers of these stations grew garden crops for their own use and eventually these gardens expanded in size, supplying the needs of the miners. Some miners (especially the Chinese) had small garden plots on their mining claims. Most of the land along the Salmon River was not well suited for major farming development, but was more appropriate for ranching activity.

The first cattle in the region came with the first settlers. Early stockmen are believed to have driven 1,000 cattle into the area in the early 1860s. Gradually there was a shift in emphasis from mining to farming and ranching along the river. Sheep were also brought into this area and feuds arose between the cattlemen and sheepmen over the use of the range. Some of these feuds resulted in poisoned water holes, crop destruction, and in some cases, murder.

old farm house