"Alexander Ross in the Sawtooth Valley - 1824"

36" x 60 " Oil on Canvas

The Alexander Ross Expedition, working for the Hudson's Bay Company (recently merged with the Northwest Fur Company) entered the Sawtooth Valley of Central Idaho from the South in September of 1824 on a journey of discovery and potential trapping.   Ross gave a quite vivid and picturesque, if a little hyperbolic, description of the conditions encountered while entering the head of the valley and of the journey down river from the entrance site just East of present day Galena Summit separating the Sawtooth Valley in the Salmon River drainage North from the Wood River valley draining to the South.  They slowly worked their way North  down the valley, following the river and remarking on the many deer and the beauty of the valley.  They came to the confluence of present day Valley Creek and the Salmon River where the river turned down a rugged canyon to the East.  They found a couple of Grizzly Bears tearing up the turf in a large meadow alongside the creek while digging out worms and insects.  They called the area "The Bears Plowed Field."  That area is the present town site of Stanley, Idaho.  They were primarily looking to find and trap out any beaver they encountered and in doing so they explored the Stanley Basin and environs and then followed the canyon downriver leading to Challis where the expedition arrived in October .

 

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