Because heavy use denuded the grass from the main Fort Hall route of the California Emigrant Trail along the Humboldt River, many Emigrants left the river near Starr Valley. They skirted the East Humboldt Range and the Ruby Mountains along a Shoshone Indian path, rested their livestock in the Lamoille Valley, and returned to the Humboldt River.
John Walker and Thomas Waterman first settled the area in 1865: Waterman named the valley after his native Vermont. In 1868, Walker erected the Cottonwood Hotel, store and blacksmith shop in the valley, and the settlement became known as the "Crossroads". Here wagons were repaired and food and supplies could be obtained. The original buildings, and the more recent 20-bedroom Lamoille Hotel, creamery, flour mill, and dance hall are gone.