Snowslide Canyon and Hanke's Ranch

Snowslide Canyon and Hanke's Ranch (HM1ZZX)

Location: Montpelier, ID 83254 Bear Lake County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 23.592', W 111° 10.194'

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(Crow Creek Road)

By 1881, just five years following the opening of the Crow Creek Freight Road, freighters had started calling this canyon by that name. Snowslides were frequent on snowy, windy days as drifts would build up on the shale ridge. Unable to hold the steep side hill, the snow would come crashing down on anything in the canyon below, damming off the creek. Over the years many loads were buried and several teams of horses were crippled or killed as they triggered a snowslide while pulling their loads along the road.  It was truly a blessing that no man ever lost his life here as several had very close calls.
Tommy Ritson was buried with his team while traveling with the Inez Campbell and Clifford Thornton wedding party on January 12, 1912.  By holding his head up out of the rising water while digging him out, the party was able to save Tom's life. His team drowned in the water because they were unable to free them in time. In February 1914, 18 sleighs were caught in a blizzard in the canyon.  Blocked by snowslides ahead and then behind them, freighters managed to ride their horses out over the slide to Hanke's ranch.  They took turns by the fire to keep warm during the four days it took to dig out of Snowslide Canyon. Always hospitable with food and shelter for freighters, Jacob Henggi (Hanke) had a dairy and road ranch on Montpelier Creek
located on what is now just above the head waters of Montpelier Reservoir.  Hanke was a horse trader, a farrier, and a welcome sight to a weary freighter out on the Crow Creek Road.
Year Placed2010
Placed ByStar Valley Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 486016 N 4693448
Decimal Degrees42.39320000, -111.16990000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 23.592', W 111° 10.194'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 23' 35.52" N, 111° 10' 11.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)208
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3029 Crow Creek Rd, Montpelier ID 83254, US
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