Took a ride around the "Bend". The Snake runs east across Idaho until it runs up against the Owyhee uplands. It then swings north and is the state line between Idaho and Oregon until it's confluence with the Clearwater at Lewiston WA. An old survey's error starts the straight line south to Nevada a bit after the Snake turns north and created the Bend, the only bit of Oregon east of the Snake. The first cattle drive to the Idaho Territory ended in the bend. With the Snake on two sides and the marsh at the confluence of the Boise and a sandy ridge on the other sides, it was perfect for wintering the heard that was incrementally supplied to the miners up in Silver City on War Eagle Mountain, at astronomical prices.
This water tower sets atop a hill overlooking the Roswell Marsh. It is the end of a conduit to the main ditch running along the sand hills across the marsh and contains checks to open the flow of water at the level of the main ditch.
Being cut off from the county seat in Vale, the homesteaders in the bend became a stubbornly Independent lot. They had their own grange, schools, and with the advent of the auto, rejected being part of the county's road districts. I had to dig my old Willys out of a snow drift there one winter when the roads on ether side of the bend had been kept plowed and clear. When I lived there, in Oregon, our party line was an Idaho number and all calls to Oregon (except little Adrian) were long-distance, as were all calls to Idaho. The power lines are still strung on glass insulators atop rotting wooden pegs. Power outs every time we had a good blow our ice storm. My wife was visiting a friend two miles down the road when lightning struck a tree, our car (cooked the computer) and the power pole. Because the old power poles grounds have rotted, it came all the way to my house and fried the TV, microwave oven, and phone.
the old grange on Redtop Rd,
This old pump house is all that's left of a large park. I remember the stone and iron gateway and huge old trees before they were cleared to farm. It was the pride of the bend, with a dance pavilion and band stand. People would come by wagon and carriage a days journey from Idaho and Oregon on the 4th of July and camp over. The bend is mostly depopulated now as farms grew larger and most old homesteads and schools have vanished in the past few years.