Fur traders, gold miners, and scandal: The history of Crouch

Fur traders, gold miners, and scandal: The history of Crouch

Crouch history buff Johnny Tucker as a senior in high school in 1948.

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by Matt Standal

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBMatt

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 5:32 PM

CROUCH, Idaho -- The City of Crouch wasn't officially incorporate until 1951, but the area's history goes back much further.

According to town historians, as early as 1818 French fur traders were the first Europeans to find their way here by exploring the Middle Fork of the Payette River.
 
Later in the 1860's, hearty miners on a quest for gold made the valley into a supply hub and recreation area. The first bridge built over the Payette River came in 1867. The pioneers who traveled here followed trails and used mule trains.

However, it wasn't until the early 1900's when the area was finally tamed by loggers and ranchers.

According to 82-year-old resident Johnny Tucker (who actually knew the town's founder), an early pioneer named Bill Crouch donated the first acre of what was to become the city of Crouch back in the early 1930's. Tucker says the purpose was to qualify the town for a post office that operated in various businesses until 1966.

Town lore also indicates that scandal ensued after the "official" incorporation of Crouch in 1951.

That's when town leaders annexed a foot-wide strip from the town center to the nearby village of Banks. The extra population obtained through this method enabled town leaders to acquire a liquor license. The foot-wide strip also allowed the town to operate slot mchines, which were illegal in many other parts of the state.

Power finally came to the Garden Valley area in 1947. Before that, all building projects, ranching, and mining was done by hand.

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