Ada County is watered by the Boise river, the Boise valley comprising the greater proportion of the county and its assets. The great Arrowrock dam, completed recently by the United States Reclamation Service to store irrigation water for 240,000 acres of arid land lower down the valley, will bring much new land in Ada County into cultivation. The larger part of the acreage to be reclaimed is in Canyon County.
There is no forest reserve within or near Ada County, with very little mining of any kind, and the resources are almost exclusively agricultural. There is good grazing land in the south part of the county, on the lands for which, as yet, no adequate water supply has been found. Practically all the tillable portion of Ada County lies below an altitude of 2,500 feet.
The Boise valley is a notable fruit section, shipping thousands of cars of apples and prunes, and smaller quantities of some other fruits, to the outside market. Dairying and hog-raising are also important industries and. not much acreage is devoted to grain for other than home consumption. Lands are high in price; there is very little that can be bought under $75.00 an acre, and prices range from that figure to several hundred dollars an acre for small tracts reached by the interurban or steam roads out of Boise. Much pure-bred stock is raised in the valley, and there are sol-ne nationally famous dairy herds.
Water is found at easy depths through most of the valley. Lumber runs from about $22.00 per M upwards. Much of this comes from the forests and sawmills on the upper Boise river.
The facts that it is the state capital and also the largest wholesale and 'manufacturing business center in the intermountain country make Boise a good market for all farm products. The city has more population than all the rest of the county, and is growing so rapidly that it will be a better market every year.
Boise claims about 30,000 people. It is a modern industrial city of enterprise and wealth. The State Soldiers' home, the United States Land Office and the Federal court and State penitentiary are located here. Brick factories and stone quarries are some of the industries. There is a natatorium, one of the largest in the West, supplied with water from hot springs, and much of the city is heated by water from the same source. It is claimed that Boise is the most beautiful city of its size in America. The fruit export business is very large, and the lumber output, when the big mills are in operation, will be enormous. The Arrowrock dam is about 30 miles above the city, on the Boise river. Two electric roads traverse the valley from Boise, and for miles the land is cut into small acreage tracts, owned largely by people who have business in town.
Meridian, half-way from Boise to Nampa, has 1,000 people. It ships several hundred cars of fruit every year, besides hogs, cheese, and other farm products. A co-operative cheese factory which is doing a good business will be enlarged. The State highway passes through the town, as does the interurban road and the Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System. Meridian is one of the biggest honey-shipping points in the State. A large spray and disinfectant factory, a fruit by-products company, a commercial club, a bank, a newspaper and a large grain elevator are some of the business features.
Few large farms are found anywhere in the valley. Most of the land is cut into small holdings, highly developed and prospering.
Middleton and Star are other towns down the valley from Boise, general conditions being much the same as at Meridian. The whole valley has been rather over-capitalized in land values, but conditions are now better than for years past, and land can be had for moderate prices. The countless examples of families that make their whole living from tracts of 5 or 10 acres of land with fruit, poultry, cows, and a few hogs, make it easy to prove that it can be done. The small rainfall, the almost 300 sunshiny days, the altitude just over 2,000 feet, and the excellent health conditions inviting one to the open air, as well as the excellent country roads and the electric and steam road service for school, for business and for pleasure, make this country one of many people and small, highly developed farms. A drive down the Boise valley gives one the impression that it is a gigantic garden rather than a mere farming section.
Kurta and Mora, on the main line of the Oregon Short Line of the Union Pacific System in the east part of the county, will be served by the government water from Arrowrock. A project is under way to irrigate more than 200,000 acres of land, mostly in Ada County, not now included in any active Carey Act project. If it be carried out, Ada County will be the premier irrigated county of the West.
Adams County was created in 1911. It has extensive forest resources; parts of three forest reserves, with 629,111 acres, are in the county; and in the Seven Devils section is a vast deposit of high-grade copper ore. This last is not reached by railroad; the Oregon Short Line extension, from Huntington to Homestead, Oregon, west of the Snake River, is the closest railway service. When copper from these deposits is brought into the market, it will mean a good home market.
Being at a comparatively low altitude, and with a considerable rainfall, the sheltered valleys of this county are particularly adapted to the growing of fruit; some of the greatest apple orchards in the West are around Council. The Oxbow power plant on the Snake River is in Adams County. There are many delightful sites for homes in the valleys of Adams County, but no great area of land on which to build cities or populous communities, though there are a number of busy small towns.
Council is the county seat, and New Meadows the terminus of the railroad. Both have a considerable distributing trade.
Click Here To Return To Union Pacific Booklet Index