History of Horseshoe Bend
In "pioneer times" Horse Shoe Bend was always spelled with three-capitalized letters - now, only two: Horseshoe Bend.
An eye-witness account of events in and around the three-worded Horse Shoe Bend of 1872 has been preserved. Frank R. Starr, City Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, lived with his aunt after making the trip from California overland via Winnemucca, Nevada in the fall of that year:
"Eight miles beyond Warriner's Diggings we came to the picturesque village of Horse Shoe Bend. The town is regularly layed out having a hotel, church, sawmill, school-house, blacksmith shop, etc., etc., and is called the Arcadia of Idaho*.
The old Brownlee Trail crosses here going into the (Boise) Basin. A toll road and direct route to Oregon passes through also. The population in this district is 300. There is a weekly mail route from here to Bairdville on Upper Squaw Creek, thence over the divide to Upper Weiser, then to Warren, Idaho County. The finest horses and cattle in the world are raised at Horse Shoe Bend and fatten on the luxurious hills. Extensive fishing is carried on here at certain times of the year.
A saw and a first mill were built at the mouth of Shafer Creek in 1866 by E. Flemming.
In 1866 Mr. G. Miner build a large sawmill on the Payette River near town. He also built a fine bridge of two spans across the river in 1864, the only communication during high water for a large extent of the country.
North of here through timbered mountains are a series of valleys entirely unsettled and on to Payette Lakes, three in number. There is much game and many fish, including red fish or land-locked salmon in the upper lake.
Six miles above Horse Shoe Bend is the town of Jerusalem on a creek by the same name. The population is 100. They have a school house there."
*Arcadia is a mountainous, landlocked region of Greece...now English speakers often use arcadia to designate a place of rustic innocence and simple, quiet pleasure. Arcadian can mean "idyllically pastoral" or "idyllically innocent, simple or untroubled."
Excerpted from UC Berkley publications and "All Along the River" by Nellie Ireton Mills.