Picture for article "Cascade History"

Cascade History

About Cascade, Idaho

Cascade is a relatively small town in Idaho. It is also the county seat of Valley County. The city is located on the southeastern shore of Cascade Lake, formerly known as the "Cascade Reservoir", which was formed as a result of the construction of a Cascade dam on the north side of the city. Construction was started by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1942, suspended during World War II, and completed in 1948.

The Cascade is located about 70 miles north of Boise and can be accessed via Highway 55, the Payette River Scenic Byway, recognized as a national scenic byway. It goes north from Eagle in Ada County to Gang Horseshoe in Boise County and ascends the white water of the Payette River to Cascade.

Founding of the city

Cascade was founded in July 1917 and was recognized as the county seat of the newly formed Valley County in the same year. The city is located in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains, where the North Fork of the Payette River flows through the town. The mountain-forested region extends from the upper borders of the Great Basin almost to the Arctic Circle.

Back in 1860, John Welch settled in the area where Cascade is now located and established a freight station from Oregon to mining settlements in Idaho City, north of Boise. A few decades later, more settlers arrived here and began transporting fish to the Boise Valley for sale. In 1912, the town of Cascade was named after an impressive waterfall that was located on the Payette River. However, in 1948 a dam was built, and the Cascade reservoir hid the waterfall; nevertheless, the name of the city stuck.

Since 1917, Cascade has been the center of Valley County. Today, the main sectors of the city's economy are agriculture, logging, and ranching, as well as tourism, which comes here to enjoy the natural beauty of the Cascade and opportunities for year-round recreation.

Population and economy

With an average population of just over two people per square mile, it's easy to see that there are huge, wide-open spaces for entertainment that the area has to offer. For many years, the local population remained at the level of 1,000 people, and according to the 2010 census, the city had 938 inhabitants.

The economy of the Cascade has been recognized as an excellent place for recreation, sports, and "rest from everything". Therefore, the employment opportunities in the area are diverse and range from ranching, logging, and National Forest positions to a variety of options in healthcare, recreation and visitor services, retail, and other small business opportunities.

Cascade Lake

One of the man-made attractions that should be on everyone's wish list is Cascade Lake in Idaho. This lake is not only a popular place to spend time all year round but also has a fascinating history.

As the name suggests, Cascade Lake is located near the city, and it is not an ordinary lake. Rather, this artificial reservoir was formed by a dam located on the Payette River. This dam was built in 1948, which allowed to create this popular place for recreation today.

Over the years, Cascade Lake has become a popular destination in Gemstone State for outdoor recreation. Regardless of the time of year, you will surely see fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts on its waters. There is a reason for that, fishing here is excellent. Rainbow trout, coho salmon, smallmouth bass, and perch live here. Also in the lake, there are kokanee salmon, bullhead catfish, tiger muskie, channel catfish, and crappie. Many people visiting the lake like to fish both from the shore and from a boat, and winter ice fishing is a sport for the hardier. The record-breaking coho salmon was caught in 1992 (5 pounds, 8 ounces).

In general, Cascade Lake is an impressive place to enjoy all the riches of outdoor activities and a trip will give you many unforgettable memories.

Cascade Today

As mentioned above, the Cascade was originally founded as a logging village, but since 2001 it has undergone changes, turning into a recreational village. The area is known for fishing, hunting, camping, boating of all types, golf, access to UTV, and snowmobiles. Recreational facilities include Kelly's Whitewater Park, a public golf course, a variety of hiking and cycling trails, and numerous water sports. Local employers include Valley County, Cascade School District, Cascade Medical Center, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as many small businesses and sole proprietors.