News / USA

    Remote US Museum Survives in Hells Canyon

    Grace Jordan’s kitchen has been spiffed up a bit from the Depression days when it was heavily used by her family and its ranch hands. (Carol M. Highsmith)
    Grace Jordan’s kitchen has been spiffed up a bit from the Depression days when it was heavily used by her family and its ranch hands. (Carol M. Highsmith)
    Ted Landphair
    The rushing Snake River cut America’s deepest gorge through Idaho in the Rocky Mountains of the American Northwest.

    Today, it’s known as Hells Canyon.

    Every few kilometers along the way, the river widened and scoured out sandbars.  There, protected from biting winds and howling snowstorms high above, Nez Percé Indians fashioned winter villages and buried their dead. Later, around 1880, ranchers took their place.

    And in the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, ranch foreman Len Jordan and his wife, Grace, bought a ranch there that included a white-frame house, a blacksmith shop, and a rustic cabin.
    Only in America-Hells Canyon Ranch
    Only in America-Hells Canyon Ranchi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    And because Grace kept a journal that grew into the book Home Below Hell’s Canyon, and Len would become Idaho’s governor, the story of their rough-hewn existence on the remote sandbar would spread throughout the Great Northwest.
    This old blacksmith shop is part of the rustic museum complex in hard-to-reach Hells Canyon, Idaho. (Carol M. Highsmith)This old blacksmith shop is part of the rustic museum complex in hard-to-reach Hells Canyon, Idaho. (Carol M. Highsmith)
    x
    This old blacksmith shop is part of the rustic museum complex in hard-to-reach Hells Canyon, Idaho. (Carol M. Highsmith)
    This old blacksmith shop is part of the rustic museum complex in hard-to-reach Hells Canyon, Idaho. (Carol M. Highsmith)

    The only electricity came from a clever water wheel in Kirkwood Creek that Len had jerry-rigged out of cowbells, bolted to a wheel from an old Model-T Ford.

    Grace cooked on a simple wood stove for her husband and three children, and dozens of smelly sheephands.

    The Jordans sold the ranch in 1943, and it passed through several owners.  

    In the 1970s, the U.S. Forest Service rejected proposals to dam the Snake River to provide hydroelectric power and irrigation to nearby towns. 

    Instead, it established the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, restoring the Jordans’ ranch buildings as a museum and creating a spot where rafters could stop and picnic.

    But there are only two ways to reach it, even today: by raft down the Snake, or on foot or horseback along a narrow, precipitous trail.  

    Those who go there are reminded that there’ll be no cellphone service or Internet connection. Now that, in this day and age, is a hardship.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Renata from: Poland
    October 29, 2012 8:35 AM
    my dream is to visit once such places..... awesome!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora