IDAHO: Homesteaders of '54

On the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail, traveled by so many wagons that their rutted tracks remained imprinted on the wilderness for decades, the pioneers fared worst along the fearsome Snake River valley.

No game lived there; no food could be found in the cheat grass and grotesque lava beds. In places the river gorge cut so deep that voyagers could not get down to the water. At times Indians pounced; in 1862 they ambushed a caravan of 25 Iowa families, killing nine settlers and scalping six.

Last week, an hour's drive from the site of the massacre of '62, homesteaders of 1954...

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