Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lenore, Idaho. tram hauled grain, not people

Spring grain field above Lenore
The awesome scenery along U.S. Highway 12 east of Lewiston through the Clearwater River canyon hides what’s on the other side of the hills: fields of grain, thousands and thousands of acres of a variety of grains.

Getting that grain to market was a challenging task for early farmers, who had to drive wagons full of grain down a long steep hill. That changed in 1898 when the railroad was extended from Lewiston to Lenore, about 25 miles east. A tram was built to carry buckets of grain down 1,600 feet from the prairies above to a new freight stop on the other side of the Clearwater.

The tram system was completed in 1903, with the gravity-activated tram hauling about 100,000 bushels of grain annually until 1938, when a fire destroyed the tram system.

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