About the Collection

The Stonebraker Photograph Collection consists of 540 digitized images from the William Allen Stonebraker Collection, which is held by the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives. William Stonebraker took photographs using primitive camera equipment in Central Idaho’s remote Salmon River and Frank Church-River of No Return areas at the turn of the 20th century, including the last gold rush in Idaho.

An Idaho pioneer figure during the time, Stonebraker built one of the first homesteads in the Chamberlain Basin area. He also helped build the Three Blaze Trail from the north side of the Salmon River into the Thunder Mountain gold mine area, near the mining town of Roosevelt, which was abandoned in 1909 as a result of a landslide. He also ran a profitable pack train business of mail and supplies from his home in Stites (south of Kooskia), where the Northern Pacific Railroad ended.

Stonebraker later ran businesses in big-game hunting and pack strings for the USFS, as well as converted his homestead into a dude ranch, which is still accessible today near the Chamberlain Basin Ranger Station. Materials include negatives, photographs, and scrapbooks created by Stonebraker between 1900 and 1930. Topics and themes include a focus on his homestead, businesses, and the environment – wildlife, scenery, buildings, pack train operations, mining, hunting, ranching, and early aircraft operation to the Chamberlain Basin.

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Stonebraker Photograph Collection

Salmon River and Frank Church-River of No Return areas at the turn of the 20th centuryi


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