By 1863, there were stages running to Boise and back to Umatilla. From 1857 until 1860, several settlers had homesteaded along the Columbia River in the area of present Umatilla. The rush of some of the miners in 1861 brought the growth of hotels and/or stations in the area, and large numbers of cattle were brought in to graze along the river bottom. Then the discovery of the Powder River mines in 1862 brought even more growth as they traveled “through the Umatilla Country and across the Blue mountains.” 1)Oregon Genealogy, “Final Settlement of Umatilla County, Oregon,” Oregon Genealogy Records, pp. 1-2.  10-21-2004.

Here we note some related information. In March 1862, A. J. Kane and H. H. Hill started a navigation landing site for trading goods on the Columbia River, eight miles below the mouth of the Umatilla River. It was called Grand Ronde Landing. In the spring of 1863, a man named Spencer started a town called Columbia, but it soon became Umatilla Landing. Businesses grew and Umatilla Landing became a rival to Walla Walla. Stages were established to run to Powder River and others to Boise and Placerville in Idaho. A lot of pack animals were lining the roads carrying freight. 2)Oregon Genealogy, “Final Settlement of Umatilla County, Oregon,” “Umatilla City, Umatilla County, Oregon,” pp. 1-3.  10-21-2004. Soon wagon loads of freight began to replace the pack animals. Most of the traffic to Idaho went then by way of the Olds Ferry, some to the Boise Basin and some to Boise on the Goodale route.

For many reasons that have become apparent, and because of the above documented information, it is very likely that the Goodale route from Boise to the Payette River, and on west, became that Umatilla Road! On November 21, 2004, this writer and wife stopped to visit with the wife of a couple that own property on North Fork Willow Creek (T5N, R1W, Sec. 3), where the Umatilla Road once crossed. When she heard that this visitor was the Preservation Officer for the Idaho Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association and a BLM volunteer, and that we were looking for the route of the Goodale Train north of Boise, she shared the following information: When the owners had a surveyor do some work for them on the property, he had found an old marker that indicated they were near the site of a “Umatilla” road stage station. She appeared to already have been made aware that this could have been the route of Goodale. 3)Mrs. Jay Lynn, 4050 Chaparral Rd, Eagle, ID, Nov. 21, 4005. Personal conversation with Mrs. Lynn at her residence by James McGill.

We have now discovered even more of the importance that the Goodale North route contributed to Idaho. It did not go unused after his wagons passed, and surely soon became the main through-route, to and from Oregon, not only for emigrants but for some commerce and personnel travel.

With all the accumulated information we can state that the Umatilla Road closely followed the Goodale Train route, especially from Boise to the Payette River. Because there was little pause in the traffic after Goodale’s Train went though, it is reasonable to believe that the Goodale wagon tracks on the prior Indian trail would have been well enough marked for followers to have continued NW from Boise on the same route. There were enough wagons to have left a recognizable trail. The route from where Goodale left the Boise area and all the way to the top of Freezeout Hill is now established as the Umatilla Road route. There would have been little reason to have started over and to begin a new, close-by route for the Umatilla Road! And the evidence all indicates that the travel along the route of the Umatilla Road predated both the Bramwell trail route and the Payette/Marsh Road.

One good evidence that the Umatilla Road was the same as Goodale route is that no where across any of the 1860s survey plats was any other route nearby indicated-nor was any trail mentioned on the accompanying survey notes. No other trails, road segments, or any parallel route was indicated where a road would have crossed multiple section lines. It is reasonable to believe that those surveyors, who were faithful to record other existing and crossing roads and trails (none of which were shown on the plats or indicated in the surveyor notes to be anywhere near or in the direction that Goodale Train had traveled), would not have ignored all evidence of a parallel road route. The other two roads NW from Boise, the Bramwell trail and the Payette/Marsh route, do not fit the dependable information that is available about Tim Goodale’s route, and both are out of way from the most probable Goodale traveled area all the way to the Payette River.

Back to: Goodale North Trail

References   [ + ]

1.Oregon Genealogy, “Final Settlement of Umatilla County, Oregon,” Oregon Genealogy Records, pp. 1-2.  10-21-2004.
2.Oregon Genealogy, “Final Settlement of Umatilla County, Oregon,” “Umatilla City, Umatilla County, Oregon,” pp. 1-3.  10-21-2004.
3.Mrs. Jay Lynn, 4050 Chaparral Rd, Eagle, ID, Nov. 21, 4005. Personal conversation with Mrs. Lynn at her residence by James McGill.