Welcome to Kamiah, Idaho … A great place to live, work and play!
Kamiah, Idaho nestles on the banks of the beautiful Clearwater River in a valley surrounded by scenic foothills. Here the heritage of the past meets the challenge of tomorrow, and the gateway opens to the multitude of recreational opportunities. Its forward-looking people are meeting and absorbing the problems and challenges of the modern world. This is reflected in the revamping of the main business district to a Western/Victorian theme, an up-to-date school system, modern sanitation facilities and water filtration plant, efficient fire and police departments, a modern medical clinic and an outstanding emergency medical unit.
Here is an incredible story associated with the building of the railroad up the Clearwater River. The J.M. Hannaford was a steam-powered stern-wheeler that was built at Spalding by the Idaho and Washington Transportation Company a Northern Pacific Railroad subsidiary. This looked much like a Mississippi River boat with its twin steam stacks.
J.M Hannaford and J.W. Kendrick were the principle stockholders. Sixteen men began construction of the boat in the winter of 1898 and in went into service in January with the contractor building the railroad.
The J.M. Hannaford was 169 feed long and weighed 746 tons. It could carry 300 tons of cargo. Captain Harry Baughman was always at the helm on the Clearwater River. A newspaper article captured that the Hannaford was able to handle all the upriver traffic both on and off the Nez Perce Reservation up to Kooskia. That is amazing just by itself.
John Bradbury noted that the Hannaford only took four trips all the way to Kooskia. That is a total of 73 miles up-river one way from Lewiston. Pretty impressive for a monster steam boat. Remember there were no bridges across the Clearwater river at the time. The only thing this monster boat probably wreaked havoc with is the Ferry lines and were they crossed the Clearwater River.