the history of Anderson Ranch Dam


In the late 1930’s, Reclamation engineers began investigating ways to furnish additional water to lands within the Arrowrock Division which often suffered from lack of water during the dry years. In 1938 Reclamation proposed to construct a dam and powerplant on the middle fork of the Boise River. Before construction could begin, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, determined that the Anderson Ranch site on the South Fork of the Boise River was most desirable from a flood control standpoint. Additional studies were conducted, and it was determined that by constructing a dam at the Anderson Ranch site and altering operations at Arrowrock Reservoir, the goal of providing additional water for irrigation, while protecting the Boise Valley from floods could be achieved. The studies further revealed that the dam would significantly reduce damage due to siltation. Construction of the dam was approved by the Secretary of the Interior on August 26, 1940.

Appropriations to begin construction were approved by Congress in June 1941. Bids for the primary contract which covered the construction of the dam, spillway and outlet works, and the first stage of powerplant were opened on July 7, 1941. The contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, a joint venture made up of the Morrison-Knudson Company, Inc, the J.F. Shea Company Inc., the ford J Twaits Company, and the Winston Brothers Company. The low bid was $9,986,203.00.

Work under the primary contract began in early August 1941. Among the first tasks was the diversion of the Boise River around the construction site. This was accomplished by driving a 1,500-foot long, 24-foot in diameter tunnel through the left abutment. Following the completion of the dam, the tunnel was to be used as part of the outlet system. Excavation of the tunnel began in early November and took only 80 days. Concrete work in the tunnel began in late January 1942 and was completed in by mid-May. The river was successfully diverted through the tunnel on May 18, 1942.

Construction of Anderson Ranch Dam, the highest embankment dam in the world at the time, presented engineers and designers with numerous challenges to overcome including constructing an embankment to such unprecedented height. Preliminary investigations of the site revealed a very complicated geology consisting mainly of granite with numerous areas of intrusive igneous materials. These conditions forced designers to make significant changes in the design and layout of the outlets works.

In September of 1941 excavations for the cutoff trench began. Bulldozers working high up on the left abutment pushed dirt and rock downward to the level of the river where it was then removed. Work on the right abutment began in November 1941. Excavations for the cutoff trench in the river channel began in mid-May 1942. Excavations were completed in September 1942.

Other factors not associated with the design or location of the dam caused significant delays in construction as well. Following America’s entry into World War II in December of 1941, material and manpower shortages began to plague the project. In some cases, this forced design changes to accommodate the lack of materials. To help alleviate the manpower shortages, Japanese “evacuees” from the detention camp at Hunt Idaho were brought in. Work then progressed until December 26, 1942, when the War Production Board suspended the primary contract and halted all construction except minor work necessary to protect already completed work.

On October 6, 1943, the War Production Board authorized the resumption of partial construction, without power facilities and spillway gates, as part of the War Food Program to provide additional water for irrigating lands in the Boise Valley.


As worked continued, so did numerous problems. Rockslides near the inlet portal forced the designers to again modify their plan by moving the intake portal upward to a point above the original portal and construct an inclined tunnel from the new portal to the diversion tunnel. In May 1943, a particular rock slide dumped 20,000 cy of rock into the inclined tunnel, once again causing the need to modify the design for the outlet works. This design moved the intake portal to a rock outcropping about 300 feet to the right and slightly upstream. The original inclined tunnel was sealed by a concrete plug.

Finally, on October 15, 1945, the War Production Board lifted all restrictions on construction at Anderson Ranch. The Bureau of Reclamations began negotiations with contractors on a cost-plus fixed fee agreement. Due to a general reduction of public work projects and Congress’ failure to appropriate sufficient funds for 1947, an agreement could not be reached, and all work was terminated in early 1948. At that time bids were opened for a completion contract. A bid was submitted by J.A. Terterling and Sons, Inc in the amount of $2,499,364. The notice to proceed was delivered to the contractor on April 1, 1948, and work began immediately. Excavations for the spillway stilling basin finished in 1949. The major portion of the work on the powerhouse was completed in early 1950. The first generating unit was installed during the mid-1950. Due to delays in delivery of the second unit, installation and testing did not happen until 1951.

Anderson Ranch Dam and Powerplant became fully operational in mid-1951, ten years after construction began. Anderson Ranch Dam is zoned as an earth and rock filled dam that towers 330 feet above the stream bed and 456 feet above the deepest point of excavation. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest earth filled dam in the world. When full, Anderson Ranch Reservoir is 13 miles long with a surface area greater than 4,700 acres, and holds just under 500,00 af

the history of Pine Grove


The mining camp of Pine Grove was a small but very busy place. Over the years many miners filed claims in this area. The road from Toll Gate to Rocky Bar was a toll road built by Benjamin Nichols. He had a contract for 20 years from 1866 – 1888. The road up Louse Creek took you to the rail head in Hill City.

Oliver Sloan and Johhny Silverton were some of the first prospectors in Pine. Paul Colchester, Silas Cy Doon and the Andrew Brothers who opened up the Klondyke mine with their associate David Ethel put the First Gold Mine in at Pine.

Pine Grove name was changed to Pine. In 1888 the Franklin Mine was discovered. This was the largest and most profitable. Some of the other mines were, the Boise, the Columbia, and the Mountain View. The Franklin Mine was located on the upper bench. First discovered by Elmer Towne and Bob Brainard, then sold to R.P. Chattin who also built a mining camp for the miners who worked there.

Mr. Chattin and his partner Casper Hein built a stamp mill on the lower end of Sloan’s Gulch and milled gold dollars for a few years. The town was growing as needs were met for the families. The schoolhouse was built at the lower end of Pine, a hotel was built by Mr. Ethel and was run Newt and Sadie Nichols. It was built from logs and burned down within two years. Pine as other mining towns suffered from fires, destroying a lot of the homes. A store was built by George Farber that had a cold storage room where he kept hams and other perishables. A community hall was built, and dances were there, a good time was had by all. Fred Skelton had a butcher shop in Pine and sold beef he raised on his ranch across the river. Another hotel was built and by Minnie Howard, then Jenny Potter.

There was a post office built next door run by several women, the last two being Adeline-Defenbach and Jeannette (Patty) Tate. Tom O’Daniels ran the third hotel. Many local town people took in boarders as well. Oscar Shraft Sr. and family built a large ranch house at the lower end of Pine. The second store was built by Jones & Mosier from Fairfield. It was called the Pine Trading Company and was later owned by Raleigh and Alice Pierce, and then by John Tate.


In 1941 work began on the Anderson Ranch Reservoir. By 1944-1945 most families had moved as work had begun clearing the land for the reservoir. The Bureau of Reclamations had bought up most places.

John Tate moved the store and warehouse and other buildings up to the present site of “New Pine”. (Two buildings are still there today) He then built a large cinder block building for the tavern. He added the store and service station on the south end. He later built the café on the north end. This is the same building we still operate out of today.

Along with the buildings being moved, the cemetery had to move as well. Elmore Ottenheimer hired Charlie Cass to help with the work of moving the coffins, many of which caved in. Many families objected to having their loved ones moved, this resulted in a fight with shots being fired. Sheriff Art Stevens was sent for. All was resolved and the work continued

The old Pine site was beautiful with its natural clover growing all over town and its beautiful trees. Progress in the form of the Anderson Ranch Dam moved in and according to those living there, all was lost forever.

the history of Pine Resort


In approximately 1945 John Tate moved some of his buildings from the old Pine to the New Pine (known today as simply “PINE”) He built a cinder block building and operated a tavern, store, service station, café and post office. That building also had apartments above the business. We still operate out of this same building today.

In approximately 1958 Ed & Alice Obenchain bought the Pine Resort. They operated the resort with the help of their children. Still to this day, the children have fond memories of that time spent here at Pine Resort. They sold the resort in approximately 1970.

Merrill and Martha Elswood purchased the Resort in approximately 1970. They continued to operate the resort where they held dances on Saturday nights until they sold in approximately 1978 to Richard and Normalee Mitchell.

Richard and Normalee Mitchell continued to have dances at Pine Resort and as recounted by their son Kelly, “The bar and café was a very popular destination in the Pine area during this time. With dances and live music held on most summer weekends and occasionally in the fall and winter months. They also held multi-day outdoor concerts called the Pine Picnic in the summers with live bands such as Pinto Bennett and the Braun Brothers and many others.”

Ken & Gloria DeThorne purchased the Resort next in approximately 1984 thru 1995. Ken and Gloria enjoyed their time at the Resort. Gloria was known to many as “grandma Pine” She would often greet you with kiss each time she saw you.

In 1995 Curt and Lana Ostrom purchased Pine. They continued to run Pine and would occasionally have special events that they called “Pine Days”.

In approximately 1995 Gary & Darlene Schoen in partnership with Allen and Patricia Kiester built the Nester’s Mountain Motel. They started off with 6 rooms, and as the area grew and the need for motels grew, they added on to what is now a 15-room motel with a wrap-around deck, and event room and a hot tub. In 2006 they decided to add to their investment and when the Pine bar & café went up for sell, they bought it and was able to offer a complete resort.


As Gary & Darlene’s health deteriorated, in 2015 Eleazar and Valerie Munoz took over Gary & Darlene’s share in the Resort and partnered with Allen & Trish. They continued that partnership until October of 2019 when Eleazar & Valerie decided to make the “leap of faith” and bought out Allen and Trish.

We have greatly enjoyed our time here at the RESORT. We feel honored to be part of some amazing history here in this community. Our desire and intent has been to be a part of this community and to do our best to offer the people of our beautiful state a place that is a destination. We certainly work hard but are so blessed to have such an amazing team behind us! Please come out and spend some time with us. We offer some amazing homecooked food in the café. Our bar is clean and has a great vibe. Our motel offers you a great place to rest. And that reservoir that was created back in 1940’s is an amazing way to spend your day! The water is awesome for fishing and boating. And we can’t forget to mention all the great music we have here each weekend in the summer. We have an amazing outdoor bar and grass area where the whole family can spend time and dance to the great music!