|Rising some 5,906
feet, Squaw Butte, named by native Americans who used this area as
their winter resort, stands at the north end of the
valley. The Payette River was named after Francois Payette, who was
put in charge of Fort Boise in 1818 and traveled through the area.
Permanent settlement began in the early 1860s, after gold discoveries
in the Boise Basin brought people over the established stage and pack
train routes. Two of these trails joined at the Payette River north of
the present river bridge. Emmettville was originally a post office
that was named after Emmett Cahalan, the son of Tom Cahalan, an early
settler of the area. The post office was later moved but retained the
name. A few years later the "ville" was dropped and the post office
and town became simply Emmett. In 1883 James Wardwell had the town
platted, and in 1900 the town was incorporated as Emmett. After the
closing of the mines in 1906, the power lines were extended to Emmett.
A series of irrigation projects made it possible for more rapid
expansion of the town as the major service center for a farming and
fruit-growing valley. In the early 1900s fruit packers adopted the
label of "Gem of Plenty" because of the fertility of the valley.
During the mining era the valley was known as the "garden" for the