Snowberry, the town that Kat Meriwether calls home, is located in the valley along the winding Payette River. The name is fictional, so you won’t find it on any Google map search. However, it was inspired by a small historic town that bears a similar name – Roseberry.
Although Roseberry is located farther south from the fictional setting, the growth and vibrancy it experienced during Idaho’s early days of expansion are similar. Growth came in the establishment of a grand hotel, a logging mill and a very successful creamery. But these improvements came shortly after the turn of the century, later than Snowberry’s rapid growth of 1888.
Like so many towns of the hopeful west, this one was eclipsed by another town that sprang up next to the tracks of the railroad built in 1914-1915. Its name was and is Donnelly. Drive a mere two miles east to find what remains of Roseberry. If you like history, you’ll find the drive worthwhile. There are a number of dedicated folks there who proudly keep the past alive and accessible.
Nelle Tobias Research Center has established itself as a resource for Valley history.
Living history and Interpretive Programs are available through the summer months.
In future posts, I’ll reveal a little more about the differences between the fictional and historic towns.
Have you visited Roseberry? What stories have you taken with you?