Roseberry, Idaho Photo Tour

Driving down a narrow road through pasture lands affording wide vistas took us north through Payette’s long valley. The route paralleled the primary route from Boise to the popular tourist destination of McCall. But this was our true destination, a place to savor the atmosphere of Kat’s fictional hometown of Snowberry, Idaho. We arrived just as the Music Festival was tuning up, which lent an even more celebratory background to our brief visit.

The Long Valley Preservation Society has established its base here working to preserve not only Roseberry history but that of the entire Valley County. Roseberry, like so many other towns built with such hope or a thriving future, met its decline when the promised railroad chose to locate its station elsewhere. In this case the move was to Donnelly, only a few miles west. In fact, some of the buildings now located in Roseberry were originally constructed in Donnelly, having been moved here to become monuments to the nineteenth century settlements.

While there we met some enthusiastic volunteers who shared a passion to keep the memories alive of those who lived and dreamed here. You can learn more about their efforts and town history here.


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Snowberry, Idaho

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?