May 1, 2012
Swan Falls Open House Set May 5 And 12
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho Power’s historic Swan Falls Dam and Power Plant is opening its museum and powerhouse to the public on two Saturdays, May 5 and 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in conjunction with Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month.
In addition to the open house, two associated events are also scheduled:
- On May 5 at 7 p.m., Idaho Power archaeologist David Valentine will give a presentation on John E. Shepard and the Dry Farming Rush in Southwestern Idaho. The presentation will be in the original Swan Falls powerhouse.
- On May 12, up to a dozen historic tractors will travel from the canyon rim to the powerhouse around noon.
All events are free to the public.
In conjunction with the celebration, a commemorative Swan Falls brochure will be available at the open house, featuring historical and recreational information, as well as a map of the area.
Idaho Power is celebrating the 111th anniversary of the Swan Falls project this year and recognizing its importance to the region’s history. The project is located on the Snake River 20 miles south of Kuna on Swan Falls Road, within the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation area.
The original plant first began generating electricity in 1901. Changing technology and increasing demand for electricity led to three major expansions of the historic power plant and its eventual replacement with a new powerhouse built by Idaho Power in 1994.
Originally built to provide power to mines at nearby Silver City, Swan Falls later supplied electricity to small farms in the Nampa-Caldwell area. Many of those farmers claimed their lands under the provisions of the Homestead Act, which turns 150 this year.
The subject of Saturday’s lecture, John Shepard, had a homestead near present-day New Plymouth. His homestead was investigated in 2008 by Idaho Power archaeologists doing a clearance for construction of the new Langley Gulch Power Plant.
For information on the Swan Falls events, contact Shane Baker, Idaho Power Senior Archaeologist, at (208) 388-2925. To learn more about Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, visit www.history.idaho.gov.
Outside of the open-house weekends, tours of the Swan Falls historic museum typically are available by appointment only and must be made a week in advance by calling (208) 736-3458.
About Idaho Power Company:
Idaho Power began operations in 1916. Today, the electric utility employs approximately 2,000 people who serve nearly 500,000 customers throughout a 24,000-square-mile area in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. With 17 low-cost hydroelectric projects as the core of its generation portfolio, Idaho Power’s residential, business and agricultural customers pay among the nation’s lowest rates for electricity. IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE: IDA) is the investor-owned utility’s parent company based in Boise, Idaho. To learn more, visit www.idahopower.com or www.idacorpinc.com.
(208) 388-2803 and email@example.com