Packer John Historical Park



John Welch, known as Packer John, ran supplies between Lewiston and Idaho City during the Boise Basin Gold Rush of 1863-1864.

Packer John built a small cabin in the Goose Creek Valley just south of New Meadows which immediately became a landmark for the area.

The wide mountain valley surrounding the tiny town of New Meadows was the site of the first political conventions in the Idaho Territory. The Idaho Republican party in 1863 and the state's Democratic party in 1864 met at the small cabin owned by Packer John Welch, where they selected congressional candidates.

A century later, a replica cabin was built on the site, at highway historical marker sign #183. This sixteen-acre summer-only park along Goose Creek has twenty-five campsites under the pines. Originally a state park, the site now belongs to Adams County.

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