In September Woody Boater broke the news of a multi-boat barn find over in Idaho which consisted of a few classic Chris-Crafts and two very cool, very different Century boats. Fellow Woody Boaters Don & Molly Hardy from McCall Boat Works in McCall, Idaho reported the barn find to us… You can read the original Woody Boater story by clicking here.
The boats were stashed away in a barn (and around a barn) in a remote area of western Idaho near a place called Hells Canyon, a 10-mile wide canyon located along the border of eastern Oregon and western Idaho not far from McCall, Idaho.
Folks out here in the west do things a little different, and now that the dust has settled after the original barn find, Don Hardy decided it was time to “Form a Posse” and head up to Hells Canyon to pick up those old wooden boats… They left McCall and went towards the old bridge that crosses the Salmon River, just north of a town called, Riggins, ID.
When the old boats were hooked up, and Casey (one of Don’s lead guys on the Posse) said “Let’s mount up and get these boats back to the shop in McCall and don’t anyone be stopping at the Saloon in Riggins, that’s a rough place…”
While they were there, they picked up this rare 1940 Chris-Craft Custom (Barrel Back – #48739) originally named “Everan Zephyr” for a customer restoration that’s planned to start next summer. The word is that the original name was actually painted on by the Chris-Craft before it left the plant (as per the Hull card), and was never sanded off… Very cool.
While in california, They also picked up two Lycoming marine engines in Lomita, and also had to stop in and see fellow Woody Boater Al Schinnerer at Calfornia Classic Boats… As always he was hard at work!
Thanks to Don & Molly Hardy and their Posse from McCall Boat Works for sharing this unique story with us here at Woody Boater.
By the way, the name “Hells Canyon” has a maritime origin… The USDA Forest Service has a great website and lot’s of interesting information about this neck of the woods, click here to learn more.
According to Carrey, Conley, and Barton, in their book Snake River of Hells Canyon, most of the early explorers referred to the gorge as Box Canyon or Snake River Canyon. The first reference to Hells Canyon appears in an 1895 edition of McCurdy’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest. In discussing the voyage of the steamboat, Norma, the author writes; “she then bound off, swinging into midstream, and like a racehorse, shot into Hells Canyon…” The name was used by the Mazama hiking club in their 1931 bulletin. Bailey’s book, Hells Canyon, was published in 1943. Senator Neuberger of Oregon used it in several publications in the 1930s.