LEWISTON TRIBUNE - September 10, 1933

Why They Call It Burgdorf

During the summer of 1866 a Chinese placer miner, of whom there were then hundreds in central Idaho, arrived at Warren in an excited frame of mind.  While prospecting in the wild country about 15 miles to the northwest he had chanced upon a geyser of steam from out of a side-hill and a spring of hot water with a peculiar odor.

When the Chinese arrived at Warren among those who heard his story was Fred C. Burgdorf, a native of Germany, who had been shipwrecked near China and brought to San Francisco by the American steamer which picked him up.  Burgdorf had come to Warren in 1864, where he was engaged for three years in gold mining.

Burgdorf was a thrifty man and he always had an eye to business.  After the Chinese finished his tale Burgdorf left camp and located the flow of hot water and realized its value.  Further, he saw before him a beautiful flat meadow with mountains in the distance; plenty of water and all that would make an ideal home site.

Burgdorf secured from the government a deed to 160 acres of land, including the spring site, and there he determined to establish his home.  He erected a hotel and started to work for a post office, naming the town Burgdorf, in his own honor.  The post office was established, the hotel enlarged, a fine residence erected for Burgdorf and his family, which still is among the showplaces of the northwest.  Near the Burgdorf home, high in the mountains, nature worded one of its oddest fancies.  The trees over a comparatively large area are knotted.

Unique Timber

Burgdorf was fascinated with what he found in the timber country and he arranged to have trees containing the most peculiar knots cut and made into furniture for his home; also, for balustrades and other appurtenances and there he lived for many years.  He was a royal host, old-timers relate.  He was married in 1902 to Janette Foronsard of Denver, a singer of note.

Burgdorf is near the southern border of Idaho County and probably is central Idaho's oldest resort.  The old trail from Lewiston to Warren passed near the hotel, and it is still plainly visible, dug into the earth by the hoofs of thousands of pack horses carrying supplies into the mining camps and gold dust back to Lewiston.

The resort is still a favorite summer playground for central Idaho and is connected by a surfaced forest service highway with McCall.  The settlement also receives considerable business from the surrounding mines.


pbc 2004-Present - Keeping Genealogy Free

If you have information to share, questions or corrections, please email County Coordinator