small community near the lake was established in the early twentieth century.
The rural farm town has vanished entirely, nothing remains.
Located only six miles west of Grangeville, it had no long-term future
after automobiles made larger communities more accessible. Tolo Lake lies on the
southern edge of Camas Prairie. A natural attraction and an
important Nez Perce Indian center particularly during camas season,
early 1877, the United States Army attempted to force Nez Perce bands based
along the Salmon River and in the Wallowa Valley (directly west in Oregon) to
leave their ancestral homes and relocate on a relatively small reservation
carved out ten years earlier from a larger reservation established in 1859.
En route to their intended new home, the bands led by White Bird and
Joseph held a council near Tolo Lake. While
they were there, on June 13, hostilities broke out on some ranches along the
Salmon River to the south. Both
groups retired to the southern slope of the prairie, where the opening battle of
the Nez Perce War was fought on June 17.
a long campaign, several non-treaty Nez Perce bands were exiled to Canada and Oklahoma and the Tolo Lake area was opened to settlement.
One result of that change was that carp were planted in Tolo Lake in
1882--to be replaced by bass sixty years later.
In 1890 Tolo Lake became state property, and it continues to be a natural
as well as historic attraction.
1994 the lake was being drained for a wildlife improvement project. When
the water was gone, the drew was digging, when a few gigantic bones were
unearthed. They immediately called in a group of experts. After
careful study, it was revealed that they were from a Columbia Mammoth that live
in Idaho over 11,000 years ago. Eventually, they unearthed remains of possibly
eight mammoths and three ancient bison beneath where the lake was.
For more information on this, click on this link www.grangevilleidaho.com/mammoth_tour.htm
. The lake has now been filled back with water and remains at rest.
HERE for the Free Press article about the
new town in 1887