Why They Call It Westlake

Westlake, little village nine miles south of Ferdinand on the edge of the Craig Mountain timber belt, was named in honor of Mrs. Sarah Rice, nee Westlake, wife of J.B. Rice, who located the town site in 1887 as a preemption claim.

Until development of surfaced highways on the prairie left Westlake isolated from the main lanes of travel, it was an important trading center for the surrounding farming and stock raising districts.  During the early days it was a stopping station for the stage line that ran between Lewiston and Grangeville, via Waha and Forest.

The town was platted in 1896 and a hotel was erected by Charles R. Babcock.  Adam Kammers started a blacksmith shop that year, Smith & Horton a delivery barn and Crom & Stewart opened a general store in 1901.  Later a small flour mill was erected and there have been several sawmills in the vicinity.

Westlake is only five miles from Salmon River, which runs through a deep gorge several thousand feet below the town.  The town receives considerable trade from the stockmen of the Salmon river country.

The town was never incorporated.  Westlake precinct had a population of 165 when the 1930 census was taken.


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