Sweetwater, Idaho

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Sunday, December 25, 1932

Why They Call It Sweetwater

Sweetwater is a compound name that has come to be written as an undivided word. The town is named for a creek and the creek from an accident.

Robert Grostein, Lewiston, partner in Grostein & Binnard, general merchandise, whose old home was refinished and remodeled to become the Vassar mortuary, was the founder of a pack train service by means of which large quantities of supplies were sent to Warren, Dixie, Florence, Newsome and other mining areas.

One day as a consignment of goods was on its way to the camps, many days' journey distant, a mule bearing two big barrels of sugar suddenly sank to his haunches - practically sat down - and submerged the sugar in the water of the creek, 17 miles southeast of Lewiston. Surprised muleteers cursed, prodded and flayed the mule, but the animal persisted until the water was sugared for hundred of yards down stream.

"That water ought to be good to drink now," undoubtedly opined one of the packers.

Thereafter the creek was dubbed Sweetwater, and the name was applied to the settlement which later sprang up a fourth-mile below where it empties into Lapwai creek.

The town is an important grain shipping and storage point for the surrounding rich ridge lands. It is on the North and South highway and the Grangeville branch of the Camas Prairie railway.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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