"(In 1906), Hailey was listed as the (Idaho Irrigation) company headquarters because Mr. Boone was located there, and it was certainly an attractive vacationland for anyone who showed up to inspect the project.  However, from a practical standpoint, the supplies and materials coming in on the railroad would have to be unloaded at a point closer to the construction sites.  Mr. Boone decided on a little jumping-off spot on the Hailey Branch named 'Alberta', in honor of the first child born in the little scatter of houses there.  When the railroad first went through, the engineer named it 'Arvada', but when Alberta Strunk was born, the folks there insisted upon calling it 'Alberta'.  They won.


The first canal to be built from the diversion dam would lead directly to Alberta, and another advantage was that Alberta was situated smack in the middle of the 'Marley Burn'.  Several years previously, a rancher named Marley, wishing to make a clearing, decided to burn off the heavy growth of sagebrush.  The fire got away from him and ended up burning about 50,000 acres.  This 'fortunate accident' made the area particularly attractive for potential settlers because it would save about $5 an acre, and a lot of hard work having to clear the land.  Besides, the sagebrush had been very thick there, and everybody knew 'where the sagebrush grows, the soil is unsurpassed'.

Given all this, Alberta seemed destined to become a good-sized town, even though materials were freighted from a spot on Silver Lake at first.

One of the first needs for the new town of Alberta was a good hotel, and Mr. Boone asked a long-time Hailey friend of his, Mrs. John 'Ma' Thomas, if she would like to move to Alberta to operate a new 'Alberta Hotel'.  Two years earlier, her 8-year-old grandson, Frank Pope, had moved to Hailey to live with her, and they were both enthusiastic about the move.

In the fall of 1906, Alberta began to come alive.  Men, horses, supplies, machinery, and other goods began arriving daily on the railroad, and the air was filled with the jangle of harnesses, and the shouts of men at work.  By December, work was started on the main canal, and the diversion dam located three miles below the proposed site of the big Magic Dam.  The general contractors were the Slick Bros. of Boise, and J.S. Long, a sub-contractor for the stone work.  On December 21st, A. King, Chief Engineer for the Idaho Irrigation Co., reported about 75 men and teams at work at the Slick Bros. camp, and 47 men and 10 teams at Long's camp.  Long's contract called for 65,000 yds. of rock work which would take about a year to complete, and the entire project should take about three years.  Work was being rushed to complete the diversion dam before the high water in the Spring.

The Idaho Irrigation Company's grand and glorious irrigation system was underway, and the year 1906 came to an end."  Source: Excerpted from Idaho and the Magic Circle, How They Came to Be, by Betty M. Bever, Caxton Printers, Caldwell, ID, 2000, pp. 180, 181—Editor.