Rock Creek was a prime camping spot and resting place along the Oregon Trail. In the mid 1860s a stage station and store were built near the creek.
"One of the journal entries called it an oasis in the desert. It was an important stopping place. They could stop here, they could get water, they could bathe, they could fish. It was important because of the creek."
Today, there’s not much left of the stage station although the 1865 store is still standing.
"You wouldn’t know by looking around now but it was the largest stage station between Fort Hall and Fort Boise so it was a very important stopping place. The stage station itself was a lava rock station with a sod roof and it could house up to forty horses and it also meant you could get a warm meal here in the evening time. And the store was built to provide supplies and it was located here because of the lava rock cellars behind it."
In 1876, Herman and Lucy Stricker bought the store and later built a home on the location. Curtis Johnson is their great grandson.
"To me this represents how history shifts and moves so easily. When Herman and Lucy were living here this was a major thorough way. This was like the freeway of the 1800’s and then the railroad came through on the other side of the canyon and it kind of shifted the whole migration of people to the other side of the canyon. To know where we came from helps us value where we are today."
The Stricker Store and Home are owned and managed by the Idaho State Historical Society with help from the Friends of Stricker. There is a new interpretive building at the site that provides additional information on the history of the area.