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Canavan Ranch riders

Riders pose for a photo in 1885 on Tom Cannavan’s ranch near the old town of Rock Creek, near the foothills south of present-day Hansen.

Last week’s Hidden History featured an 1885 photo of ranch hands posing on horses at the old Cannavan Ranch near the town of Rock Creek south of present-day Hansen.

In his book, “Rock Creek: First Settlement between Fort Hall and Fort Boise,” David Jensen tells of Tom Cannavan and Patrick Garety, two of the first settlers at Rock Creek.

Cannavan and Garety “persuaded Lars Larsen, Sr. and his family to join them,” wrote Jensen, a descendant of Larsen. The Larsen family settled in Rock Creek in 1875, two years before Herman Stricker and his partner, John Botzet, purchased the store at the Rock Creek Stage Stop.

Cannavan and Garety were both Irish immigrants who came to the Rock Creek area in 1873. Garety filed the first water right on Rock Creek. He married an Oakley woman, Celia DeSpain, in 1886.

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Little is known about Cannavan, except that historical references to Garety or Cannavan rarely exclude the other.

Mychel Matthews reports on rural issues and agriculture for the Times-News. The Hidden History feature runs every Thursday in the Times-News and on Magicvalley.com. If you have a question about something that may have historical significance, email Matthews at mmatthews@magicvalley.com or call her at 208-735-3233.

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