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Riverside Inn at Milner Dam

The Riverside Inn, with its tennis courts and dance pavilion, opened in 1908 during the construction of the North Side Canal.

MILNER | After the South Side Irrigation Project was completed, attention turned to the project on the north side of the Snake River.

The once-booming town of Milner -- population 1,500 -- was temporarily revived as men returned to work on the North Side Canal in 1908.

Brothers James S. and W.S. Kuhn of Pittsburgh, developers of the Twin Falls North Side Land and Water Co., purchased land in Milner for a grand hotel. The Riverside Inn, designed by Wayland and Fennel, of Boise, was a three-story 70-by-80 building with a full basement.

The hotel, which opened in May 1908, boasted all the modern comforts, including plumbing and electricity. Each of the 40 sleeping rooms was heated by steam. Elaborate chandeliers hung in every room. Six of the rooms were fancy suites with private baths.

The hotel was connected to the town water supply and the grounds were landscaped and included tennis courts and a dance pavilion.

A resort for tourists and businessmen, the hotel was the social center of the area. But it stood for only 15 years.

The Kuhn brothers’ business went into receivership in 1913. The town and the hotel fell on hard times as businesses left the Milner area and tourists stopped coming.

James H. Grenzebeck, of Jerome, was contracted to raze the building in 1923. The lumber and materials were salvaged and used to build the Murtaugh Hotel, a few miles downstream from Milner. It is not known what happened to the chandeliers.

All that remains of the Riverside Inn is its 106-year-old lawn.

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Mychel Matthews reports on agriculture and rural issues 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.

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