Sweetwater, Idaho 

The community is 2 miles south of Lapwai on Sweetwater Creek. The area is called Sweetwater because a mule loaded with 2 sacks of sugar lay or fell down in the creek near the William Craig homestead, but that may be a folk etymology. The mule was owned by Grostein and Binnard, who operated pack trains from Lewiston to the gold mines. The settlement is said to be one of the oldest in Idaho, with the inhabitants being both Nez Perce and white. Before Sweetwater was incorporated in 1908, it had a general store and post office. W.R. Flint opened his business in 1903 along the wagon road that would become Highway 95. Later, the building was destroyed by fire and rebuilt. A second store and post office burned to the ground and was again rebuilt. A third store and post office burned to the ground in 1966 and was never rebuilt. Now the site is a residential area. Sweetwater is an English translation of Nez Perce “che-chu-kus-koos.”

Elevation is 1085'. T35N R4W sec 14.

Sweetwater Store 1903

 Sweetwater Store 1913

Alfrey's Store and Home  c. 1964

© 2019 by Nez Perce County Historical Society and Museum

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