This one was confusing because most people thought the ticket was surely for a train ride to Grangeville, Idaho, not Grainville, Idaho. Who’d ever heard of Grainville?
As it turns out, there was a Grainville, Idaho and that’s the destination this traveler was aiming for. Grainville is still around, though it’s an area nowadays, not a town. It’s in Fremont County, about a mile and a half west of Squirrel, another unincorporated spot. Maybe I better tell you it’s about 6 miles southeast of Ashton, just in case you don’t know where Squirrel is.
The holder of the ticket pictured would have been travelling on what was once the Oregon Shortline, a Union Pacific subsidiary so named because it was the shortest route from Wyoming to Oregon. The section of track that ran from Ashton to Tetonia was long ago abandoned. It became the Ashton to Tetonia Trail in 1994. The trail, which beckons hikers, bikers, and horseback riders in the summer, is used by snowmobilers in the winter. It is operated by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
In noodling around a bit for something interesting to say about the ticket, or the railway, or the trail, I found this tidbit about the Conant Creek Bridge, which is one of the old railroad bridges still in use on the trail. The bridge was originally installed on the Oregon Shortline in 1894 at American Falls where it crossed the Snake River. The 572-foot-long bridge was dismantled in 1911, and reconstructed at its present location in 1914.