The farm was on the rim overlooking Salmon Falls Creek Canyon. Strictly speaking, the farm wasn’t so much sinking as it was falling into the canyon as erosion undercut the foundations of the canyon wall. The wall was breaking off in huge chunks like a glacier calving. Some rock would fall into the canyon, and big chunks of it would sink and break and shift, making the land on top of it less than favorable for farming.
Paramount News was there to capture the event on film for newsreels. Geologists from local universities were also on hand to view the phenomenon and explain things to reporters.
Newspaper reports sometimes called it the H.A. Robertson farm. But other reports claimed it was Dr. C. C. Griffith who owned 320 acres on the canyon rim. He was away at his summer house in New York when all the excitement happened. According to a dispatch from the New York Herald-Tribune, which ran in the August 28, 1937, edition of the Idaho Statesman, he wasn’t worried about losing a few acres to the canyon. “What worries him most is the hazard the public is running invading his property.” His ranch manager, Emil Bordewick, was apoplectic about the crowds of people coming to the ranch. There was a deputy on site who wasn’t arresting anyone because wholesale arrests for trespassing might “cause a lot of trouble.” Bordewick had hired a guard. He had informed his employer it would cost $500 a month to “keep these people from getting killed.” And by the way, he wanted a raise.
Meanwhile, experts from the United States Geological Survey were not in a panic. They predicted the sinking would go on for a while. About five million years.
The grumpy ranch manager did see one potential silver lining. Well, a gold lining. He was hoping the new fissures in the earth might reveal a vein of gold.