Everything You Need to Know About Exotic Concrete Stocks in Idaho

When you’re traveling, you love grabbing a window seat on the plane so you can enjoy the views below. Chances are that if you do it enough, you’ll see one of these mysterious concrete arrows. It appears that dozens of them are scattered throughout the United States, including Idaho.

One Cabinet to Boise is two miles south of Micron. Keep walking another twenty miles and you’ll pass another stage. At over 50 feet tall, they are an amazing sight. They are old. He survived. Nature tried to restore a little of it. With so many of these arrows found in the remote deserts of the West, it is only natural to wonder, “Where did they come from?”

YouTube / elegantly frugal

YouTube / elegantly frugal

Stocks first appeared in the mid-1920s, long before pilots had access to technology like GPS or satellite to help them navigate their way across the United States. They had to rely on being able to identify landmarks from the sky to make their way to their final destination. That was easy enough during the day, but after dark? Flying was almost impossible.

That was unacceptable to the Postal Service team working on figuring out how to quickly send mail from coast to coast by air. Concrete stocks were part of the solution. According to an article in Condé Nast Traveler, the arrows were built and painted bright yellow-orange to literally guide pilots along the Air Mail route from New York to San Francisco. Each arrow site also had a tower with a beacon light above it and a generator shed to keep the beacon lit in the dark. The sites were spaced 10 to 25 feet apart.

With the new system in place and the new ability to fly at night, pilots were able to take a cross-country flight in less than 48 hours instead of days. Boise was not along the original route but was added to a smaller airmail route that runs from Salt Lake to Pasco, WA. This is where the stocks close to us come from. You’ll also find stocks near Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Dubois, which were located along the airmail route from Salt Lake to Great Falls, MT.

With the development of aviation technology, this incredibly impressive route across America became obsolete by the 1940s. according to Smithsonian MagazineAnd the Many of the towers were scrapped so that the metal could be used in the World War II effort. stock? While many were neglected, they have survived.

YouTube/Hictech Express

YouTube/Hictech Express

Brian and Charlotte Smith run a very cool page called Stocks Across America where they share stock photos they’ve made. If you’re interested in seeing some close-up shots or full shots of the remaining stocks and lighthouses, it’s worth checking out over here.

We’ve collected some Google Maps images of those in Idaho. Just remember that many of these stocks and beacons may be in private ownership. Don’t get past them to see them!

Arrows across Idaho

In the 1920s, airmail pilots followed concrete arrows and beacon lights indicating the way across the country. It has become outdated as technology has improved. While many of the lighting towers have been removed, the concrete arrows have survived.

Keep reading: This spooky video shows what’s left of one of Idaho’s most unique ghost towns

The back of one of these Burke, ID historical postcards describes like this “This attractive display of early-town mining crowded in a valley with hardly any place for street, rail, and streams. Shoshone County is one of the world’s most significant mining areas and produced Over $2 billion—mostly in lead, silver, and zinc.” Burke’s mining operations ceased in 1991 and the remaining residents left the city. Today, the structures that have survived look like the city that time had forgotten. Read more about Burke’s history here.

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