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Established at the confluence of the Lochsa and Selway Rivers, Lowell was founded in 1903 with the arrival of twenty-one settlers. Soon, the settlement was a popular and important stopping place for workers constructing U.S. Highway 12. The site continued to grow with its nearness to the Fenn Ranger Station, a prison camp, and the O’Hara CCC Camp along the Selway River.

A New Englander named William Parry is said to have finally provided Lowell with its current name. After finding the lost and half-starved Henry Lowell in the Lochsa River Canyon, Parry proceeded to revive him and nurse him back to health. When the town decided to apply for postal services, Parry requested that the settlement be named after his lucky comrade, who in turn became the first postmaster. Today, the tiny town’s economy is based almost completely upon the recreation industry and the tourist dollars of eager backcountry and river enthusiasts who visit the community each summer.

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