White prospectors began passing through the Creston area in the 1860's, following the Dewdney Trail to the gold fields at Wildhorse Creek. Some prospecting was likely done along the way, but because nothing of any value was found, these early arrivals moved on.
John C. Rykert was the first official white settler in the Creston area. He erected a one-room log office near the banks of the Kootenay River in 1883. Rykert acted as Customs and Immigration officer from this site, opposite what is now known as Porthill, Idaho, until he retired in 1924. The large house that he built just north of the border still stands today.
Also in 1883, William Adolph Baillie-Grohman began investigating ways of reclaiming the Creston flats from the annual flooding of the Kootenay River. Dyking of the river began in 1893, and 8,000 acres were reclaimed. However, the flood of 1894 destroyed the dykes and, except for a second small, unsuccessful effort in 1898, the idea was abandoned for the time being.
Three men, F. Little, J. Arrowsmith, and J. Dow, arrived in
the valley in 1891, and each claimed a section of land.
These early pre-emptions would later become the site of the
town of Creston. Fred Little, who filed his claim on April