Plentiful game and Fur bearing animals naturally drew white hunters and traders to the area. The earliest white men known to have visited the region were men of the Missouri Fur Company in 1810, and of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company who, under Wilson Price Hunt, passed through in 1811. These were soon followed by trappers and traders operating independently, or as members of the "Horse Brigades" sent out y the North West Company, or Nor'westers, as they were commonly called.
In 1821 the North West Company became part of the great Hudson's Bay Company, who continued to send out the snake county Expeditions until well in the 1830's. During the time of the HBC ("Here Before Christ") operations the "Mountain Men" of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, headquartered in St. Louis were also busy throughout most of the Intermountain Region including the upper reaches of the Snake River country.
In the early 1830's a young businessman of New England named Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth become interested in the trade possibilities of the Pacific Northwest. In 1832 he visited the annual get-together of trappers, traders, and Indians known as the Rendezvous. He participated in the battle of Pierre's Hole. There he made an agreement with representatives of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company to bring $3,000 worth of trade goods for them at the 1834 Rendezvous.
This he did, but the company, being in financial difficulties, refused to accept the goods. Wyeth, not seeing any other way open to him, moved on westward with the men and the goods until he reached "The Bottoms" of the Snake River on July 15, 1834. There on the 18th of July he started the construction of a trading post, which he named Fort Hall in honor of the oldest member of the New England company financing his enterprise. On August 4th he finished the log structure. The next morning, August 5, he raised a homemade United States flag, saluted it with a salvo of guns, and thus, as the result of a broken agreement, Fort Hall came into existence, an event whose historical significance can not be overrated.