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Cambridge obtained its name from the location of Harvard University, the alma mater of the president of the Pacific & Idaho Northern RR. When the railroad originally came to the area in 1899-1900, the plan was to run the track through a settlement called Salubria. However, one landowner was asking too much money for the right-of-way. A rancher across the Weiser River offered to donate every other lot of his property if the railroad would come by that route. Unable to pass up a deal like that, the PINRR changed its plans and relocated to the other side of the river, foregoing Salubria. While Cambridge evolved, Salubria perished. Many of Salubria’s businesses moved to the new townsite.

The original town of Salubria was located about two miles east of present day Cambridge, and across the river. Settlers began homesteading there and ranching the land in the early 1880s. Silver and copper were also mined in the Seven Devils mine between 1880 and 1905. John Cuddy, an Irish emigrant, came to the area in 1870 to erect a grist mill on Rush Creek. It had the capacity to produce three tons of flour a day. The mill was a couple miles from Salubria, and as the town grew, Cuddy relocated the mill within the city limits.

Today, Cambridge is still a farming and ranching community, economically reliant upon cattle, dairy, and hay production.

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