Prior to the Holt Ferry, mail and supplies could be sent across the South Fork of the Snake River in a heavy wire basket on a cable. In 1894, Richard C. Heise, who had read of the healing properties of the mineral springs, came from Pocatello and homesteaded the property that contained the warm sulphur springs and later started the Heise Hot Springs Health Resort. He called in labor to help develop roads and also had a ferry built at the same location as the cable.
In 1907 the demand for ferry services grew. A man named Elof Nelson built another ferry across the river just below the present concrete and steel bridge. He built a home on the side hill above above the river and installed a bell system. Anyone needing to cross the river could ring the bell, alerting the Nelsons that they were needed down at the ferry. Mr. Nelson and his sons operated this ferry until 1919.
In 1919 Elof Nelson sold his properties to M. Eugene Holt. who operated the ferry until 1938 when the bridge was built. The Ferry provided a way for the early pioneers to cross the river, which resulted in many settling along the north side of the Snake River. Their hard work, hardships, and perseverance contributed to the abundance we enjoy today.