Highway 54 is the shortest state highway in Idaho at 15.5 miles long. In the mid-1960 it as widened to four lanes between Athol and Farragut State Park to accommodate the large National and International Scout Jamborees, the largest of which attracted 42,000 Boy Scouts.
The Depression wreaked havoc on the region's economy. Timber and mineral products-the staples of the area-were virtually paralyzed by the economy until the military buildup during World War II fostered renewed economic growth and vitality. A major economic boost came from the establishment of the Farragut Naval Training Base in 1942. A workforce of approximately 22,000 created the base, which eventually housed up to 55,000 service personnel. The base was decommissioned four years after its completion and was subsequently converted to Farragut State Park. In the late 1940s, the Navy commenced using the former training base on Lake Pend Oreille as an acoustic training and testing site. It remains in operation today.