Originally part of the Oregon Country, Idaho was claimed by the United States in 1846, became part of the Washington Territory when Oregon became the 33rd State, was established as the Idaho Territory on July 4, 1863, and admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890.
Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls have revealed arrowheads and artifacts connected to the Shoshone, Nez Perce, Tukuduka, Bannock, and Coeur d’Alene Indians are among the earliest ones found in the United States.
Kullyspell House, a fur trading post, was the first settlement created in the Idaho Territory, and was built on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, on the Hope Peninsula in 1809.
In 1861 Lewiston was the first Incorporated city in the State.
Bordered by Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and the Canadian Province of British Columbia, the 43rd State, and eleventh largest in terms of land area, is the home of the farthest inland seaport on the West Coast, which can be found in Lewiston.
Regarded as a highly outdoors-oriented, mostly mountainous Pacific Northwest State, Idaho contains Sun Valley, one of the oldest ski resorts in the Country, while Riggins and the Salmon River provide some of the best whitewater rapids in North America.
The name Idaho has a sordid history and reportedly comes from several sources including the Shoshone Indian word “eedahow” meaning “the sun comes from the mountains,” or “gem of the mountains,” but may also be the result of what became known as the infamous “Idahoax” when Congress originally named the area the Colorado Territory in February 1861, and a County in the eastern Washington Territory was created by local citizens and known as Idaho County, while locals in the Colorado Territory established a town they called Idaho Springs which became the site used to build the Idaho Territory in 1863. Idaho may also be from the Plains Apache word “idaahe” meaning “enemy,” as the Comanches referred to the State, or from the Coeur d’Alene Indians and mean “greetings by surprise that there are so many of you” in reference to the numbers of people who settled the Idaho Territory.
Indian tribes native to the State of Idaho included the Blackfeet, the Bannock, the Nez Perce, the Coeur d’Alene, the Kootenai, the Palouse, the Northern Paite, the Kalispel, the Spokane Salish, and the Shoshone.
Known as one of the Rocky Mountain States Idaho has some of the largest natural areas in the Country, unspoiled scenery, rugged cliffs, Shoshone Falls with a height 212 feet taller than Niagra Falls, Hell’s Canyon, the deepest canyon in the Country at 7993 feet deep, and one of only two locations in the world where six-pointed Star Garnets have been found.
National Historic Sites:
National Historic Sites located in Idaho include the California National Historic Trail across the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada Mountains that helped extend the United States territory to the West Coast, the Craters of the Moon National Monument in the Snake River Plain that has three lava fields and four hundred miles of sagebrush, the City of Rocks National Reserve, a well known rock climbing location, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the second longest National Scenic Trail in the Country, that travels through eleven States along the Missouri and Columbia Rivers from Hartford, Illinois to Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, North and South Dakota, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument and largest collection of fossilized Hagerman horses in North America which can be found in the Hagerman Horse Quarry, the Nez Perce National Historic Park and traditional lands of the Nez Perce Indians, the Minidoka National Historic Site and Japanese-American Internment Site of 1942 to 1945, the Oregon National Historic Trail from the Missouri River to Oregon, a six month trip over half of the United States by wagon train that passed through the six States of Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Idaho, and Oregon, and fed pioneers into Colorado, Utah, Washington, Montana, California, and Nevada, Yellowstone National Park, the first National Park in the world and famous for wildlife, subalpine forests, and Old Faithful Geyser, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area with more than 778,000 acres of backpacking, whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and fishing, the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area and nine hundred miles of hiking trails, the Camas National Wildlife Refuge to preserve migrating geese, Trumpeter Swans, ducks, and songbirds, the Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuge and largest bulrush marsh in North America, and the popular home of Sandhill Cranes, the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Dingle Swamp that was once a large Prehistoric lake, the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge with eighty miles of shoreline around Lake Walcott and home of American White Pelicans, Utah Valvata Snails, Sharptailed Grouse, and Idaho Dunes Tiger Beetles, a Special Concern species, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge home of more than three hundred species, wetlands, hardwood, and conifer forests, and the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, the home of the largest number of nesting Raptors in the United States, Prairie Falcons, Paiute Ground Squirrels, Golden Eagles, jackrabbits, and badgers.
National Historic Landmarks:
National Historic Landmarks found in Idaho include the 1863 Bear River Massacre Site, the Camas Meadows Battle Sites, the Cataldo Mission to the Coeur d’Alenes, the 1870 Assay Office symbolizing the mining history of Idaho, the City of Rocks with wagon train ruts, the Experimental Breeder Nuclear Reactor Number One, the Fort Hall Outpost where the California and Oregon Trails separated, the Lemki Pass, the Lolo Trail followed by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and 1806, and the Weippe Prairie and Meadow where Lewis and Clark left the Lolo Trail.
National forests in Idaho include the Bitterroot National Forest in the eastern part of the State, a passageway for the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest with more than two and a half million acres, the Boise National Forest with Big Game species like elk and mule deer, the Coeur d’Alene National Forest in the Idaho Panhandle, the Clearwater National Forest and popularly well known Jerry Johnson Hot Springs and Weir Creek Hot Springs, the Kaniksu National Forest that is part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest containing elk, moose, coyotes, bobcats, whitetail deer, cougars, wolverines, black bears, grizzly bears, Bald Eagles, and wolves, the Kootenai National Forest with a Modified Pacific Maritime climate, the Payette National Forest above the Idaho Batholith, the largest granite rock in the United States, the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho County with more than two million acres, the Salmon-Challis National Forest, one of the largest National Forests in the contiguous United States, the Saint Joe National Forest headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest with the Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, the Wasatch-Cache National Forest with seven designated wildernesses, and the Sawtooth National Forest with more than one thousand lakes and three thousand miles of rivers.
Idaho contains many mountains including Bald Mountain, the home of the popularly famous Sun Valley Ski Resort with a 3400 foot verticle drop, Borah Peak, Idaho’s tallest mountain at a summit elevation of 12,662 feet, in the Lost River Range of the Challis National Forest, Banner Creek Mountain along the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, Mount Cramer, the second highest peak in the Sawtooth Range, Castle Peak, the largest roadless area in the contiguous United States that is not a designated National Wilderness Area, Fourth of July Mountain at the western end of the Silver Valley mining district, Mount Heyburn, one of the ten thousand foot tall peaks in the Sawtooth Range, Galena Summit on the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, Kings Peak along the Saint Maries River, Mount Jefferson on the Continental Divide, Mores Creek Summit on the Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway, Mica Peak located across the eastern Washington State Line from Spokane, Pioneer Mountain at 12,000 feet tall one of the Rocky Mountains most prominent peaks, Spring Valley Summit and Bread Loaf Rock near Cartwright Canyon, Stripe Mountain in the River of No Return Wilderness Area, Thompson Peak, the highest mountain in the Sawtooth Range, Williams Peak, the sixth highest mountain in the Sawtooth Range, White Bird Hill Summit located between the Salmon River and the Camas Prairie, and named after Chief White Bird of the Nez Perce Indian tribe, and Willows Creek Summit in the Lost River Range.
National Wilderness Areas in Idaho include the Sawtooth Wilderness, the most popularly used one in the State, the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest wilderness area in the contiguous United States, containing more than 2 million acres, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness which was among the first wildernesses created by the American Congress in 1964, and the Gospel Hump Wilderness in the Nez Perce National Forest.
Major rivers in Idaho include the Snake River, the Palouse River, the Clearwater River, the Potlatch River, the North Fork Clearwater River, the Locksa River, the Selway River, the Salmon River, the Little Salmon River, the Middle Fork Salmon River, the Crooked River, the American River, the Red River, the Rapid River, the Secesh River, the North Fork Salmon River, the Lemki River, the Pahsimeroi River, the Wildhorse River, the Weiser River, the Payette River, the Boise River, the Roaring River, the Queens River, the Yuba River, the Bear River, the Owyhee River, the Bruneau River, the Jarbridge River, the Big Wood River, the Raft River, the Portneuf River, the Blackfoot River, the Teton River, the Fall River, the Warm River, the Spokane River, the Coeur d’Alene River, the Saint Joe River, the Saint Maries River, the Pend Oreille River, the Priest River, the Pack River, the Clark Fork River, the Kootenai River, the Mayie River, the Balboa River, the Big Lost River, the Lost River, the Malad River, and the Logan River.
Major lakes in Idaho include Alturas Lake, an alpine lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Hayden Lake on Cooper’s Bay, Bear Lake, known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies’ because of its turquoise-blue waters, Henrys Lake with trophy-sized trout, Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in the United States, Lake Cascade with the Tamarack Resort, Lake Lowell with the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, a Winter migration stop for Canadian Geese along the Pacific Flyway, Lake Walcott with the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge, Payette Lake a 5330-acre glacier lake, Little Redfish Lake with sockeyed salmon spawning grounds, Pettit Lake with Toxaway Trail, Priest Lake located fifteen miles from the Canadian border in the northernmost portion of the Idaho panhandle, Sawtooth Lake with popular hiking trails, Stanley Lake and birding trail at the base of McGowan Peak, Warm Lake with an abundance of moose, deer, bears, and eagles, Hidden Lake a popular fishing location, and Lake Coeur d’Alene with many Model T automobiles and steamboats on the bottom of the lake, popular beaches, and scenic views of Bald Eagles.
Idaho State Parks include the Bear Lake State Park with two separate units and access to the Bonneville Cisco whitefish along the Utah and Wyoming State Lines, the Box Canyon State Park with popular fly fishing, the Castle Rocks State Park and granite monoliths, the Bruneau State Park with the largest sand dunes in North America, standing 470 feet tall, the City of Rocks State Park with popular rock climbing sites, the Dworshak State Park with 175 miles of shoreline, the Coeur d’Alene Parkway State Park, a well known hiking and biking location, the Farragut State Park and World War Two Naval Training Station, the Hells Gate State Park with the lowest elevation point in Idaho at 713 feet above sea level, the Harriman State Park and 11,000 acre wildlife refuge, the Henrys Lake State Park at the base of several 9000 foot tall mountains, the Heyburn State Park, the oldest State Park in the Pacific Northwest, the Lake Walcott State Park with windsurfing, sailing, and bird watching, the Lake Cascade State Park full of rainbow trout, Coho salmon, and small mouth bass, the Lucky Peak State Park, Dam, and Discovery Roadside Park, the Land of the Yankee Fort State Park and historic Frontier mining area, the Massacre Rocks State Park, a famous Oregon Trail and California Trail location, the McCrosky State Park and 5300-acre wilderness area, Idaho’s second largest State Park, the Malad Gorge State Park with a sixty foot waterfall, the Niagara Springs State Park and Snake River whitewater rafting site, the Old Mission State Park, a National Historic Landmark, and the oldest standing building in Idaho, the Priest Lake State Park and nineteen mile long lake, thirty miles from the Canadian border, the Ponderosa State Park and one thousand acre peninsula, the Round Lake State Park and 142 acres of forest, the Thousand Springs State Park in the Magic Valley, the Three Island Crossing State Park at Glenns Ferry along the Oregon Trail, the Winchester Lake State Park and 104 acre lake at Craig Mountain, the Yankee Fork Historic State Park with a Frontier mining history, and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes from the mountain mining town of Mullan to the prairie near the Washington State Line.
Agriculture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, paper products, forest products, science, technology, electronics, nuclear energy research, malt for beer, skiing, ammunition, rifle production, semiconductors, aluminum jet boats, wine grapes, mircobreweries, random access memory chips, computers, LaserJet printers, microsystems, mining, tourism, and potatoes have all been major industries in Idaho after the illegal transfer of the Territorial capital from Lewiston to Boise in 1864.
Several major Corporations have had business ties to the State of Idaho including Micro Technology, Coldwater Creek Womens Clothing, Hewlett-Packard, the Glanbia Group Processed Cheese Factory, the world’s largest for barrel cheese, Anheuser Busch, the ATK Corporation, Chipmunk Rifles, JC Penny which began in Twin Falls as The Golden Rule, Safeways, Albertsons, Zimmerly Air Transport, one of five companies that merged into United Air Lines, Varney Air Group that became Continental Airlines, and more.
Idaho’s western border is impacted by the Pacific Ocean 350 miles away through low humidity and precipitation moderating lower Winter temperatures than would be expected in a Northern mountainous State, and producing wetter Summers and drier Winters in the southern part of the State.
The State of Idaho operates on two time zones. The Mountain Time Zone is used by Southern Idaho and the State’s capital city of Boise, and areas north of the Salmon River are found in the Pacific Time Zone.
Idaho is famous for many popular Attractions including the Anne Reed Gallery, the first art gallery in the State to display large-scale Contemporary photographs, the Bear River Heritage Area, the Canoe Camp Historical Site, the Collectors Corner Museum, the Dog Bark Park and its thirty-foot tall beagle Sweet Willy Colton, the Ernest Hemingway Memorial, the Gem County Historical Museum, the Heart of the Monster large earth mound near the Clearwater River, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the Idaho Botanical Gardens, the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Lisk Gallery, the Morrison Center For the Performing Arts, the Museum of North Idaho, the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest and Festival, the 1889 Paris Tabernacle Historical Site on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pioneering Adventures, the Pulaski Tunnel Trail, the Rotary International Rose Garden, the Sabastians Music Festival, the Shoshone Bannock Tribal Museum, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Galleries, the Dream Catcher Gallery, the Shooting Gallery Wildlife Museum, the Tolo Lake Mammoth Replica, the Wilson Butte Cave, the Craters of the Moon National Monument, the Idaho Potato Museum, the Paul Bunyon Statue, the Birthplace of Television Museum, the Shoshone Ice Caves, the Whittenberger Planetarium, the Boise Table Rock Butte, the Silverwood Theme Park, the Montana Daylight Excursion Train’s 455 mile Day Trip between Sandpoint, Idaho and Livingston, Montana, the Wallace Mining Museum, the Crystal Gold Mine, the Meriwether Lewis August 12, 1805 Historical Campsite, the Bruneau Dunes Observatory, the Lava Hot Springs, the Thunder Mountain Scenic Railroad Line, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene, the Longhorn Guest Dude Ranch, the Lonesome Dove Ranch, the National Oregon and California Trail Center, the Thousand Springs Scenic Highway, the Selway Falls, Kelly Canyon, and the Evel Knieval Canyon Jumpsite at the Snake River.
Several cities in Idaho are unique for some very special reasons including American Falls which was the first town in the United States to be completely relocated from its original site. Arco was the first town in the world lit by electricity generated by nuclear power. Buhl is wellknown as the Trout Capital of the World. Homedale’s name was chosen by being drawn from a hat. Rigby is the birthplace of television and treadmills, and Soda Springs is the Country’s only man-made, carbon dioxide generated, cold water captive geyser.
Idaho potatoes, especially the Russet Burbank variety, a classic starchy potato, are the Internationally recognized symbol of the second largest potato raising State in the Country.
The Idaho capital city of Boise is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon, the third largest city in the Northwestern part of the Country, and the one hundredth largest city in the United States.
Boise’s name may come from mountain men in the 1820s and means “the wooded river”.
The original Fort Boise was established by the Hudson Bay Company in the 1830s along the Oregon Trail.
In 1863 the current location of Boise was established by the United States Army, during the American Civil War, and in 1866 Boise became the capital of the Idaho Territory.
Boise has been named the 2006 Farmers Insurance Most Secure Place To Live (500,000 or more residents), the 2007 Inc.com Number Nine Boomtown: Hottest Cities For Entrepreneurs, Number Six on the the 2007 Forbes Magazine Urban Environment Report Card, and the 2007 Forbes Magazine Number Three Best Places For Business and Careers.
Many large Corporations have been headquartered in Boise including the URS Group, New Albertsons Inc., the Idaho Pacific Lumber Company, Idaho Timber, WinCo Foods, Boise Cascade, Micron Technology, IDACORP, bodybuilding.com, MobileDataForce, SyBase, Microsoft, and more than twenty call centers including ones for Teleperformance, T-Mobile, WDS Global, and DIRECTV.
Boise area Attractions include the Basque Jaialdi Festival, the Gene Harris Jazz Festival, the Boise Art Museum, the Discovery Center of Idaho, the Idaho Historical Museum, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Idaho Black History Museum, the Boise WaterShed, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Boise Contemporary Theater, the Egyptian Theater, the Idaho International Film Festival, the Boise Center on the Grove, the Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center, Hulls Gulch, the Julia Davis Park and Zoo Boise, the Bogus Basin Ski Area, the World Center For Birds of Prey, and the State’s largest Giant Sequoia near Saint Luke’s Hospital.
Derived from a Shoshone Indian word meaning “moccasin,” or “footprint,” Nampa is located in Canyon County, twenty miles west of Boise, and began as a railroad town in the early 1880s known as New Jeruslem.
The Snake River Stampede Rodeo, one of the Top Twelve Professional Rodeos in the Country, was originally a 1908 harvest festival and farmers maket.
Nampa area Attractions include twenty-four city parks, including Lakeview, the city’s largest, the Nampa Recreation Center, the Idaho Center For Entertainment, the Warhawk Air Museum, the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, the Canyon County Historical Museum, and the Sawtooth Winery.
Located on a flat Plain in the north central Treasure Valley Meridian has a Semi-Arid climate and experiences four distinct seasons.
Established in 1891, and known as Hunter, the town was renamed in 1893 after the Boise Meridian it is situated on.
Meridian area Attractions include the Initial Point Gallery, the Roaring Springs Water Park, the Eagle Island State Park, the Snake River Birds of Prey Conservation Area, the Wahooz Entertainment Complex, the Bogus Creek Western Ranch, and the Boondocks Fun Center Amusement Park.
Located in Bannock County, and on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Power County, in the southeastern part of the State, Pocatello was ranked Number Twenty on the 2007 Forbes List of Best Small Places For Business and Careers.
Named after Shoshone Indian Chief Pocatello, and situated along the Oregon Trail, Pocatello was established as an important railroad stop during the 1860 Idaho Gold Rush.
Pocatello was declared the 1987 United States Smile Capital and holds an annual Smile Festival.
Pocatello area Attractions include the Pocatello Zoo containing only native Idaho species, the Fort Hall Replica, the Bannock County Historical Museum, the Idaho Museum of Natural History, the Alameda Park, the Sister City Park, the Bannock County Fairgrounds, the Stephens Performing Arts Center, the Ross Park Aquatic Complex, Old Town Pocatello, and the Standrod Mansion.
Established from the 1865 Taylor’s Crossing bridge on the Montana Trail, then known as Eagle Rock in 1872, the largest city in eastern Idaho was renamed Idaho Falls in 1891.
The only fatal nuclear reactor accident in the history of the United States occurred on January 3, 1961 at the National Reactor Testing Station in the desert west of Idaho Falls.
Idaho Falls area Attractions include the Colonial Theater, the Willard Art Center, the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration on July 4th, the Roaring Youth Jam, and the Museum of Idaho.
The United States Series I am writing here on associatedcontent.com provides an indepth look at all fifty States that make up this GREAT Country of ours and their five largest cities.
The current list of Articles for the United States Series I have published to date includes:
So This Is Sweet Home Alabama
Alaska – The Land of the Midnight Sun
Arizona – The Valley of the Sun
Arkansas – People of the South Wind
California – The Golden Gate, Earthquakes and Grizzly Bears
Colorful Colorado – The Rocky Mountains, Skiing, and High Technology
Connecticut – The Land of Steady Habits
Delaware – The Small Wonder
Florida – The Snowbirds R Us State
Georgia – Goobers, Peaches, and Buzzards
Hawaii – Luaus, Pineapples, and Beaches
Illinois – Mining, Factories, and Labor Unions
Indiana – Land of Steel and Ducks
Iowa – The Ethanol and Food Capital of the World
Bleeding Kansas America’s Flattest State
Kentucky – The Land of Tomorrow
Louisiana – The Child of the Mississippi
Maine – Lobsters, Lighthouses, and Black Bears
Maryland – The “Oh Say Can You See” State
Massachusetts – The Cradle of Liberty
Michigan – The Automotive State
Minnesota – The Bread and Butter State
Mississippi – Where Cotton Was King
Comments from readers are always welcome so let me know what you think about these Articles.
This article was complied from several websites that provide much more information on Idaho including:
cityofboise.org, americantowns.com, meridiancity.org, pocatelloidaho.com, and visitidahofalls.com