© 2001-2007 by Rhonda Smith.
Welcome to Idaho Project
of The American Local History Network. This is a central point of
entry to independent not-for-profit web sites with historical or genealogical
content pertaining to the state of Idaho. Although independent, it is affiliated
by choice with
American Local History Network.
Smith is the coordinator for the Idaho Project.
HISTORY OF IDAHO
After its acquisition by the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase in
1803, the region was explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in
1805–06. Northwest boundary disputes with Great Britain were settled by
the Oregon Treaty in 1846 and the first permanent U.S. settlement
in Idaho was established by the Mormons at Franklin in 1860. After gold
was discovered on Orofino Creek in 1860, prospectors swarmed into
the territory, but left little more than a number of ghost towns. In the
1870s, growing white occupation of Indian lands led to a series of battles
between U.S. forces and the Nez Percé, Bannock,
and Sheepeater tribes. Mining, lumbering, and irrigation farming
have been important for years. Idaho produces more than one fifth of all
the silver mined in the U.S. It also ranks high among the states in antimony,
lead, cobalt, garnet, phosphate rock, vanadium, zinc, mercury, and
gold. Idaho's most impressive growth began when World War II military needs
made processing agricultural products a big industry, particularly
the dehydrating and freezing of potatoes. The state produces about
one fourth of the nation's potato crop, as well as wheat, apples, corn,
barley, sugar beets, and hops. With the growth of
winter sports, tourism now outranks mining in dollar revenue.
Idaho's many streams and lakes provide fishing, camping, and boating
sites. The nation's largest elk herds draw hunters from all over the world
and the famed Sun Valley resort attracts thousands of visitors to its swimming
and skiing facilities. Other points of interest are the Craters of the
Moon National Monument; Nez Percé National Historic Park, which
includes many sites visited by Lewis and Clark; and the State Historical
Museum in Boise.
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