was created by the Idaho Legislature on January 28, 1913, by a partition of Lincoln County.
The name Minidoka is of Dakota Sioux origin
meaning "a fountain or spring of water." Minidoka was first used in
1883 as a name for the Union Pacific's Oregon Short Line, a railroad spur in
the middle of the Snake River Plain. The spur later became the site of a
watering station along the line. The village
of Minidoka grew up next
to the station. The Minidoka name was then given to a reclamation project under
then President Theodore Roosevelt which included the construction of the
Minidoka Dam, completed in 1904. Minidoka National Historic Site (in Jerome County)
was part of the original reclamation project and hence shares the name.
Historical Society is a
non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Minidoka County
history. The museum is home to the original Rupert Union Pacific Depot, built
in 1906 and relocated to the museum in 1989. It is full of old time pictures
and personal histories from the towns of Rupert, Paul, Heyburn, Acequia, Minidoka, Adelaide
Acequia (pronounced ah-SEE-kwa)
has a population of approximately 150.
was named after Weldon Heyburn, a U.S. Senator from Idaho from 1903-12. The population was 2,899
at the 2000 census.
An image taken from Heyburn, Idaho,
towards the Albion Mountains
Heyburn, Its Origin and
Some Early History written from observation by J.
A. Handy. Historical photographs of Heyburn can be found on the City of Heyburn historical
The first depot built by brick by the railroad company
was built at Heyburn.
is one of Idaho's
most strongly Hispanic communities, with over three quarters of the population
claiming Hispanic or Latino nationality. Population of Minidoka is about 130.
The town of Paul received its name from Charles H.
Paul, an engineer on the Minidoka Reclamation Project. It has a population of
founded in 1906, sprung up after the announcement of the Minidoka Reclamation
Project, which provided irrigation and electricity following the completion of
the Minidoka Dam in 1906. Electricity was plentiful after the building of the
dam and led to Rupert being one of the first cities in the world to have its
streets lighted by electricity. The population was 5,554 at the 2010 census.
Rupert officially became "Christmas
in November 1987.
When it was completed in 1920, the Wilson Theatre
was a big hit. Silent movies, and later, talkies, made the theatre the center
of activity. The City of Rupert
purchased the building in 1999 and the Renaissance Arts
Center group began the
restoration of the theater to its 1920s glory. It is in the National Register
of Historic Places.
The Minidoka Dam is an earthfill dam on the
Snake River in south central Idaho.
The dam, originally completed in 1906, is east of Rupert on county highway 400;
it is 86 feet high and nearly a mile in length, with a 2,400-foot wide overflow
spillway section. The dam and power plant were listed on the National Register
of Historic Places in 1974. Walcott
Park, close to the dam,
is a popular summertime picnic area.
The Minidoka dam was the first Reclamation
Service project in Idaho,
part of the Minidoka Project of dams, reservoirs and canals. Construction
began in 1904 and by 1906 most of the dam's canals and laterals were
finished. By 1909, Minidoka Dam's power plant, the first federal power plant in
the northwest, was completed. By its completion, the total cost of the dam was
$5.8 million, which exceeded estimates. The Minidoka project brought water into
the southeastern areas of Idaho
near the cities of Rupert and Burley. The project was successful, as what was
once an uninhabited sagebrush desert is now bountiful farmland.
County, City of Rupert,
City of Heyburn,