Skip to main content
Tags: facts | idaho | history

Facts About Idaho History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

By    |   Saturday, 04 April 2015 07:02 PM EDT

As the 13th largest state in the country, Idaho offers excitement at every corner. Also known as the Gem State for its rare precious and semi-precious stones, Idaho is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream with a rich, interesting history. Here are seven facts about Idaho’s unique past that you might not have known:

VOTE NOW: Is Idaho Gov. Butch Otter Doing a Good Job?

1. Birthplace of Appaloosa Horse

During the 1700s, horses had reached Idaho for the first time, which enabled the local Nez Perce tribe, who had always been sedentary fishermen, to develop skills in horsemanship and hunting. They became known for their breeding programs, which developed a new breed of horse with colorful spotted patterns covering their coats. Settlers called these “a Palouse horse,” referencing the Palouse River located in north central Idaho.

However, the name evolved over the years, and the modern Appaloosa horse is now one of the most beloved equine breeds in the world. In 1938, the Appaloosa Horse Club was chartered, and in 1975 this breed was named the state horse of Idaho.

2. State Seal was Designed by Woman

Emma Edwards Green was visiting from art school in New York City when she decided to stay in Idaho and open an art school of her own. Soon after, she entered a competition sponsored by the First Legislature for the State of Idaho for designing the new state seal. Entries arrived from all over the country, but Green won. She has the distinct honor of being the only woman in history to design a seal for one of the United States.

3. Last of U.S. States to be Explored by European-Americans

It’s also the homeland of Sacajawea, and in 1805 she and her tribe assisted Lewis and Clark on their journey into modern day Montana. While in Idaho, the Corps of Discovery ran into some trouble, and it was the Nez Perce tribe who saved them from starvation. In return, Lewis and Clark gave the tribe their horses before attempting to cross the Salmon River, also known as “The River of No Return” due to its rock walls and intense rapids.

VOTE NOW: Should the Government Be Doing More to Promote Tourism in America?

4. Ketchum was Former, Final Home of Ernest Hemingway

Sun Valley had just opened the first ski resort in America when Ernest Hemingway paid a visit to Idaho. Soon thereafter in 1959, he bought a house in Ketchum, where he continued to suffer from hemochromatosis, depression and various injuries caused by two near-fatal plane accidents that occurred while visiting Africa in 1954. Once in Idaho, he sought specialists for help, but after several rounds of electroshock therapy at the Mayo Clinic, he committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in his home overlooking the Big Wood River at age 61.

5. Rigby is the birthplace of television

Technically, Idaho is the birthplace of a sketch drawn by inventor Philo Farnsworth. The story goes that while in his chemistry class at the local school he devised an idea for a vacuum that would make television possible. In 1938, he unveiled his prototype for the first all-electric television. The Farnsworth TV Pioneer Museum still contributes exhibitions of the pre-electric and early electric era in Idaho.

6. President Theodore Roosevelt established Caribou National Forest in 1907

While the Caribou National Forest has since merged with the Targhee National Forest, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who established this park in 1907. Today, it spans across 2.8 million acres, including parts of Utah and Wyoming. In addition to peaks exceeding 10,000 feet, this area also boasts the first National Recreation Water Trail, which includes a five-mile lazy river that offers views of the local wildlife.

7. Ghost Towns are Scattered Throughout State

URGENT: Do You Approve of the Job Butch Otter Is Doing as Hawaii Governor?

Once gold was discovered in Idaho, it didn’t take long for an influx of people to settle there. In fact, in the 1860s, the entire economy of Idaho City developed around gold mining. However, once the gold ran out, the majority of gold miners left, leaving behind close to 100 ghost towns in Idaho. Famous examples include Silver City, Gold Dredge, Yankee Fork and the Sierra Silver Mine. You can still visit these historic sites, many of which have been preserved.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

As the 13th largest state in the country, Idaho offers excitement at every corner. Also known as the Gem State for its rare precious and semi-precious stones, Idaho is an outdoor enthusiast's dream with a rich, interesting history.
facts, idaho, history
Saturday, 04 April 2015 07:02 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in and do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.


Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved