Gem County, Idaho

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Gem County is a county in the U.S. state of Idaho. The population was 15,181 at the 2000 census; it was estimated at 16,496 in 2007.[1] The county seat is Emmett.[2]

Gem County is home to the Idaho ground squirrel.

Gem County is part of the Boise CityNampa, Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area.



The county was established on March 15, 1915, and named for the state nickname, "Gem State." Fur trappers were in the area as early as 1818, and Alexander Ross explored Squaw Creek in 1824. Prospectors and miners moved through the county in 1862 in route to the gold rush in the Boise Basin around Idaho City, and by the next year irrigation began along the Payette River.[3] The Black Canyon diversion dam on the river was built in the early 1920s, east of Emmett.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 566 square miles (1,465.9 km2), of which 563 square miles (1,458.2 km2) is land and 3 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.56%) is water.

Adjacent counties

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