Blackfoot, Idaho

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Blackfoot is a city in Bingham County, Idaho, United States. The population was 10,419 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Bingham County.[1] Blackfoot is designated the "Potato Capital of the World", because it has the largest potato industry in the world.[2] It is home to the Idaho Potato Museum (a museum and gift shop that displays and explains the history of Idaho's potato industry), which is home to the world's largest baked potato and potato chip. Blackfoot is also home to the Eastern Idaho State Fair, which operates between Labor Day weekend and the following weekend.

Blackfoot is the principal city of the Blackfoot, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Bingham County.

Contents

History

"Blackfoot" is a name applied to several places in the area, including a mountain range and a small river. The name for the area can be traced back to the summer of 1818 when a group of trappers and traders from the Hudson's Bay Company passed through. Earlier, in 1812, there had been some wildfires, and people who walked through the burned areas got their moccasins all black. While there were no actual Blackfoot people in the area, the traders referred to the people they met in the area as the Indians with the black feet, or the "Blackfoot Crowd", because of the blackened footwear. They went on to call the nearby stream the Blackfoot River.

The first general store was built in 1874 by Fredrick S. Stevens and Major Danilson after learning that a railroad was to be built in the area. They were hoping that a station would be built there because it was just outside the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, which speculation paid off four years later. October 10, 1878 a post office was established with Theo T. Danilson as Postmaster. November 10, 1878 track was laid through town, with the track running right up behind the Stevens Store to take advantage of the store's loading platform (which was originally used to unload freight wagons). The name of the town was changed to Blackfoot March 20, 1879.

On January 13, 1885 Bingham County was established with Blackfoot as its county seat. Originally the county seat was to be Eagle Rock (now called Idaho Falls). However, the night before its final passage men from Blackfoot bribed a clerk to erase Eagle Rock and write in Blackfoot. The measure went through without opposition and was signed by the governor.[3]

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