As an ongoing service to our customers, BMI is spotlighting a city or town in our coverage area. This month is Pocatello, ID .
The city of Pocatello, Idaho is located in southeast Idaho and nestled at 4,448 feet in the western foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the Oregon Trail. Pocatello boasts a population of 51,446 Pocatello has an unusually desirable four-season climate where clear, sunny and dry is the norm.
The city has 32 parks, a Museum of Natural History, the Fort Hall Replica, Golf Courses, Swimming Complex, Bike & Hiking Trails, Pocatello Junction, Skate Park, and the Pocatello Zoo. This is just of few of the attractions visitors and residents enjoy.
The area of the city along the Portneuf River was inhabited by the Shoshoni and Bannock peoples for several centuries before the arrival of Europeans into the area in the early 19th century. In 1834, Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth, a U.S. fur trader, established Fort Hall as a trading post north of the present location of the city. The post was later acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company and became an important stop on the Oregon Trail...a branch of which descended the Portneuf through the present-day location of the city. A replica of the Fort Hall trading post is now operated as museum in southern Pocatello.
The discovery of gold in Idaho in 1860 brought the first large wave of U.S. settlers to the region. The Portneuf Valley became an important conduit for transportation of goods and freight. In 1877, railroad magnate Jay Gould of the Union Pacific Railroad acquired and extended the Utah and Northern Railway, which had previously stopped at the Utah border, into Idaho through the Portneuf Canyon. "Pocatello Junction", as it was first called, was founded as stop along this route during the gold rush.
After the gold rush subsided, the region began to attract ranchers and farmers. By 1882, the first residences and commercial developments appeared in Pocatello. In 1962 Pocatello absorbed nearby Alameda and became for a time the largest city in Idaho. Pocatello remains one of the state's largest cities.