Idaho Cities & Towns Collection

From Aberdeen to Yellow Dog - Historical Photos of 134 Cities and Towns, 1862 - 1998

About Idaho Cities & Towns Collection

This collection contains digitized historical photos of 134 cities and towns in Idaho, beginning in 1862 and ending in 1998.

Idaho history

Idaho’s landscape has been occupied by Indigenous people for thousands of years. Much archaeological evidence shows that Indigenous people have been living in Idaho for at least 8,000 years, while one study show “there is evidence that intelligent, highly skilled people have lived in Idaho for at least the past twelve to fifteen thousand years.”1

In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through Idaho. When they traveled through the area that became the town of Gibbonsville, they described it as “filled with rocky hills and dense vegetation,” which accurately describes much of Idaho’s vast wilderness.2

Old stagecoach stop. Gibbonsville, Idaho. Version 3.
Old stagecoach stop. Gibbonsville, Idaho. Version 3.
Underground drilling crew. Copper King Mining Company. Mullan, Idaho.
Underground drilling crew. Copper King Mining Company. Mullan, Idaho.

In 1860, gold was discovered near Pierce, Idaho, igniting a fierce gold rush in the state. This gold rush led to the development of a strong mining industry and the establishment of many mining cities and towns throughout the state, including:3

Atlanta
Banner
Bayhorse
Black Bear
Bonanza
Burke
Centerville
Clayton
Custer
De Lamar
Dixie
Elk City
Featherville
Florence
Gem
Hailey
Idaho City
Kellogg

Ketchum
Leesburg
Mace
Mackay
Mullan
Murray
Pearl
Pierce
Pine
Pioneerville
Quartzburg
Rocky Bar
Roosevelt
Silver City
Sunbeam
Thunder Mountain
Wallace
Wardner
Warren4

In 1863, Congress established Idaho Territory. Idaho Territory spanned a surface that was 25% larger than the modern state of Texas.5 According to legend, the name “Idaho” was “derived from a Shoshone phrase meaning ‘gem of the mountains.’”6 In 1890, Idaho became the 43rd state admitted to the union, and the size shrunk considerably compared to Idaho Territory.7 In 1896, Idaho became the first state in the U.S. to give women the right to vote.8

In 1910, the “Big Burn” ripped through Idaho, Washington, and Montana, proving to be one of the most significant natural disasters North Idaho ever saw. The fire effected several cities in Idaho.

In 1957, the Idaho state legislature updated the state seal “in order to more clearly define Idaho’s main industries, mining, agriculture, and forestry as well as highlight the state’s natural beauty.”9

Sources

Technical Credits - CollectionBuilder

This digital collection is built with CollectionBuilder, an open source tool for creating digital collection and exhibit websites that is developed by faculty librarians at the University of Idaho Library following the Lib-STATIC methodology.

This site is built using CollectionBuilder-CDM which utilizes CONTENTdm APIs to create an engaging “skin” on top of an existing digital collection repository.

More Information Available

Technical Specifications
IMLS Support