Seniors Like The History

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Pocatello in south east Idaho was named after a Chief of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who donated land the city now occupies to the railroad. Known as the “Gateway to the West”, or “Gate City” by the locals, pioneers, gold miners and settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail passed through city gates.

Stage and freight lines and the railroad soon followed, turning the community into the trade center and transportation junction that it is today. The history of the area reads like pages from a Zane Grey novel, finding itself along the route of the Oregon Trail. Each chapter is filled with the names of trappers and mountain men…characters like Osborn Russell, Jim Bridger, Chief Pocatello, and even Abraham Lincoln.

Pocatello has a population of approximately 54,000 and is the fifth largest city in Idaho, just behind Idaho Falls 56,813. The Portneuf River joins the far more famous Snake River at American Falls reservoir just north of  the city. Unlike most rivers in the United States, the Portneuf flows to the north along with 31 others.

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Senior visitors will discover that Pocatello is a working-class town with a strong railroad and trade union heritage. Ranked twentieth on Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers, it is evident that the city “has some heart” and an inviting atmosphere.

 Seniors Smile At ‘Smile Ordinance’

At one time the city boasted the largest rail yard west of the Mississippi River. A major attraction in town is the Museum of Clean. The Idaho Museum of Natural History is home to permanent and special collections in Anthropology, Earth Sciences, and Life Sciences. The historic Fort Hall Replica entices senior visitors to learn all about the 19th century world of explorers, trappers, fur traders and early American pioneers.

 Old Town Pocatello is a magnet for senior visitors looking for a unique experience. Clothing, antiques, housewares, sporting goods and art galleries make Historic Old Town a destination for senior visitors. The district is architecturally and historically significant and is one of the region’s most diverse and well-preserved urban street landmarks.

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In 1948, the Mayor of the City of Pocatello, George Phillips, passed an ordinance making it illegal not to smile in Pocatello. The “Smile Ordinance” was passed tongue in cheek as a result of an exceptionally severe winter, which had dampened the spirit of city employees and citizens alike. So senior visitors, welcome to the U.S. Smile Capital.

Pocatello is home to Holt Arena, a multipurpose indoor stadium which opened in 1970 on the Idaho State University campus. Known as the “Minidome” until 1988, Holt Arena was the home of the Real Dairy Bowl, a Jr. College football Bowl game. The Arena also plays host to the Simplot Games, the nation’s largest indoor high school track-and-field meet.

 Seniors will warm to the unusually desirable four-season climate where clear, sunny and dry is the norm. The “Proud to Be Pocatello” philosophy is evident everywhere you look.  jeb

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