Potato Capital of the World Snags Seniors

Unknown Blackfoot, Idaho with a population of approximately 12,000 people is the seat of Bingham County . This senior learned that the name “Blackfoot” can be traced to the summer of 1818 when a group of fur trappers and traders from Hudson’s Bay Company passed through the area where wildfires had previously broken out.

The moccasins of the people who walked through the burned earth, turned black, thus the name today. When I first saw the name, I figured it was named after the Niitsitapi, also known as the Blackfoot Indians, but I was wrong. Those black moccasins make for a much neater story.


Blackfoot lies between two major Idaho cities, Pocatello and Idaho Falls. With the largest potato industry to be found anywhere, Blackfoot is called the “Potato Capital of the World”.

Senior visitors will find the famous Idaho Potato Museum, which has the world’s largest baked potato and potato chip. The museum was voted one of the top 50 museums worth a visit in the entire country.

It is said that…“In certain ways the mighty Snake River is the mother of Idaho’s potato industry. It has deposited much of the silt that farmers cultivate today in lower lying fields along the river and has provided much of the water that makes possible the growing of a plant that needs a soil moisture of eighty percent for ideal growth.” Blackfoot has invested a lot of money in the industry of growing potatoes, and consequently the potatoes production is an impressive one.

 Senior History Buffs, Birders and Golfers…


Two major annual events include the Blackfoot Triathlon, that packs the house, and the Eastern Idaho State Fair. The Bingham County Historical Society’s museum, once the social center of Blackfoot, was built in 1905 by John G. and May Brown who brought their family from Tennessee, complete with servants, chauffeur and Chinese cook to live in the mansion.

Toss your clubs in the trunk and play the famed Blackfoot Golf Course. One of the treasured facilities in Bingham County is the hospital that bears the Bingham Memorial Hospital name. Jensen Grove Park is a familiar hangout for families and for hiking.

Idaho State University calls Blackfoot home. The Wild Adventure Corn Maze is a family fun place and is guaranteed to keep you busy for a while. Well worth a visit is the Nuart Theatre, which has the distinction of being listed among only seven Idaho theatres on the National Register of Historic Places.


The history of the settlement is typically American. In 1874 the first general store was built after the owners learned that a railroad was going through. Then a post office opened. The first name of the settlement was Grove City, changed in 1879 to Blackfoot.

For senior birders, the Blackfoot Reservoir is the place to spend a few hours watching the pelicans along with raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, upland birds, and waterbirds.   jeb

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