My favorite things Idaho

OK, OK, I have decided Nebraska is not the most obscure state.  How about Idaho?  What can we can think of which is noteworthy from Idaho?  More than you might expect, here goes:

Author: A variety of writers have lived in or passed through the state for a few years’ time, including Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Rice BurroughsA few of Hemingway’s short stories I admire very much.

Poet: Ezra Pound, yes I know he left at age three.  Still, he was from Idaho.

Native American sage and explorer: Sacagewea.  Did you know that her portrait design on the dollar coin is not in the public domain?

Economist: Lant Pritchett was raised in Boise.

Popular music: Built to Spill.

Composer: La Monte Young, The Well-Tuned Piano is one of the better pieces of contemporary classical music, still highly underrated.  Here is a two minute sample from what is more or less a five hour work.

Artist: Matthew Barney, twelve years in Idaho.  Here is an interview.

Barney

Director: David Lynch, who spent formative years in Boise.  Here is a good recent piece on how powerful Blue Velvet still is.  Is it fair to say this state has produced some pretty weird stuff?

Actress: Lana Turner, and Patty Duke just passed away.  Mariel and Margeaux Hemingway also have claims.

Movie, set in: The only one I can think of is…My Private Idaho.

Other notables: Philo T. Farnsworth invented television, more or less, and he also worked on nuclear fusion.

The bottom line: Per capita, this isn’t bad, even if not much of it is associated with Idaho.  I’ll have to look harder for the most obscure state.  It might be Idaho, but it doesn’t deserve to be Idaho.  So perhaps Delaware, Wyoming, and Rhode Island will come under the microscope soon.

I thank Roy LC, Marcus, and kb for essential pointers here.

Comments

Better Idaho movie is Smoke Signals http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120321/

Smoke Signals is indeed an excellent movie. And it was filmed in Idaho, although I don't know think many people know that. It didn't seem to be set in Idaho.

Second. Good movie. I recall it being pretty clear that it was set in Idaho.

Napoleon Dynamite is the movie I immediately associate with Idaho.

Yes. And that's it. Goes with the "weird" things comment.

My favorite things Idaho list would start off with places...mountains, canyons, trails, etc. On those, underdiscussed, merits alone, Idaho should be so obscure.

River: Salmon. The Snake is more obvious and the Selway is cooler but the Salmon river that runs through the largest contiguous wilderness left in the contiguous states is a spectacular, intimate, long, and navigable river that comes in on top.

Lava field: Craters of the Moon National Monument

Rock climbing area: City of Rocks National Reserve

Cross Country Skiing: Yellowstone National Park's famous West Entrance road is in Idaho and goes unplowed all winter.

I'm sure the natural beauty of Idaho is great, but I think this also highlights its obscurity, in that it doesn't really have any nationally-known landmarks. It is surrounded by states with much better known natural beauty--probably largely because they have national parks, while Idaho doesn't. Except for a part of Yellowstone, which people don't even realize extends beyond Wyoming.

And that is a net benefit. If you want to stand in line to get a photo of some over photographed iconic location, go ahead.

Bonner's Ferry sturgeon hatchery is worth a visit. Spent a day there on a school trip a number of years ago. Much more interesting than a bunch of nude mimes.

"And that is a net benefit." Agreed. To really enjoy the West, spend some time outside national parks.

... never mind

Napoleon Dynamite was also set in Idaho.

If you vote for Napoleon Dynamite as best Idahoan movie, all of your wildest dreams will come true.

The Citizen Cain of movies made about rural Southeastern Idaho, and a remarkably realistic portrait of the Jello Belt on the ground.

My favorite "Idaho moment" is when Jared Hess was asked when the movie was set because of the acoustic coupler modem he replied: "Idaho".

Btw, Jared Hess's wife was from Omaha.

The Jell-O Belt is the most obscure belt in the United States, at least that I have heard of so far.

Napoleon's student ID is shown in the opening credits, showing the year.

I literally cannot believe this was left off. Perhaps the cinematic masterpiece of the 21st century (so far). Its exclusion raises serious concerns about Prof. Cowen's credibility.

'Northwest Passage' starring Spencer Tracy should be considered for best movie.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwest_Passage_%28film%29

That entire movie occurs east of Lake Ontario,Robert Rogers was dead almost a decade before the first known white man entered the state.

"The film was shot in central Idaho"

So there is that.

Sun Valley Serenade is fun.

Best Marilyn Monroe movie: Bus Stop or River of No Return?

I thought Idaho was beautiful and interesting. People associate potatoes with farms and think it's a Midwestern born state. In reality it's more rugged and closer to the west coast in culture. Don't forget to write about Iowa.

Midwestern farm state I mean. Autocorrect still needs a lot of improvement (no, hitler is not hurler or butler)

I thought Boise was a nice little city. Seemed like a tech influence, nice bike trails, overall a nice place. Just seemed a little isolated.

My favorite thing from Idaho: Denise Austin

Idaho is iconically associated with the potato and is thus less obscure than Nebraska, which cannot claim any similarly recognizable symbol.

But many people think the Idaho Potato is a brand or variety. I argue the potatoes are far more famous than the state.

Most midwesterners don't hear Cornhusker and think a variety of corn.

Try googling Idaho doesn't exist, then googling Nebraska doesn't

Idaho is the only state where you can google "Greatest Idahoan of all time" while telling google you are in the state and get a full page of potato recipes.

James Jesus Angleton was born in Boise.

Good catch [beat me to it]

Also his nemesis Senator Frank Church, of the Church Committee, who likes his much idol, William Borah, also ran a forlorn hope Presidential campaign to stop Carter in 1976.

Borah, the Lion of Idaho, a title heactually lived up to, was the titan of the Senate in the twenties and early thirties, and the epitome of Progressive Republican mavericks in every sense of the word. He was a huge pain for every president from Taft to FDR, lost the Bill Haywood case to Clarence Darrow, and fathered an illegitimate daughter with Alice Roosevelt.

Today Idaho is generally considered the least politically influential state in the country, with its only notable politician being Raul Labrador.

I agree with everyone who says that Idaho is well-known for its dominance in potatoes, and thus cannot be said to be obscure. The Idaho potato industry spends millions each year promoting the idea that Idaho potatoes are the best.

My only experience with Idaho was stopping there to have lunch while driving between Montana and Washington. I was very impressed with the sheer amount of french fries I got as a side to my burger: this was a diner right off the main highway so maybe it was geared towards tourists who were expecting a lot of potatoes.

The Simplot guy (billionaire from McDo potato fries) was from there... also he invested in electronic chips, not just potato chips (memory chips).

My vote for obscure state has to be Vermont / New Hampshire. Nobody I know or ever heard of aside from the Russian dissident Solz* was / is from there.

New Hampshire had Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Calvin Coolidge. Vermont had Ethan Allen and Rudyard Kipling.

I think people have gotten beat up in Maine for saying Joshua Chamberlain was from New Hampshire.

On the other hand, Kipling was totally a native Vermonter!

Seriously?

Never heard of Bernard Sanders?

You mean the guy from the Bronx?

Ben and Jerry are about as famous as Bernie, but they also are transplants.

Idaho can't be the most obscure state because it's shape isn't a rectangle. Someone looking at just an outline of the state border will probably know that it's Idaho. Which can't be said for Wyoming and the other states shaped like Lego bricks.

What if Lego produced an Idaho-shaped brick?

I still think New Hampshire or Rhode Island is more obscure. This is both my opinion and my wife's, non-american only spent 2 years in the US. I was quizzing her in response to the post the other day and the most informative part was her response of "Is Rhode Island a state?" when that was clearly the topic, and her acknowledgement that the only time she has ever heard of New Hampshire was when the professor I GA'd for left for a job at Dartmouth.

From low population numbers i would have thought that North Dakota or Montana would be most obscure. for example, North Dakota has nearly 60% less people than Idaho so fewer potential notable people. Lower population states such as Wyoming get kicked out for too many good parks and east coast states get kicked out for being too (relatively) old, so there's a longer history to pull from.

Montana has glamor, places like Glacier National Park, and Bozeman which is a fantastic area. Also people seem to think highly of Missoula.

But most of all in Lonesome Dove they aren't driving those cows to Idaho. Idaho is where the sheepherders won.

During the Cold War, North Dakota had so many nukes that if it seceded from the U.S. it would be the world's fourth largest nuclear power. That has to count for something,

You think Rhode Island is obscure? Think about the poor Providence Plantations.

Bill Bryson. I don't know if this writer is well known in US but he is huge in UK.

He is fairly well known in the U.S., though not huge.

However, he was born in Iowa, not Idaho.

Oddly I didn't confuse Idaho with Iowa but Boise with Des Moines. Oh well.

This is an argument for either Idaho or Iowa being the most obscure state. Not sure which.

funnily enough Stephen I had the same thought, ie Boise, isn't that where Bill Bryson is from. Probably for most of us outside the US, you need to invert the question - only a handful of US states have any meaningful distinction, California, New York, Texas, and a few more, the rest just form an undifferentiated mass.

Well Idaho has something for everyone. Sarah Palin (Sandpoint) and Bowe Bergdahl (Sun Valley) were both born there.

My opinion of Idaho just went down 5 points.

Wait till you learn about Butch Otter.

On the other side, does learning about Harley Brown raise or lower your opinion?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kPwW8nBVc0g

That video is a classic.

Who would have thought that in the span of only 2 years, people like the wolf-men in that video, would comprise 40% of the GOP "base".

God, I don't want to live on this planet anymore!

Nothing's preventing you from leaving.

I never considered Idaho to be very obscure because as a teenager I went to a world youth conference in Indiana and the representatives from Idaho had their pockets stuffed with tourist pins in the form of Idaho potatoes. I think nearly every last one of the 5,000 or so people who went to the conference left with a strong impression about Idaho potatoes.

OK, what about that recent thread? Favourite things Ireland. "Revolutions set in" is clearly not going to be a winning category.

Ski the great potato.

Go to McCall or better yet Tanarack and it will cost you potatoes.

Margaux, like in Chateau Margaux.

Two-time Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Kristin Armstrong is from Idaho, as is Hall of Fame jockey and three-time Kentucky Derby winner Gary Stevens.

The Greatest Idaho writer is Vardis Fisher, though today most would say Marilynne Robinson.

Fisher, who is completely forgotten outside of mountain man, they love him, and mormon, they are very uncomfortable, circles. Today he is only remembered for "The Mountain Man" which was the basis for Robert Redford's "Jeremiah Johnson" and his WPA guide to Idaho, the best single product of the WPA writer's project, but in his day he was a moderately prominent serious novelist, friend of Thomas Wolfe, and hugely ambitious writer. He is still worth reading if you are interested in the Inland West, if not "The Mountain Man" I suggest either "The Mothers" or "The Children of God" about the early Mormon pioneers, it is probably the best novelistic treatment of either topic.

Btw. The atheist Fisher later wrote an absolutely insane "Testament of Man" which someday be appreciated as the absolute perfection of mid 20th century progress of man lunacy, it is about the evolution of man's neuroses and begins with Neandertals and proceeds through the discovery of sex and ends with an autobiography. I am not reccomending these but some of these are weirdly popular in Latin America.

"Jeremiah Johnson" was a horrendous movie, and the worst thing about it is that any time it is mentioned, I get the theme song stuck in my head again.

I can see how the book it was based on was probably good, though.

My favorite things Idaho: they were ahead of the GOP in craziness by a full 2 years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-LAEhWZOKM

Trend setters, these two.

The again, maybe Idaho is just the Vermont of the West: https://youtu.be/rOEVmwFCYtQ

Idaho is always ahead of the curve in political craziness, and often behind it too.

Helen Chenoweth was amazing, and Walt Minnick its last Democratic congressman, defeated by Raul Labrador in 2010, was a Nixon aid who was allegedly one of the Watergate plumbers, something he has never actually denied.

Spook: James Angleton.

Author: Ernest Hemingway (Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan) honorable mention).

Pilot: Pappy Boyington.

News Anchor: Lou Dobbs.

Confidential Source: Deep Throat.

Most Original Name: Picabo Street (Nikki Sixx honorable mention)

You really should be working for Idaho's tourism board.

I'm from Idaho. I also travel for a living, including a lot of South America travel. Whenever I try and describe Idaho's location, I always get blank looks until I say "next to Montana". Pisses me off to no end.

If anyone describes Idaho as in the Midwest, I'm likely to punch them.

Additionally, of course Idaho has a west coast culture, we border Oregon and Washington.

Finally, here is some music for you. The Boise Song by Jewel.

http://youtu.be/BENdAm8DzQk

I almost forgot.

We have the largest Basque population outside Spain and France.

Interesting point here, which is that people from Idaho like to insist that they're part of the Pacific Northwest, NOT the Rocky Mountains. I mean, yeah you technically border Washington. Pullman, Washington (aka the Lentil Capital).

It really is a PNW state though, except for the Mormons. They used to say that Idaho had two capitals both outside the state, Salt Lake City and Spokane, though today Boise has ascended as North Idaho has declined.

The state has a very complicated history and much of its settlement was either by way of Oregon or by people who came with mines, railroad, and timber in the Panhandle which is more an extension of Washington State. They were always locked in not very friendly competition with the Mormons, who were moving up from the Wasatch front and today make up about 20% of the population, but have never been able to come close to dominate the state. The one pre 1950 oddity is Pocatello which is a creature of the Union Pacific and thus an unloved oddity not Mormon and culturally isolated from the rest of the state.

I have heard multiple Montanans accuse Idahoans of looking down on them, and most Idahoans I know seem to think that Wyoming is filled with strange barbaric people, and there is no real connection to Denver outside of Pocatello.

More detail on population history

It is important to remember "founder effects" too. The first settlers came in the 1860 period in Central Idaho (around Lewiston and the SE portion of Washington) and also to some extent around Boise is essentially Oregonian culturally, though especially in the Boise Area heavily leavened by the waves of miners rushing from boom to boom after independent prospecting ended in California. The biggest divergence from Oregon culture was these miners and the timing of the Gold Rush. Miners usually move on to the next strike or go home but because of the civil war the miners of Southern origin stayed, that the state has always been considerably poorer and more primitive just means you get the deep conservatism of deep rural Oregon and not Portland, except say in Moscow where the University is, remember every settler on the Oregon Trail passed through Idaho and noticed the more habitable parts before widespread irrigation.

In the far North, in the Panhandle with its forestry, and the big mining centers in the Silver Valley and central mountains, it was a lot rougher, and much more like Seattle's outliers or even rural Alaska, but that part of the state has been in serious decline for a century.

Delaware - Unless you drive from NY to DC you never think about it very much. It benefits from this way of remaining in plain site.

E.E. 'Doc' Smith for best writer? Born in Wisconsin his family moved to Idaho when he was 12.

I just stayed a week in Idaho, driving into Sun Valley via Lewiston & Stanley, & driving out via Salmon & Missoula. It is stunningly beautiful, and this is off-season.

Writer: Hemingway. Yes, he was from Illinois, but he loved Sun Valley, wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls there, retired, killed himself, and is buried there.

I knew what the most obscure state was, but I forgot.

Sculptor/installation artists Ed & Nancy Keinholz were not Idaho natives, but for much of their later lives, they lived in Hope, Idaho.

When I lived in Washington state, more than one person told me that Idaho was the only state in the US that had tw ocapitol cities: Spokane and Salt Lake City.

Heh! Still, in Boise's defense although Salt Lake City's MSA has almost twice the population, Spokane's is actually smaller than Boise's. And having visited Boise I would say that it is a small city, not an overgrown town or collection of suburbs. I.e. it has an attractive central business district which is both walkable and driveable, and the various cultural accoutrements one expects to see in a city: a big outdoor amphitheater for summer theater, an opera house and opera company, even a football team that is usually highly ranked.

Sculptor: Gutzon Borglum, born in St. Charles Idaho before Idaho was a state.

Thanks for giving one of my favorite authors - Edgar Rice Burroughs - some long-overdue attention. A Princess of Mars is criminally underrated.

I sometimes have things to do in Tarzana, California. Amazes me every time.

IIRC, My Own Private Idaho was set in Portland (or was it Seattle?). There were bits and pieces set elsewhere. The scene I'm recalling that might have been set in Idaho was in a hotel and for 'a that a pretty generic location. The main characters were hustlers, so the plot was not promising material for a non-metropolitan setting.

I was wondering when someone was going to mention this. Idaho is a metaphor in MOPI. The scenes are in Oregon.

I remember laughing at the first scene, which featured a snow cap (a snow-capped mountain that stands above its neighbors. Very distinctive of the Cascade range.) It was clearly not Idaho.

Widest stance: Larry Craig

Hemingway (not born in Idaho but of Idaho) and law are related: at my law school, we were taught to imitate the Hemingway style (the journalistic style), with short, declarative sentences (subject, verb, object), and required to read his work over and over again. That was over 40 years ago but even today I "practice" my writing by reading Hemingway. Hemingway and Elements of Style are the tools of concise, clear communication. Of course, concise, clear communication are from a different time.

Talk about obscure. Sacagewea's son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau's grave is in a remote corner of Oregon.
http://traveloregon.com/see-do/oregon-heritage/history-heritage/jean-baptiste-charbonneau-grave-site/
I have visited this and you do not get there either by accident or on the way to someplace else.

How about West Virginia for obscure state? It seems like the leftover parts of Appalachia nobody else wanted. Even its name seems to suggest it's of secondary importance to Virginia Virginia.

But WV isn't obscure as it is the definition of rural backwardness, many non WV events in hillbilly and coal mining history are regularly wrongly attributed to have occurred in the Mountaineer State.

Tyler missed Marilynne Robinson in both the Iowa and Idaho threads. WTH?

No one's mentioned The Fat Kid or The Big Train. (Walter Johnson wasn't really from there, just signed from there, but Harmon Killebrew was). Fifty years ago, they might have been the first two names mentioned (maybe after Hemingway).

Among folks whose interests are somewhat different from the typical MR commenter, I wonder if Idaho nowadays isn't best known for the Boise State football program. If nothing else, they know that it hurts their eyes.

Great points! I meant to include Killebrew in my earlier comment.

I guess growing up in Idaho I never considered Idaho obscure. Even people I've met from France and Japan knew about our potatoes. Although the state song is pretty dismissive: "Here we have Idaho." Like, oh yeah, that one...almost forgot.

Two people of note: Moses Alexander, the first practicing Jewish governor of any US state, and Frank Steunenberg, the fourth governor of Idaho who was assassinated by a paid agent of the Cripple Creek Mine Owners' Association after having a bomb rigged to the gate outside his house. I thought this event would have made a dramatic scene for our state quarter. Instead they went with a falcon and an outline of the state. Boring!

Boise's culture is surprisingly avant-garde. Most cosmopolitan creative types flee for Portland or Seattle and blend in there after high school (because Boise is "lame"), but those who remain use Boise's isolation to incubate and become stranger. Boise is 5-7 hours from any major cultural center, so the local culture is quite unique and developed, although our clothing and food are heavily influenced by California. Idaho's natural beauty is a national treasure, and the state has implemented what seems to be a hugely successful public/private system to help preserve it.

When Tyler made his comment about Republican states being better managed, I immediately thought of Idaho. The state is phenomenally well run. Especially compared to California and Colorado (the next two states after Idaho I'm most familiar with), the roads, bike paths, trails, and rest stops in Idaho are immaculate. Idaho had a $108 million surplus last year, which was divided into the general road maintenance fund and the 'rainy day' fund. I share Tyler's concern that the national party's obsession with shrinking the government will trickle down and ruin the party's state-level competence. Idaho's sales, vehicle, and property taxes are higher than you'd expect, but the few services the government does provide are fully budgeted and well-executed. Even the DMV is a pleasure to use was quick to implement online services once the internet matured. Unlike many blue and purple states, Idaho doesn't implement a bunch of policies and worry about budgeting later. This is why you don't see half-finished infrastructure projects or train stations with no rails running past them as you do in Colorado and California.

I'm from Idaho, grew up in Lewiston, which was (or was supposed to be) the original capitol of Idaho before a couple guys from Boise stole some documents in the middle of the night. Or something like that. I've traveled extensively, both internationally and across the US, and I've had very few encounters with people who know of it. I've had more Americans think it's in the Midwest, or confuse it for Iowa, than those who know exactly where it is. I've never meet someone outside the US who knows it. The few Americans who do know where it is have almost always been there, usually traveling through to Oregon or Washington, or they were in Boise for a conference. But Idaho, at least northern Idaho, takes great pride in being obscure and sparsely populated - we especially love our large and empty wildernesses. Idahoans love to hunt, and Idahoans love guns, even the left-leaning ones. I would guess there are more gun-owning liberals in Idaho than just about anywhere else in the country, as a percentage at least, since actually there aren't all that many liberals (or people in general) in Idaho. I think the whole state has slightly more than a million people.

One unfortunate thing we are famous for, or used to be, was the Aryan Nations compound in Coeur d'alene. There was a hate crime lawsuit against them (or something like that, tied to some assault I think) and the judge awarded the compound to the victim - hilarious. Coeur d'alene also has a floating green at one of their golf courses. I think it's kind of famous, but maybe that's only to Idahoans.

I remember as a kid thinking that Spokane was the big city - it had 300,000 people. All the pro sports we saw were Seattle games, so we grew up rooting for the Mariners, Supersonics, and Seahawks.

Idaho has the most inland seaport, Lewiston, with tugboats, container ships, and ship repair.
Admittedly, the ships come through locks up the Snake and Columbia Rivers.
Soon after Lewiston, the earth rises steeply, a mile, to join the Rocky Mountains.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot?

David Lynch is one seriously messed up dude sent here to screw with our heads. Can anyone explain Mulholland Drive?

I think the fact that New Mexico isn't in these discussions of the most obscure state gives it some credibility as.... the most obscure state. There are several instances of people who should know better forgetting it is a state and thinking it is actually in Mexico.

Sad to see Matthew Barney referred to as an artist.

Since obscurity is roughly inverse to population, what state has the largest product of obscurity and population? What country?

Indiana, though Ohio might actually be the winner, I am always anazed at how Ohioans seem to assume all these things nobody not from Ohio has ever heard of are world famous. Things like their amusement parks, food items that are not Cincinatti Chili, and politicial leaders.

There are only 50 states. None of them are obscure. You'd be better off looking for the most obscure county.

Benewah or Lewis Counties in Idaho.

But honestly it would probably have to be in Texas, which has 254 of them. But that can get very difficult because being notably obscure reduces obscurity. Take Cochran, it is the least visited county in the US not in Montana or the Dakotas, but it actuallu has that going for it in that that fact means that I have actually heard of it.

I'm thrilled to see this post. I'm a third generation Idahoan (that counts for a long time in Idaho) but currently live in San Diego. Boise has indeed become a happenin' place. It was a lot duller in the 1970s when I left for college.

Boise State now has a very respectable football team, often nationally ranked. My mom lived in Boise until her recent death and often went to mass with James Jesus Angleton's mother, who as an old lady from Mexico who still wore traditional garb. They lived in Parkway Plaza, a 1960s building overlooking the park where a lot of old Boiseans lived. I like to think my letter helped get Angleton's grand daughter into USD where I teach.

My dad, who died in 2006, worked in Sun Valley when Hemingway was there and said he was a complete degenerate, drunk always and accompanied by an equally disreputable Native American, as we say now. My aunt who died when I was a child was Vardis Fisher's drinking buddy; he actually got her into what we now call detox. My mom was watching my sister in a tennis tournament in Sun Valley. She was playing Mariel Hemingway when Woody Allen drove up and starting making out with her. My mom couldn't believe that such an old man would do that with a young girl and was preparing to give him a piece of her mind when her friends said "Eileen, don't you know that's Woody Allen!" My mom didn't know or care who Woody Allen was but they had already stopped by then. David Lynch is a great director but Michael Hoffman has stronger Idaho connections. He made Restoration, Soapdish, and a bunch of other movies and lives in Boise.

Idaho is part of the PNW because Salmon return to their birthplaces in Idaho; it's part of the Colombia River drainage. Even part of Montana is part of that drainage.

Idaho is isolated but not as much as it used to be. It still has a unique feel. It's no longer split between Spokane and SLC. It has awesome skiing, hiking and I'm told hunting. Fishing is not so good because so much of Idaho is public land it tends to get fished out. But it was great when I was a kid. Someone could write a paper contrasting common fishing pools in Idaho versus private streams in Montana. Now when you think of fly fishing, you think of Montana. But Idaho could have been just as good with proper management.

Consistently with what one of the above commentators said, my mother's family, Irish Americans, came East from Oregon and North from Colorado. One had been in the Army during the Indian Wars and the others had been miners in Colorado. My father's family, WASPs, came from the Midwest, via Nebraska I think. Northern Idaho is mostly Catholic while Southern Idaho is mostly Mormon. My family is Catholic.

Idaho has taken in more refugees per capita than any other state -- that is something that has changed. Both mining and forestry, formerly big industries there, have very much declined. Take the town Cascade, formerly a mill town, now stuggling after the bankruptcy of the ill conceived Tamarak resort. McCall seems to be prospering. These are both small towns on the main and only N-S highway out of Boise going to Lewiston and Moscow.

Idaho is a deep red state; I think only Utah had a higher percentage GOP in the last election. Trump has made no inroads in Idaho and neither has Hillary. Idaho went for Cruz and Sanders.

Comments for this post are closed