Previously known as Ockanook, Porthill was founded in 1893 as one of Idaho’s two Canadian border stations. Some claim the name recognizes former postmaster, Charles Hill. Others believe James Barnes named the town because it was a “port-on-a-hill” and the port of entry.

While mining played the leading economic role from 1915 to the 1950s, the current economy rests on the production of hops. Farms in the area raise thousands of acres of hops each year for use in Anheuser-Busch beers.

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