Mountain Home
Pop. 11,143

Originating as the Rattlesnake Stage Station, Mountain Home actually owes its upbringing to the Oregon Short Line Railroad. While working to install a line in the area, OSL Railroad officials created the tent town of Tutville in 1882 to house railroad construction workers and traveling pioneers. Eventually, residential and commercial lots were sold for $25, and the new town began to prosper. At the turn of the century, the city boasted several general stores, two weekly newspapers, a school, three churches, two hotels, and an array of merchants and saloons. The city’s ideal shipping location helped secure the town’s presence on the Idaho frontier, and wool was frequently shipped from the site.

The name Tutville was eventually dropped, and the wife of first postmaster, John Lemmon, selected “Mountain Home” after the distant mountains forming the surrounding county’s northern boundary. Ironically, at an elevation of only 3,180 feet, the town isn’t even in the mountains, and the town is frequently the warmest civilized spot in the state. Although once boasting an economy based upon the shipping industry, Mountain Home’s current economy rests prominently upon Mountain Home Air Force Base.

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