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Although the first settlers arrived here in 1877, it wasn’t until 1881 that Almo acquired a post office and status as an official Idaho community. During its early years, Almo served as an important stage-stop on the Kelton-to-Boise route. Today, the hustle and bustle of the transportation industry has long left Almo behind, but the town remains viable as a supply center for the thousands of tourists and recreationists that visit the nearby City of Rocks each year.

While the history of Almo’s contributions to Idaho are clear-cut, the origin of its name is widely disputed. A monument erected in 1938 by the Sons and Daughters of Idaho Pioneers, stands in downtown Almo. It states, “…for those who lost their lives in a most horrible Indian massacre in 1861”, and continues, “…of 300 emigrants, only five escaped.” The details of such an event are lost in history, but other accounts of Shosone Indian run-ins with the locals claim no more than eight emigrants were killed in or near Almo between 1860-1862. Some believe that this folkore tale evoked feelings of the Alamo Battle in Texas, and the name was gradually mispronounced over the years. Others explain that the word Almo means “cottonwood tree” in Spanish, which logically relates to Almo’s location on a cottonwood lined creek bank. All anyone knows for sure is that the name was applied to the neighboring creek and hot springs long before the town received its postal designation.

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