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This small town is located on the southern end of a lake and waterfowl habitat area created during an 1863 Snake River flood. Prior to the site’s development, Native Americans frequented the land, and Captain Bonneville’s 1833 exploration party camped here while pursuing the area’s abundant game.

A couple years after the lake’s formation, Brigham Young led 142 of his followers here on his journey to Fort Lemhi. Young temporarily named the location Lava Lake. Market Lake was the next name applied, although few historians agree on the exact meaning behind the name. Some state the name was given because hunters and trappers “went to market” here for both necessity and livelihood. Others claim the name is derived from geese and ducks that were slaughtered and then sold here.

Regardless, the name didn’t take hold. When the Union Pacific Railroad arrived in 1898 and the town was incorporated in 1910, officials changed the town’s name to Roberts in recognition of Railroad Superintendent, H.A. Roberts.

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