Montpelier
Pop. 2,785

Brigham Young named Montpelier for the capital of Vermont, his home state. Relocating from the Bear Valley’s west side, sixteen Mormon families moved to this town site in 1864. A ferry was immediately erected across the Bear River, and within a year, the number of families in town had doubled.

When the Oregon Short Line railroad arrived in 1882, Montpelier became an important shipping point for the local valleys. Stockyards and a railroad maintenance shop where built to accommodate these industries. There was conflict over “outsiders” doing business in town, however, and people began referring to the community as “Mormon uptown,” and “Gentile downtown.” Washington Street connected the two districts. This religious conflict continued for twenty years until the highway was rerouted westerly on Washington Street, and the uptown businesses were compelled to move downtown. The post office was established in 1873, and by 1900, the town boasted a population of 1,400 people, making it Bear Lake Valley’s largest settlement. Although other regional Mormon towns delcared that Montpelier housed second-class citizens, the slur did not slow the town’s growth, and Montpelier has maintained a fairly stable population.

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