Idaho played a key role in the development of atomic energy. During World War II, the federal government established the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho, which was used to research and develop nuclear technology. Today, the lab is one of the leading research facilities in the world for nuclear energy and other forms of advanced technology.
Owyhee County, located in southwestern Idaho, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back thousands of years. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Shoshone and Northern Paiute people, who relied on the abundant natural resources of the area for their livelihoods. The arrival of European explorers and fur traders in the early 19th century began to shape the county's history.

In the mid-1800s, Owyhee County experienced a significant influx of settlers during the gold rush era. Miners flocked to the area in search of their fortune, and several mining towns were established. Silver City, the most famous of these towns, became the county seat in 1867 and boasted a population of over 2,500 at its peak. The mining industry thrived for several decades, with numerous mines operating throughout the county.

During this period, Owyhee County also played a crucial role in the development of transportation infrastructure in Idaho. The Oregon Trail, a famous wagon route, passed through the county, bringing pioneers and goods from the eastern United States to the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, the construction of railroads in the late 1800s improved connectivity and facilitated the movement of people and resources.

Over time, as the gold and silver mines depleted, Owyhee County underwent economic transformations. Agriculture, particularly cattle ranching, became an important industry. Irrigation projects were initiated, allowing the county's arid landscape to flourish. In recent years, Owyhee County has also become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing in its scenic natural areas.

Today, Owyhee County maintains a strong connection to its past, with historical sites, museums, and annual events that celebrate its rich heritage. The county's unique blend of Native American, mining, and agricultural history makes it a captivating place to explore the roots of Idaho's development.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Owyhee County, Idaho.

  • 1863 - Owyhee County is established by the Idaho Territorial Legislature.
  • 1864 - The first newspaper in the county, called the "Owyhee Avalanche," is published.
  • 1869 - The first courthouse in the county is constructed in Silver City.
  • 1879 - The railroad arrives in Silver City, boosting economic development in the area.
  • 1898 - The county seat is moved from Silver City to Murphy.
  • 1905 - The Homedale irrigation project is completed, providing water for agricultural development.
  • 1912 - The town of Bruneau is incorporated.
  • 1925 - The Bruneau Dunes State Park is established, featuring the highest sand dunes in North America.
  • 1933 - The Duck Valley Indian Reservation is established on the Idaho-Nevada border.
  • 1941 - The Duck Valley Indian Reservation becomes home to the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes.
  • 1979 - Owyhee County celebrates its centennial anniversary.
  • 2008 - The BLM Owyhee Field Office is established to manage public lands in the area.