St. Charles, Idaho

St. Charles, Idaho

Located in the mouth of St. Charles Canyon at the northern end of Bear Lake, St. Charles was settled by Mormon pioneers in the spring of 1864. Back in those days, the area hadn't been properly surveyed yet so most of the Mormon settlers in today's Bear Lake County thought they were still in Utah. The Utah Territorial Legislature created Richland County (including the Bear Lake Valley settlements) in 1864 and initially set St. Charles as the county seat. The 1870 national census found 11 Mormon settlements in the area of St. Charles and all of them were classified as part of Rich (changed from Richland in 1868) County. The Idaho-Utah line was finally officially surveyed in 1872, and that survey placed the Mormon settlements in the upper Bear Lake Valley firmly on the Idaho side of things.

In 1867, Gutzon Borglum was born in St. Charles. He grew up to be a very talented sculptor, his biggest and best known piece of work being the Presidential faces on Mt. Rushmore.

There's some ranching going on in the area but St. Charles these days is about half vacation homes that look out onto Bear Lake and see people only a couple months of the year. On the north side of town is the road heading west into St. Charles Canyon that leads to Minnetonka Cave.

Fast Facts about St. Charles, Idaho
St. Charles, Bear Lake County, ID 83272
Founded: May 1864
Elevation: 5,965'
Latitude: 42.1125°N
Longitude: 111.39°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 96.8%
Hispanic: 3.2%
High School or Higher: 74.0%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 15.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.0%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 130
Males: 65
Females: 65
Median Resident Age: 44.7 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $31,100
Estimated Median Home Value: $187,550
Population Density: 204 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for St. Charles: 84.4
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Educational Services, Chemicals, Automotive Services, Health Care
Unemployed (March 2011): 6.9%
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