Shelley, Idaho

Shelley, Idaho
In downtown Shelley

John Shelley and his family moved to this area in 1892. Shelley wanted to build and operate a small store here but he needed lumber and other materials to build it. As this was along a railroad line almost in the middle of nowhere in those days, he asked if the railroad would make a special stop so he could offload his supplies without having to haul them in from some distance. The railroad consented, with the provision that he get his materials completely offloaded in less than 20 minutes. When the train arrived, he and some friends were ready and waiting. They climbed aboard and dumped materials off on both sides of the tracks, and were finished with time to spare. Several years later, the railroad built a spur at the site and named the settlement Shelley. Then in 1902 a fire started in a small grocery store and within minutes, the wind whipped the flames high enough that 2 saloons, a restaurant, the Odd Fellows Hall, post office, a confectionery, a private home and the grocery store were completely burned.

Today, Shelley is home to the "Idaho Annual Spud Day," a festival with a parde, live bands, free baked potatoes and usually a tug-of-war where the two teams are separated by a pit of mashed potatoes. This festival has happened every year since 1927, usually on the 3rd Saturday in September. The Shelley High School also has a mascot named "King Russet," a russet-burbank potato dressed with a crown, robe and scepter.

Snake River, Shelley, Idaho
The Snake River, from Shelley's Riverwalk
Fast Facts about Shelley, Idaho
Shelley, Bingham County, ID 83274
Elevation: 4,633'
Latitude: 43.3795°N
Longitude: 112.1238°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 78.1%
Hispanic: 17.2%
Asian: 1.2%
Two or More Races: 3.5%
High School or Higher: 80.3%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 14.7%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 3.9%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 4,366
Males: 2,141
Females: 2,225
Median Resident Age: 27.0 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $40,700
Estimated Median Home Value: $129,050
Population Density: 3,303 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Shelley: 82.3
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Food Production, Construction, Government, Health Care, Lodging & Food Services, Waste Management Services, Professional Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 8.3%
Photos of Shelley, Idaho courtesy of Sociotard, CCA 3.0 License
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