Nampa, Idaho

Karcher Mall, Nampa, Idaho
Karcher Mall, first indoor mall in Idaho (opened in 1965, still going strong)

In the beginning, Nampa was a small railroad town located on a typical siding. Within a few years, though, several other rail lines converged on Nampa and turned that small siding into a major crossroads. The Oregon Short Line Railroad built one of their fanciest depots in Nampa.

Colonel William Dewey, a silver mining baron, built the Dewey Palace Hotel in Nampa in 1902 for $250,000, then he died in the hotel the next year. The hotel survived the great Nampa fire of 1909 but was razed in 1963, replaced with a modern bank and tire store. 1908 saw the construction of a Carnegie Library in downtown Nampa, but that building burned in 1966, just after the library had moved to newer quarters (in the bank building that had been built just a few years before where the Palace Hotel had been).

The Idaho State School and Hospital, a facility for Idaho's developmentally challenged, was opened in Nampa in 1918. It was essentially a self-sufficient institution in that some of the residents managed the farm that raised their food and some of the other higher functioning residents were given the jobs of taking care of lower functioning residents. The farm was sold off to build a golf course on and, these days, all the residents are cared for by non-residents trained and educated specifically for the job. The institution is still in operation but some of the older buildings are now used to house juvenile offenders.

Nampa's annual Snake River Stampede Rodeo began in 1937 and is now one of the top 12 rodeos in the national pro circuit. Nampa is probably the fastest growing city in Idaho with about 56.6% population growth since 2000. A lot of that growth can be attributed to the location of many high-tech companies in the area. The excellent year-round climate helps, too.

Lake Lowell, southwest of the center of Nampa, is surrounded by Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Train depot in Nampa, Idaho
The Train Depot in Nampa
Fast Facts about Nampa, Idaho
Nampa, Canyon County, ID
Zip Codes: 83651, 83686, 83687
Incorporated: 1890
Elevation: 2,516'
Latitude: 43.5748°N
Longitude: 116.5635°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 73.4%
Hispanic: 21.3%
Native American: 0.6%
Other: 0.7%
Two or More Races: 2.5%
Asian: 0.7%
African-American: 0.5%
High School or Higher: 77.0%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 16.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 4.5%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 81,241
Males: 39,791
Females: 41,450
Median Resident Age: 28.5 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $37,000
Estimated Median Home Value: $106,300
Population Density: 4,092 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Nampa: 91.5
Major Industries:
Construction, Health Care, Educational Services, Computers & Electronics, Lodging & Food Services, Food Processing, Finance & Insurance Services, Waste Management Services, Government, Professional Services

Unemployed (March 2011): 11.8%
Photo of Karcher Mall entrance courtesy of Caldorwards4.
Photo of the Nampa Train Depot courtesy of the City of Nampa.
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