Emmett is the only incorporated municipality in Gem County. There was a Boise Cascade sawmill and manufacturing facility here until it was closed in 2001. Since then, Emmett has developed into a bedroom community for Boise as the big city is only a 30-minute drive away.
The first structure in the Emmett area was a stage stop at the junction of an overland stage route and a pack train trail heading into the mining country. In 1863, Jonathan Smith and Nathaniel Martin built a ferry to cross the Payette River. A settlement grew up there named Martinsville. The ferry handled local trade and heavy mining traffic from the Basin Trail. In 1864, Doc Burdge settled with his family and built the first gristmill and store.
6 miles from Martinsville was the Payette River Ranch. Some folks called it the Government Ranch because the government stockpiled food and other materials there. In 1870, the Martinsville Post Office was moved to the Payette River Ranch and was renamed Emmett, after the son of Tom Cahalan. Cahalan had the name recorded in Washington, DC, and when the Post Office was moved back to Martinsville in 1871, the name moved with it.
James Wardell had the townsite platted in 1883 and Emmett was incorporated in 1900. By then, farmers and fruit growers were settling in. Electric power was extended to Emmett in 1906. A series of irrigation canals were dug about the same time and Emmett grew into a major service center for the farming and fruit-growing valley. Today, the Black Canyon Dam diverts water into the canal system that feeds the farms and orchards that make the Emmett Valley such a beautiful gem...
Emmett in 1941, Squaw Butte in the background
|Fast Facts about Emmett, Idaho|
Emmett, Gem County, ID 83617
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 82.1%
Native American: 0.2%
Two or More Races: 4.9%
High School or Higher: 69.6%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 9.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 1.8%
Median Resident Age: 34.6 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $30,100
Estimated Median Home Value: $128,300
Population Density: 3,461 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Emmett: 92.3
Health Care, Construction, Lodging & Food Services, Wood Products, Educational Services, Government, Computers & Electronics, Finance & Insurance Services, Agriculture, Forestry, Retail Services, Social Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 14.0%
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|Upper photo of Emmett, Idaho courtesy of Wikipdia userid Offgreat.|
Photo of Black Canyon Dam courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation.
Lower photo of Emmett in 1941 courtesy of Russell Lee, Library of Congress.
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