Ririe, Idaho

Heise Hot Springs

The first homesteader in the Ririe area was one David Ririe from Utah. Ririe arrived on the property in 1888 and started a small farm. Joseph Lovell came to same area with his family in 1891 and started farming the quarter-section next to Ririe's. Lovell died that first winter and David Ririe helped the family survive and get established. Eventually, he married one of the daughters (Leah Ann Lovell) and the two families flourished. A few years later, Ririe's family had grown to the point where he built a large stone home to accommodate the young'uns. That home is now part of a Ririe city park.

Ririe really started to grow when the railroad came through town in 1914. Growth was slow as most of the local economy was based on agriculture, primarily potatoes and sugar beets. Most of the southern half of Ririe was destroyed in a fire in the early 1980's. Treating the fire as an early aspect of the urban renewal process, an Elementary School/High School complex, an LDS Stake Center and an athletic field have since been built in the area. In anticipation of growth and the need for tax revenues, the City of Ririe has annexed more than 1,000 acres of adjacent land since 2007.

Barn in the Ririe area

Today, Ririe is essentially a bedroom community for Rigby, Rexburg and Idaho Falls, each about a half-hour's drive away. Because of the proximity of those larger towns, the Ririe local business scene is almost non-existent. The grain elevators, gas stations, restaurants, auto parts shop, auto repair shop, two bars and the convenience stores do well but nothing else survives more than a year or two.

Ririe straddles the Bonneville-Jefferson County line with most of the town in Jefferson County. Kelly Canyon Ski Area is close by. One of the biggest events of the year in Ririe is the Ririe Days Festival, usually scheduled on the second Saturday after July 4th. One of the favorite local hang-outs in season is Heise Hot Springs (water temperature: always 103°F).

Fast Facts about Ririe, Idaho
Ririe, Bonneville County, ID 83443
Incorporated: 1914
Elevation: 4,964'
Latitude: 43.63°N
Longitude: 111.7730°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 72.1%
Hispanic: 26.0%
Native American: 1.6%
Two or More Races: 0.3%
High School or Higher: 77.8%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 10.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 1.3%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 559
Males: 270
Females: 289
Median Resident Age: 27.6 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $37,300
Estimated Median Home Value: $68,700
Population Density: 1,918 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Ririe: 85.6
Major Industries:
Educational Services, Construction, Finance & Insurance Services, Food Processing, Professional Services, Grocery Wholesalers, Supply Wholesalers, Health Care, Social Services, Metal & Metal Products
Unemployed (March 2011): 9.0%
Photos courtesy of the Idaho Department of Tourism.
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