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Horseshoe Bend derives its name from its location. Only 25 miles north of Boise, this city lies on a fertile horseshoe shaped peninsula cut by the scenic Payette River. The Boise National Forest and private rangeland surround the city. With an elevation of 2614 feet and a population of 770, Horseshoe Bend strives to continue its vibrant living and tourism capabilities.

Being close to Boise means that people can fly in to a major city and not have to travel too far to enjoy whitewater rafting, kayaking and tubing along he the Payette River. There is an huge array of wildlife viewing, wine tasting an fishing. They have vacation rentals and Roystone Hotsprings 13 miles east on Highway 52. HSB

HISTORY: In 1862 prospectors discovered large quantities of placer gold at Grimes Pass. So named by the Grimes and Splawn parties, it is 35 miles east of Horseshoe Bend in the Boise Basin where Grimes was killed by Native Americans while prospecting and was buried at the summit. This led to a gold rush that within the next year brought 16,000 fortune seekers into the Basin.

Some of the prospectors came through present day Horseshoe Bend in route to the Basin that lay an additional 20 miles east. At that time, the town was a way station between the Boise Basin mines and the Dalles, Oregon, where ships came up the Columbia River from the seacoast.

Some found that food prices paid by the miners were so high that there was more profit in producing and selling fresh food than mining.

Soon settlers began establishing homesteads in the arable parts of the region where they could divert streams for irrigation. They began raising farm animals and growing crops for sale to the miners.

Because of the Boise Basin’s cold winters and deep snows, many miners came out of the mountains to winter in the Horseshoe Bend area and to graze any livestock on the grass covered foothills. Cattle and sheep ranching would later become a major industry in the low lying western foothills of the Boise Basin.

As a result of the mining industry, the timber industry also developed and grew in the Horseshoe Bend area. Heavy timbers were needed for mining shafts and the Payette River provided an excellent route to move logs to the many log mills along its banks and tributaries.

At that time, a man named Warriner built a saw mill in present day Horseshoe Bend. They called the town that built up around the mill Warrinersville until 1867 when residents changed the name to Horseshoe Bend.

Other lumbermen built sawmills that they eventually consolidated into a single mill. Boise Cascade became the final owner of the mill which closed in 1998.

Circa 1912 the Oregon Short Line Railroad constructed a line from Emmett, through Horseshoe Bend and up to Long Valley. The railroad began transporting logs to the mills.

On April 14, 1947, Horseshoe Bend became an incorporated village. On May 9, 1967 the village reorganized to become a city. The first mayor was Steve Helm.

Horseshoe Bend’s population remained around 500 during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Subsequently, the population swelled to around 900, where it has remained for the past several years.

With the decline of the natural resource based economy, the Horseshoe Bend community is becoming an attractive community for people seeking small town affordable housing within an easy commute to their jobs in nearby Boise.

Horseshoe Bend is the largest city in rural Boise County, in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. Its population of 770 is the largest in the county.

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