~Gooding County~





















   Gooding County was created by the Idaho Legislature on January 28, 1913 by a partition of Lincoln County. In the 1880's it was part of Alturas County. Named for Frank R. Gooding, pioneer sheep rancher, early mayor of the city of Gooding, later Idaho Governor and U.S. Senator.

   History note: Alturas County was a county in Idaho Territory and later the state of Idaho from 1864 to 1895. It covered an area larger than the states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware combined. Most present-day southern Idaho counties were created at least in part from the original Alturas County area. The name Alturas comes from a Spanish word for "mountain summits" or "mountainous heights."

   Alturas County was created by the Idaho Territorial Legislature in February 1864. Later that year the mining camp of Rocky Bar was designated the county seat. The county seat was moved to Hailey in 1882.

   In 1889, the Idaho Territorial Legislature created Elmore County and Logan County from parts of Alturas County. On March 5, 1895, to circumvent a recent state Supreme Court decision striking down an earlier county reorganization, the Idaho Legislature combined Alturas and Logan Counties into a new county called Blaine. Two weeks later on March 18, the southern portion of the newly-created Blaine County was split off to form Lincoln County with its county seat at Shoshone. Hailey remained the county seat of what was now Blaine County and Alturas County disappeared from the Idaho map.

   Mountain men and fur traders trapped the Malad River extensively in the early 1800s. Settlers came to the rich agricultural lands of the Hagerman Valley in the 1860s. The county seat is located in the City of Gooding. The county contains the cities of Bliss, Gooding, Hagerman and Wendell. The county has a population of over 14,461. Gooding County has been one of the fastest growing and prosperous counties in South Central Idaho. The economy is increasingly influenced by the dairy industry, and growth has been strong in the last decade. Gooding County also is one of the largest trout producing areas in the United States. The scenic Thousand Springs and the temperate weather of the City of Hagerman make tourism a significant industry with boat trips, fishing, and other water sports. In the north the Gooding City of Rocks (pictured below), carved from Miocene rhyolite ignimbrites of the Twin Falls Volcanic Field, forms the south flank of the Mount Bennett Hills.


   Bliss - The community was named for David B. Bliss, an early settler in the area. Estimated population 287.


Aerial view of the City of Gooding, population approximately 3,384. Gooding County has been one of the fastest growing and prosperous counties in South Central Idaho. The Village of Gooding was incorporated on April 25, 1906 and became the City of Gooding on November 21, 1910.


   Gooding - The history of Gooding goes back to the time when nothing existed but a railway station called “Toponis”.  Toponis was the name given to the Oregon Short Line railway station built during 1882 and 1883.  The Toponis post office was built five years later in 1887.  Toponis became the Village of Gooding on November 14, 1907, the first day a Gooding lot was sold.   The Village of Gooding was incorporated on April 25, 1908.  The Village of Gooding became the City of Gooding on November 21, 1910. Population of Gooding now is approximately 3,384


City of Rocks


   Little City of Rocks is an area of unusual and highly scenic rock formations. Erosion has carved fascinating spires and hoodoos from the underlying deposits of solidified volcanic ash. Excellent hiking, sightseeing and solitude.

   The location is about 15 miles north of Gooding on Highway 46, turn west at the BLM sign for City of Rocks. Follow the signs and travel about 7.5 miles on a generally well-maintained dirt road, which is suitable for passenger vehicles if conditions are dry.


   Hagerman - The City of Hagerman, which gives the valley its name, was originally the site of a stagecoach stop (Overland Trail Route) along the Oregon Trail. Remains of this historic pioneer route can still be seen along the west side of the Snake River.


Horse team on the Overland Trail.


   The town itself was officially established in 1892 when Stanley Hageman and Jack Hess opened a combination Post Office/General Store. The town was actually named for Stanley Hageman but a misspelling in the central post office registry changed its official name to Hagerman.

   There was only one store in Hagerman in 1893, when Billy Coltharp established his saloon, originally a barrel of whiskey and a tin cup. Billy lived in two small rooms in the rear of the saloon he built (now the Masonic Hall). He also built the original part of the old Morris Roberts store (now the US Bank). He established the park, which today bears his name and built the Park Opera House (now the American Legion Hall). Billy also helped organize the Hagerman State Bank (located in a corner of the Morris-Roberts Store) and served as its director. This bank later became the National Bank and moved to a new building in 1909 (now the Historical Society Museum). Billy also served as director there.

   Today, the valley is the largest producer of commercial trout in the world. The mild climate and abundance of year round open water make the valley a preferred stop-off for migrating waterfowl. This same abundance of water also provides numerous water sport opportunities.


Hagerman Horse - Equus simplicidens (formerly called Plesippus shoshonensis) - mounted skeleton in the visitor center of Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Idaho


   The Hagerman horse (Equus simplicidens), also called the Hagerman zebra or the American zebra, was a North American species of equid from the Pliocene period and the Pleistocene period. It was one of the oldest horses of the genus Equus. Discovered in 1928 in Hagerman, Idaho, it is believed to have been like the Grévy's zebra of East Africa. It is the state fossil of Idaho.



Tumbling down the canyon side at 250 cubic feet per second, Niagara Springs is a sight you won't soon forget. The churning, icy blue glacial water is a National Natural Landmark and part of the world-famous Thousand Springs complex along the Snake River. The park provides a great opportunity to drive into the 350-foot-deep Snake River Canyon, but be cautious. The road is narrow and steep and not recommended for either motorhomes or large trailers. Once inside the canyon, you'll find year-round fishing in Crystal Springs Lake, including a handicap accessible site. Waterfowl and other wildlife are abundant.


   The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway is a picturesque section of old US 30 in southern Idaho between the towns of Bliss and Buhl, dipping down into the Hagerman Valley and a canyon of the Snake River. The byway takes its name from the numerous streams and rivulets springing forth out of the east wall of that canyon, many of them plainly visible from the road, with the panoramic river in the foreground. These springs are outlets from the Snake River Aquifer, which flows through thousands of square miles of porous volcanic rock and is one of the largest groundwater systems in the world. The aquifer is believed to be fed by the Lost River which disappears into lava flows near Arco, about 90 miles northeast of Hagerman.


   Wendell - The community was named for Wendell Kuhn, son of W.H. Kuhn, who financed an irrigation project. It was established in 1909 and incorporated in Idaho

Wendell Chamber of Commerce


Source: Wikipedia, Gooding County, Elmore County Press


Gooding County


City of Gooding


Gooding Chamber


Hagerman Chamber