Union Pacific Railroad Station
Pocatello is the county seat and largest city of Bannock County, with a small portion on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in neighboring Power County, in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. It is the principal city of the Pocatello metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Bannock and Power counties. As of the 2000 census the population of Pocatello was 51,466 (2006 estimate: 53,932) with a metro population of 83,303.
Pocatello is the fourth-largest city in the state, slightly larger than Idaho Falls. In 2007, Pocatello was ranked twentieth on Forbes list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers.
Pocatello is the home of Idaho State University and the manufacturing facility of ON Semiconductor. Founded as an important stop on the first railroad in Idaho during the gold rush, the city later became an important center for agriculture. It is located along the Portneuf River where it emerges from the mountains onto the Snake River Plain, along the route of the Oregon Trail. The city is named after Chief Pocatello, a chief of the Shoshoni tribe who granted the right-of-way for the railroad across the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The city is served by the Pocatello Regional Airport.
The section of the city along the Portneuf River was inhabited by the Shoshoni and Bannock peoples for several centuries before the arrival of Europeans into the area in the early 19th century. In 1834, Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth, a U.S. fur trader, established Fort Hall as a trading post north of the present location of the city. The post was later acquired by the Hudson's Bay Company and became an important stop on the Oregon Trail, a branch of which descended the Portneuf through the present-day location of the city. A replica of the Fort Hall trading post is now operated as museum in southern Pocatello.
The discovery of gold in Idaho in 1860 brought the first large wave of U.S. settlers to the region. The Portneuf Valley became an important conduit for transportation of goods and freight. In 1877, railroad magnate Jay Gould of the Union Pacific Railroad acquired and extended the Utah and Northern Railway, which had previously stopped at the Utah border, into Idaho through the Portneuf Canyon. "Pocatello Junction", as it was first called, was founded as a stop along this route during the gold rush. After the gold rush subsided, the region began to attract ranchers and farmers. By 1882, the first residences and commercial development appeared in Pocatello.
Pocatello absorbed nearby Alameda in 1962 and briefly became the largest city in the state, ahead of Boise. Pocatello was the third largest city in the state (behind Boise and Idaho Falls) until the late 1990s, when rapid growth in the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho placed Nampa and Meridian ahead of Idaho Falls and Pocatello, which are now the state's fourth and fifth largest cities, respectively. Pocatello being the fourth largest.
Text from Wikipedia
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