Water! Life for a community!
Except for the name “Eagle Rock,” water is implied in all of names of Idaho Falls. In the early days of the community, the water brought by canals gave life to the town as the barren land was transformed to one of farms, homes, trees and lawns. The name “Idaho Falls” was chosen purposely to change its image from a bleak, dry, barren place to one of life and abundance. And water was critical in creating the opportunities to do that. The name “Idaho Falls” was selected to indicate abundant water which in turn meant hope for life and community. The sandy area along rocky banks of a river that was once called uninhabitable developed into a community.
Barrenness transformed to life and community through water – that’s one way Idaho Falls can be characterized from a historical perspective. There are other ways. Most everyone who lives here has their own opinion and perspective of what Idaho Falls means, why they came and why they stay. They may live here because of their occupation, family connections, recreational pursuits, or many other reasons. Or it might have something to do with their religion. Anyone moving to Idaho Falls sooner or later discovers the dominant role religion plays in this community. Another name for this part of Eastern Idaho is the “Mormon Corridor.”
Idaho Falls, as every community, is constantly changing. Families move here and people move away from here. Babies are born and residents die. Businesses start and grow and others close. New churches start, some churches grow; others decline and close.
In the flux of history and people, what can we say about Idaho Falls, and its immediate surroundings?