Twin Falls, Idaho facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Twin Falls, Idaho
City
Downtown Twin Falls
Downtown Twin Falls
Official seal of Twin Falls, Idaho
Seal
Motto: People Serving People
Twin Falls County Idaho Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Twin Falls Highlighted.svg
Country United States
State Idaho
County Twin Falls
Incorporated April 12, 1905
Area
 • City 18.16 sq mi (47.03 km2)
 • Land 18.10 sq mi (46.88 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation 3,745 ft (1,141 m)
Population (2014)
 • City 47,468
 • Estimate (2014) 49,674
 • Density 2,437.8/sq mi (941.2/km2)
 • Urban 106,508(micropolitan area estimate US Census )
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP Code 83301 (street addresses)
83303 (PO Boxes)
Area code(s) +1 208
FIPS code 16-82810
GNIS feature ID 0398273
Website http://www.tfid.org

Twin Falls is the county seat and largest city of Twin Falls County, Idaho, United States. The city had a population of 44,125 as of the 2010 census.

Twin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region. As the largest city in a 100-mile (160-kilometer) radius, Twin Falls serves as a regional commercial center for both south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada.

Twin Falls is the principal city of the Twin Falls, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, which officially includes Jerome and Twin Falls Counties. The resort community of Jackpot, Nevada, in Elko County is unofficially considered part of the greater Twin Falls area.

Located on a broad plain, Twin Falls is near the site where Evel Knievel attempted to jump across the Snake River Canyon in 1974 with a rocket-powered motorcycle.

History

Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America. Later Native American tribes predominant in the area included the Northern Shoshone and Bannock.

The first people of European ancestry to visit the Twin Falls area are believed to be members of a group led by American Wilson Price Hunt, which attempted to blaze an all-water trail westward from St. Louis, Missouri, to Astoria, Oregon, in 1811 and 1812. Hunt's expedition met with disaster: much of his expedition was destroyed and one man was killed in rapids on the Snake River known as Caldron Linn near present-day Murtaugh. Hunt and the surviving members of his expedition completed the journey to Astoria by land.

In 1812 and 1813, Robert Stuart successfully led an overland expedition eastward from Astoria to St. Louis, which passed through the Twin Falls area. Stuart's route formed the basis of what became the Oregon Trail. Some 150 years later, Robert Stuart Middle School in Twin Falls was named in his honor.

Snake river canyon 20070602
Snake River Canyon

The first permanent settlement in the area was a stage stop established in 1864 at Rock Creek near the present-day townsite. By 1890 there were a handful of successful agricultural operations in the Snake River Canyon, but the lack of infrastructure and the canyon's geography made irrigating the dry surrounding area improbable at best.

To address this issue, in 1900 I. B. Perrine founded the Twin Falls Land and Water Company, largely to build an irrigation canal system for the area. After an August 1900 area survey of 244,025 acres (98,753 hectares), in October 1900 the company was granted the necessary water rights to begin construction of the irrigation system. Several lots in the surveyed area were set aside specifically for future townsites. These lots eventually became the settlements of Twin Falls, Kimberly, Buhl, Filer, Hansen and Murtaugh. In 1902 the project nearly failed as most of the original investors pulled out, with only Salt Lake businessman Stanley Milner maintaining a stake in the company.

By 1903 Perrine, who had been a successful farmer and rancher in the Snake River Canyon, had obtained private financing from Milner and others under the provisions of the Carey Act of 1894 to build a dam on the Snake River near Caldron Linn. Completed in 1905, Milner Dam and its accompanying canals made commercial irrigation outside the Snake River Canyon practical for the first time. As a result, Perrine is generally credited as the founder of Twin Falls.

A land drawing was held for the future townsite in July 1903 with disappointing results. A much more successful drawing was held in October 1904. Twin Falls city was founded in 1904 as a planned community, designed by celebrated Franco-American architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, with proceeds from sales of townsite lots going toward construction of irrigation canals. Twin Falls was incorporated as a village on April 12, 1905. The city is named for a nearby waterfall on the Snake River of the same name. In 1907 Twin Falls became the seat of the newly formed Twin Falls County.

The original townsite follows a unique design. It is laid out on northeast-to-southwest and northwest-to-southeast roads. The northwest-to-southeast roads were numbered and called avenues, while the northeast-to-southwest roads were numbered and called streets. Only two central streets, the northwest-to-southeast Main Avenue and the northeast-to-southwest Shoshone Street, were named. It is purported that the reason this was done was to allow sun to come into every room in the home at some point during the day. This system created situations where one side of a street may have an entirely different address than the other, and where the corner of "3rd and 3rd," for example, was in more than one location. In 2003 the numbered northeast-to-southwest streets were renamed to alleviate decades of confusion. Later city roads, such as Blue Lakes Boulevard, Addison Avenue and Washington Street, are laid out in standard north–south and east–west orientations. Addison Avenue is named after Addison T. Smith, an early 20th Century United States Congressman from Twin Falls.

After Milner Dam was constructed agricultural production in south-central Idaho increased substantially. In 1909 the privately owned Twin Falls Land and Water Company was reorganized as the shareholder-owned Twin Falls Canal Company. Twin Falls became a major regional economic center serving the agriculture industry, a role which it has sustained to the present day. The city became a processing center for several agricultural commodities, notably beans and sugar beets. In later years other food processing operations augmented the local economy. By 1960, Twin Falls had become one of Idaho's largest cities even though its origins were still within living memory for many.

Twin Falls became the center of national attention in September 1974 when daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in a specially modified rocket cycle. Watched by millions on closed-circuit television on a Sunday afternoon, the attempt ultimately failed due to high winds and a premature deployment of Knievel's parachute. The launch ramp's foundation lies on private land on the canyon's south rim. Less than two miles west (3 km) of Shoshone Falls, it is still visible (42°35′49″N 114°25′23″W / 42.597°N 114.423°W / 42.597; -114.423).

During the last quarter of the 20th century, gradual diversification of the agriculture-based economy allowed the city to continue to grow. Major Twin Falls employers in 2006 included computer maker Dell, Inc., Glanbia, and Jayco, a recreational vehicle manufacturer. In September 2009 Dell announced it would close its Twin Falls facility by January 2010. Later in 2010 the call center company C3 opened a facility in the former Dell location. In 2012 Chobani, one of the U.S.'s largest Greek yogurt manufacturers, opened its largest factory and distribution center in Twin Falls.

In recent years Twin Falls has become quite multicultural. Thanks in large part to a refugee center operated by the College of Southern Idaho, since 1995 significant numbers of people from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the former Soviet Union have settled in Twin Falls. The city also has a sizable Hispanic population.

Transportation

Despite having the distinction of being the largest city in Idaho that is not directly on the Interstate Highway System, Twin Falls is served by several major highways including U.S. Route 30 and U.S. Route 93. Access to Interstate 84 is afforded by a junction with U.S. Route 93 approximately 5 mi (8.0 km) north of the city in Jerome County. Idaho State Highway 74 provides direct access from downtown Twin Falls to southbound locations on U.S. Route 93, including Hollister, Rogerson, and Jackpot, Nevada.

Trans IV, a small public transportation system operated by the College of Southern Idaho, is also available.

Limited commercial air service is provided at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport. As of January 2012 daily flights to Salt Lake City International Airport are operated by SkyWest Airlines using the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia. Twice-weekly service between Twin Falls and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas was operated by Allegiant Air, but citing insufficient ticket prices Allegiant permanently discontinued the route in January 2012.

Geography

Shoshone falls
Shoshone Falls along Snake River

Twin Falls is located at 42°34'N 114°28'W (42.561,-114.464).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.16 square miles (47.03 km2), of which, 18.10 square miles (46.88 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.

The Snake River Canyon forms the city's northern limits, separating it from Jerome County. There are three waterfalls in the immediate area. Shoshone Falls is located approximately 5 miles (8.0 kilometres) east of Twin Falls city. Pillar Falls is located approximately 1 12 mi (2 12 km) upstream from the Perrine Bridge while Twin Falls, the city's namesake, is located upstream of Shoshone Falls.

Shoshone Falls stands at 213 ft (65 m), which is 46 feet (14 m) higher than Niagara Falls.

Perrinebridge
View of the Perrine Bridge from the south side of the canyon.

The Perrine Bridge, which spans the Snake River Canyon immediately north of the city, is one of only a handful of artificial structures worldwide where BASE jumping is legal. In September 2005 Miles Daisher of Twin Falls set a BASE jumping world record by jumping off Perrine Bridge 57 times in a 24-hour period. In July 2006 Dan Schilling jumped off the bridge 201 times in 21 hours to raise money for charity. Unlike Daisher, Schilling was hoisted to the top of the bridge by a crane after every jump.

Climate

Twin Falls experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification, BsK).

Monthly temperature averages in Twin Falls range from 34.9 °F (1.6 °C) in January to 85.0 °F (29.4 °C) in July, with lows below freezing from December through March. Highs reach 90 °F (32 °C) on average 18.8 days per year, but very rarely exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Winter snowfall averages 29.5 inches (74.9 cm) per year, though much heavier amounts have fallen. However, in Twin Falls proper after an average snowfall it is uncommon to see more than six inches of snow on streets and sidewalks. Summer and autumn months are very dry in Twin Falls, with less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) inch of precipitation falling each month between June and October. It is not uncommon to experience fast moving, intense electrical storms common in the deserts of the southwestern U.S..

Climate data for Twin Falls, Idaho
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 63
(17.2)
70
(21.1)
78
(25.6)
91
(32.8)
102
(38.9)
103
(39.4)
110
(43.3)
105
(40.6)
103
(39.4)
90
(32.2)
80
(26.7)
67
(19.4)
110
(43.3)
Average high °F (°C) 34.9
(1.61)
41.4
(5.22)
50.7
(10.39)
59.5
(15.28)
67.7
(19.83)
77.0
(25)
85.0
(29.44)
84.1
(28.94)
74.2
(23.44)
62.5
(16.94)
46.2
(7.89)
36.4
(2.44)
60.0
(15.56)
Average low °F (°C) 19.2
(-7.11)
23.4
(-4.78)
28.8
(-1.78)
33.7
(0.94)
41.2
(5.11)
48.0
(8.89)
52.8
(11.56)
51.1
(10.61)
42.8
(6)
34.2
(1.22)
26.4
(-3.11)
19.3
(-7.06)
35.1
(1.72)
Record low °F (°C) −13
(-25)
−17
(-27.2)
4
(-15.6)
18
(-7.8)
24
(-4.4)
31
(-0.6)
38
(3.3)
37
(2.8)
24
(-4.4)
11
(-11.7)
−2
(-18.9)
−21
(-29.4)
−21
(-29.4)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.29
(32.8)
0.93
(23.6)
1.21
(30.7)
0.95
(24.1)
1.40
(35.6)
0.84
(21.3)
0.27
(6.9)
0.38
(9.7)
0.65
(16.5)
0.78
(19.8)
1.17
(29.7)
1.12
(28.4)
10.99
(279.1)
Snowfall inches (cm) 7.4
(18.8)
5.4
(13.7)
3.5
(8.9)
1.1
(2.8)
0.7
(1.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.3
(0.8)
4.1
(10.4)
6.9
(17.5)
29.5
(74.9)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.2 8.6 9.9 8.6 9.0 6.4 3.3 3.6 4.2 5.8 9.3 9.3 88.2
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 6.8 4.3 3.4 1.4 0.5 0.2 0 0 0.1 0.4 3.5 5.4 26
Source: NOAA,

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 5,258
1920 8,324 58.3%
1930 8,787 5.6%
1940 11,851 34.9%
1950 17,600 48.5%
1960 20,126 14.4%
1970 21,914 8.9%
1980 26,209 19.6%
1990 27,591 5.3%
2000 34,469 24.9%
2010 44,125 28.0%
Est. 2015 47,468 7.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

According to 2009 estimates from the United States Census Bureau, the population swelled to 42,741, an increase of nearly 20% from the 2000 United States Census, with an average household size of 3.20 residents. There were 9,422 owner-occupied homes with an average value, as of 2009, of $136,000.

The population density is 3,743 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the city is 92.0% White, 0.5% Black, 0.9% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.9% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.3% of the population.

There were 15,458 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.20.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 14, 15.6% from 15 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,970 and the mean income for a family was $49,295.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 44,125 people, 16,744 households, and 11,011 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,437.8 inhabitants per square mile (941.2/km2). There were 18,033 housing units at an average density of 996.3 per square mile (384.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.5% White, 0.7% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.1% of the population.

There were 16,744 households of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.13.

The median age in the city was 31.9 years. 27% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.5% were from 25 to 44; 21.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.

Rankings

On the Livability.com list of "Top Ten Cities to Defy Death", Twin Falls ranked No. 1.

Pop culture references

  • In 1999, Bruce Willis, a resident of nearby Blaine County, chose Twin Falls to serve as the fictional Midland City in the film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Breakfast of Champions. Several Twin Falls locations, notably the Rob Green auto dealership on Blue Lakes Boulevard North, are prominently featured in the film.
  • In the 2001 movie 3000 Miles to Graceland, Michael Zane (Kurt Russell) and Murphy (Kevin Costner) play a violent cat and mouse game with each other all the way to Twin Falls to launder the money they had stolen from an earlier casino heist.
  • In the video game Resistance 2, the player must activate anti-aircraft towers in Twin Falls in order to stop an alien invasion. Also, one of the main characters is from Twin Falls.
  • "Twin Falls," a Built to Spill song from their 1994 album There's Nothing Wrong with Love, mentions Harrison Elementary and is based on Doug Martsch's experiences growing up in the city. Ben Folds Five released a live cover of "Twin Falls" on their 1998 album Naked Baby Photos.
  • In the 1968 episode of "Get Smart," "Snoopy Smart vs the Red Baron," it is revealed that Twin Falls is the hometown of Agent 99, as played by Barbara Feldon.

Twin Falls, Idaho Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.