Idaho Falls (Images of America: Idaho)

ISBN: 0738548707
ISBN 13: 9780738548708
By: William Hathaway

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Taylor's Crossing began as a wooden toll bridge over a narrow spot on the Snake River for travelers along the Old Montana Trail. By 1883, it was known as Eagle Rock, a dusty outpost for railroad workers, bullwhackers, and miners. "We can not claim an orderly town," the newspaper reported. "The reckless firing of firearms at all hours of the day and night is a nuisance that should be stopped." When the railroad pulled out its shops, the town almost died. Following statehood and another name change, Idaho Falls transformed itself into an agricultural center and outfitting point for visitors to Yellowstone Park. In 1949, the Atomic Energy Commission arrived, and the nearby desert became a training ground for the nuclear navy, the test site for a new "inherently safe" boiling-water reactor design and the location of the world's first fatal nuclear accident.

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