Twin Falls, Idaho: Wikis


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Twin Falls, Idaho
—  City  —

Motto: People Serving People
Coordinates: 42°34′41″N 114°28′30″W / 42.57806°N 114.475°W / 42.57806; -114.475Coordinates: 42°34′41″N 114°28′30″W / 42.57806°N 114.475°W / 42.57806; -114.475
Country United States
State Idaho
County Twin Falls
Incorporated 1904
 - Type council-manager
 - Mayor Don Hall
 - City Manager Tom Courtney
 - Assistant City Manager Travis Rothweiler
 - City 16.0 sq mi (31.1 km2)
 - Land 16.0 sq mi (31.1 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,745 ft (1,141 m)
Population (2006)
 - City 40,380
 Density 2,870.1/sq mi (1,108.1/km2)
 Urban 91,705 (micropolitan area estimate)
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
For the motion picture, see Twin Falls Idaho (film)

Twin Falls is the county seat and largest city of Twin Falls County, Idaho, United States.[1] The population was 34,469 at the 2000 census; a 2006 estimate found 40,380 people.[2]

Twin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region and the seventh largest in the state. As the largest city in a 100-mile (166-kilometer) radius, Twin Falls serves as a regional commercial center for both south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada.[3]

Twin Falls is the principal city of the Twin Falls, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area - the state's largest - which officially includes Jerome and Twin Falls Counties.[4] The resort community of Jackpot, Nevada, in Elko County is unofficially considered part of the greater Twin Falls area.[5]



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.[6] Later native American tribes predominant the area included the Northern Shoshone and Bannock.[7]

The first people of European ancestry to visit the Twin Falls area are believed to be members of a group led by 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 when 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.[8]

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.[9] Some 150 years later, Robert Stuart Junior High School in Twin Falls was named in his honor.

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.[10] 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 the Twin Falls Land and Water Company was formed largely to build an irrigation canal system for the area. Three years later I. B. Perrine, who had been a successful farmer and rancher in the Snake River Canyon, obtained private financing under the provisions of the Carey Act of 1894 to build Milner 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[11]. As a result Perrine is generally credited as the founder of Twin Falls.[12]

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. 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.

After Milner Dam was constructed agricultural production in south-central Idaho increased substantially. 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 thanks to an attempt by Evel Knievel to jump the Snake River Canyon in a specially-modified rocket cycle. Watched by millions on television, the attempt ultimately failed due to high winds and a premature deployment of Knievel's parachute. The foundation of the launch ramp, which lies on private land, can still be seen.

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.[13]

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 sizeable Hispanic population.

Crime rate

According to Twin Falls crime levels are "much higher" than Idaho's average levels. This includes violent crimes. 'Sperling's Best Places' states that Twin Falls' crime rate per capita is almost two times as high as the national level. [5]

Twin Falls is the home to the unaccredited diploma mill Suffield University[14] that has illegally operated in Connecticut, Maine, Oregon, and Texas[15][16][17][18].


The City of Twin Falls has a council-manager form of government. The seven-member Twin Falls City Council is directly elected in non-partisan municipal elections to four-year terms. The mayor, who holds little executive power, is periodically selected among current city council members to chair meetings. City council meetings are usually held on Mondays.

The city's day-to-day operations are overseen by a city manager, who is appointed by the city council. The city government through various citizen boards oversees parks and recreation, planning and zoning, sanitation and garbage collection, street maintenance, wastewater collection, and maintains police and fire departments. Twin Falls Public Library, Twin Falls Municipal Golf Course and Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport are also under the city's jurisdiction.


Twin Falls is home to the College of Southern Idaho, a large community college in the northwestern part of the city. Several Idaho universities, including Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho, also offer classes on the CSI campus.

Public schools are administered by the Twin Falls School District, including Twin Falls High School, Canyon Ridge High School, the alternative Magic Valley High School, two middle schools and seven elementary schools. Also, Twin Falls is home to newly established Xavier Charter School.

On March 14, 2006, Twin Falls voted to build an additional high school, which was named Canyon Ridge High School in November 2006. Voters also approved plans to make improvements to existing school buildings and convert the junior high schools to middle schools. These projects were completed for the 2009-10 school year. The addition of Canyon Ridge High School meant that the student population was split nearly in half, meaning athletics for both schools are designated 4A, rather than 5A by IHSAA[19][20]

Private schools include Lighthouse Christian School, Magic Valley Christian School, St. Edward's Catholic School and Twin Falls Christian Academy.


The Times-News is a local daily morning newspaper based in Twin Falls.

Over-the-air television stations include:

Cable television subscribers also receive stations from Boise and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Several radio stations broadcast in the Twin Falls area, including (but not limited to):

Twin Falls had the first live call-in radio show in the nation. It was called "Party Line" and was hosted by L. James Koutnik on KLIX KLIX (AM)radio. The FCC attempted to time delay the program but the host, and his willing conspirator, station owner Charlie Tuma, thwarted this effort and continued to allow live callers on the air.[21]


Although Twin Falls has the distinction of being the largest Idaho city not directly on the Interstate Highway System, the city 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 miles (8.3 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.[22]

Limited commercial air service is provided at Joslin Field-Magic Valley Regional Airport. As of August 2008 daily flights to Salt Lake City International Airport are operated by SkyWest Airlines using the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia.[23][24]


Twin Falls is located at 42°33′41″N 114°27′49″W / 42.561420°N 114.463715°W / 42.561420; -114.463715.[25]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.0 square miles (31.1 km²), all of it land.

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 five miles east of Twin Falls city. Pillar Falls is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream from the Perrine Bridge while Twin Falls, the city's namesake, is located upstream of Shoshone Falls.

Shoshone Falls is taller than Niagara Falls by about 36 feet (11 m).

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. [6]


Historical populations
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%
Est. 2007 41,510 20.4%

As of the census[28] of 2000, there were 34,469 people, 13,274 households, and 8,867 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,870.1 people per square mile (1,108.1/km²). There were 14,162 housing units at an average density of 1,179.2/sq mi (455.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.77% White, 0.22% African American, 0.74% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 3.71% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.89% of the population.

There were 13,274 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.2% 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 2.51 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 12.1% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,641, and the median income for a family was $48,632. Males had a median income of $34,742 versus $20,934 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,439. About 9.8% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people

W. Mark Felt, the informant in the Watergate scandal known as Deep Throat, graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1931.

Notable musicians who spent parts of their childhood in Twin Falls include Gary Puckett, Paul Durham of Black Lab, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, and Doug Martsch of Built to Spill.

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.

Built to Spill's 1994 song "Twin Falls," which mentions Harrison Elementary, is based on 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.

Despite its title, the 1999 film Twin Falls Idaho is neither set in nor has anything to do with the city.

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.

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 Twin Falls to launder the money they had stolen from an earlier casino heist.


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in Idaho, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 (SUB-EST2006-04-16) Accessed 16 July 2007
  3. ^ City of Twin Falls Comprehensive Plan Update Accessed 7 May 2007
  5. ^ Twin Falls Accessed 7 May 2007
  6. ^ [1] Accessed 16 January 2010
  7. ^ Northern Shoshone and Bannock Economy Accessed 7 May 2007
  8. ^ The Fur Trade Explorers Accessed 7 May 2007
  9. ^ The Astorians Accessed 7 May 2007
  10. ^ Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite Accessed 7 May 2007
  11. ^ Ira Burton Perrine Accessed 7 May 2007
  12. ^ Times-News Summer Fun Guide Accessed 7 May 2007
  13. ^ Dell to close Twin Falls call center
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ State Puts Some Colleges on Its Dishonor Roll, by Robert A. Frahm, Hartford Courant, September 15, 2004
  16. ^ Unaccredited colleges, State of Oregon, Oregon Office of Degree Authorization
  17. ^ Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas, State of Texas, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  18. ^ Non-Accredited Colleges & Universities List, Department of Education State of Maine
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ Tuma, Charlie. Personal interview with Debra M. Koutnik. English 102 C20 Freshman Composition 2. 23 Mar. 2004
  22. ^ Trans IV Buses
  23. ^ SkyWest Airlines
  24. ^ City of Twin Falls - Airport Services
  25. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  26. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850-1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 99.
  27. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Idaho 2000-2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  28. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

External links



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