Historical Guide

A Treasured Past

Pocatello is a unique city, not only in the name it shares with no other, but because of its Downtown Historic District. This district is architecturally and historically significant and is one of the region's most diverse and well-preserved urban streetscapes. Founded in 1882 and named for a chief of the Shoshoni-Bannock Indian tribe, Pocatello began as a collection of boxcars and construction workers' tents on the Indian reservation where 40 acres had been set aside for the railroad. A special act of Congress on September 1, 1888, created the original town site and a temporary business district was developed.


Pocatello owes its foundation and much of its continued development to the railroad industry. With the construction of the Utah, Northern route in 1878 and the Oregon Short Line in 1882, Pocatello's future as a north-south junction point became assured. The appellation of "The Gate City" was acquired because of Pocatello's early importance as a junction point and rail route through the mountains.

 

The Old Town Historic District encompasses all or part of eighteen city blocks and is composed primarily of two and one-story commercial buildings. The primary building material throughout the district is brick, although hand-hewn stone and terra cotta were also used. The predominant facade line on the top of many second floors is accentuated by sheet metal cornice. A variety of architectural styles is represented in the district, including Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Sullivanesque, and Art Deco, as well as many adaptations of early 20th century commercial styles with classical details rendered in either sheet metal or terra cotta.
For more Pocatello history, see the online edition of Rocks, Rails & Trails.

Alive Today

The historic buildings in Old Town Pocatello are alive today with activity.  With a collection of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and more, visitors to Old Town can experience our rich history with all of the conveniences of modern day living.  Come see for yourself!

Shop, Dine & Play in Old Town Pocatello

Old Town Pocatello, Inc.

420 N Main St

Pocatello, ID 83204

208.232.7545

spalagi@oldtownpocatello.com

News

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OLD TOWN POCATELLO THIS WEEK!

 

5th Annual Urban Invasion Obstacle Challenge, April 29!  Team registration is now open at www.pokyurbaninvasion.com.  Four person teams race through Old Town while they encounter 20 urban obstacles through the 5K route. Sound like a challenge?  Register today!

 

May First Friday Art Walk, May 5!  On Friday May 5, local kids will begin creating sidewalk chalk art at 2:30pm.  Drawing will continue until 5pm when Art Walk begins and our community can enjoy the wonderful hand-drawn art.  Every child that registers in advance and creates a sidewalk chalk drawing will receive an Old Town T-shirt and a free ice cream cone from Old Town Ice Cream & Candy, along with coupons and information from the merchants in Old Town Pocatello. 

 

Portneuf Valley Farmers Market Opening Day, May 6!  The Market will be open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm through the end of October. 

 

Revive @ 5 Summer Concerts begin May 24!

The Bannock Civitan Club has announced this summer’s Revive @ 5 Wednesday Concerts will kick off at 5pm on Wednesday, May 24.  Click here to see this year's line up!

 

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