Famous Idaho Facts
Movies Made In Idaho
- “Told in the Hills” (Priest Lake), 1919
- “Northwest Passage” (McCall), 1939
- “Bus Stop” (near Ketchum), 1956
- “Breakheart Pass” (Lewiston), 1976
- “Bronco Billy” (Boise), 1979
- “Heaven’s Gate” (Wallace), 1979
- “Pale Rider” (Sawtooth Mountains), 1984
- “Talent for the Game” (Genesee), 1991
- “Dark Horse” (Wood River Valley), 1992
- “Dante’s Peak” (Wallace),1996
Arrived in Sun Valley in 1939 to work on his novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Idaho offered wide open spaces for Hemingway to indulge in his passions for hunting, skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Author of such classics as The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway is buried in Ketchum, where he died on July 2, 1961.THE POET EZRA POUND was born in Hailey, Idaho, in 1885, just 11 miles south of where Ernest Hemingway is buried. Pound left Idaho at 18 months to grow up and become one of the controversial movers and shakers of modern literature.
Gretchen Fraser, an Olympic gold medalist in 1948, and Christen Cooper, a silver medallist in 1984, came from Idaho. Olympic champion (1984) Bill Johnson learned to ski at Bogus Basin just outside of Boise. Picabo Street yet another Olympic silver medallist in 1994 and World Champion Downhill Racer in 1995 and 1996, originally hailed from Ketchum.
Decathlete Dan O’ Brien, 1996 Olympic gold medal winner and World Record Holder, lives and trains in Moscow, Idaho.
PHILO T. FARNSWORTH (1906-1971) of Rigby produced the first all-electronic television image when he was just 20 years old. Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1984, Farnsworth’s first patent, entitled “Television System,” was filed January 7, 1927. He also held patents for the cathode ray tube and more than 300 other U.S. and foreign inventions.
What would you do if you were born Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner in Wallace, Idaho? Change your name to Lana Turner and become a movie star! Actress Marjorie Reynolds was born in Buhl, Idaho.
One of the most famous part-time residents of Pocatello, Idaho, was… no, not Cheetah… Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of the Tarzan stories. It is rumored that while running a stationery store in Pocatello, he wrote the first drafts of “Tarzan of the Apes.”
TWO BASEBALL HALL OF FAMERS
Walter “Big Train” Johnson of Weiser was considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time. And Harmon Killebrew, Payette, was one of baseball’s power hitters. Both came from Idaho.
THE FOSBURY FLOP
A high jumping technique, invented by Ketchum resident Dick Fosbury.
OTHER IDAHO BASEBALL STARS
Larry Jackson (Garden Valley), who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, and Vernon Law (Meridian), who pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
GUTZON BORGLUM (1871-1941)
The sculptor who carved Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, was born near Bear Lake, Idaho. Borglum spent 14 years (1927-1941) on the massive sculpture, removing more than 400,000 tons of granite from the 6,200-foot cliff.
TEACHER OF THE NEXT FRONTIER
Barbara Morgan, an elementary school teacher from McCall, will be the teachernaut to go into space when the Teacher in Space program resumes. She and David Marquart, another Idaho teacher, were the first and second runners-up in the Teacher in Space Program.
FOOTBALLS AND COWBOYS
Jerry Kramer is Idaho’s most famous professional football star, while football and horses were Dee Pickett’s passion. Though Pickett made a name for himself locally as quarterback of the Boise State Broncos, he is best known as a premier rodeo cowboy. In 1984 he rode and roped to the top of his profession, earning the Pro Rodeo Championship All Around Cowboy title.
Guide, interpreter, cook, horse trader, and general all around lifesaver of the 1805 Lewis and Clark Expedition, is one of the great heroines of the American West. Due largely to her skills as a horse trader, she was recently named Idaho’s first-ever business woman by the Idaho Federation of Business and Professional Women.
VARDIS FISHER (1894-1968)
Author of many novels, including Children of God, Tale of Valor, and Mountain Man (later made into the Hollywood film “Jeremiah Johnson”), is one of Idaho’s respected writers.
THE BEAR LAKE MONSTER
The creature that causes us to question whether we are in Idaho or Scotland. Around 1900, there were several sightings of strange creatures in Bear Lake (on the Idaho/Utah border). The serpent-like monsters were up to 90 feet in length, could move faster than running horses, and were witnessed by several different people. To this day, there are still those who refuse to night fish on the lake. For more information, contact Craig Thomas at 208-945-2072.