Local Cities & Towns

Local Cities & Towns

Enjoy and Explore the Mini-Cassia Area

There truly is something for everyone in the Mini-Cassia area. Whether you are looking for adventure in the great outdoors, exploration into history, a neat little boutique, or just some great food; we have it here!

Mini-Cassia is home to 12 cities and towns plus 7 state & national parks, forests, and reserves. The area boasts the ski resort with the longest season and most snowfall as well as the best water skiing area on the Snake River. There is never a dull moment with the multitude of events from festivals and fairs to tournaments and triathlons. The Mini-Cassia area has something for everyone! Come and stay awhile!

For brochures or questions,
contact the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce.
Phone: (208) 679-4793
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This tiny Minidoka County town, about 13 miles northeast of Rupert, has a big history.  The city was established in 1884 as a mainline railroad siding. Until a 1906 fire destroyed more than half the town, it was the original county seat. In those days, Minidoka boasted 55 businesses, all of which sat on the north side of the Oregon Short Line Railroad track. Population then was 2,000 to 2,500. Minidoka is the southern entrance to the Great Rift area, with access road for anyone who like to go on desert explorations.

The original Cassia County seat, Albion is set in a quiet mountain valley at the base of Mt. Harrison, about 18 miles southeast of Burley. As a tourist destination, the town is the gateway to skiing at Pomerelle Mounting Resort, camping and fishing at Lake Cleveland and historical study on the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway. Rich in history, Albion is also a popular getaway for Mini-Cassia residents who come for fine dining or to spend a weekend in the mountains. The historic campus of the former Albion State Normal School is a popular attraction, and regular events are held in the city park. The city library is open Saturdays, as is a Normal School museum on campus.

While these two communities are separated by a lot of beautiful countryside, they share a common ranching and pioneer heritage that binds them together. Nestled at the base of Cassia County's highest peaks, Elba is about 32 miles southeast of Burley, and Almo is another 12 miles south of Elba along the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway. With some of the best scenery in Mini-Cassia, the Elba-Almo valley is a popular weekend escape.

The City of Burley, founded in 1905, has a rich history.  Its location, next to the mighty Snake River in the shadows of the mountains, has been a strategic place for centuries. With a population just over 10,000, Burley is the county seat for Cassia County.  Burley is a farm, marketing and distribution center.  Burley enjoys outdoor activities year round.  In the summer the beautiful snake river is a haven for boaters and personal water craft.  The mountains surrounding Burley are full of intense mountain bike and hiking trails, pristine lakes and hidden hot springs.

Burley offers many great amenities and offers a business friendly environment and welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

Where did they come up with a name like Declo? Legend has it Marshfield became Declo in April 1917, after it was decided the city would be named with an acronym of the first letter of the last names of the next five people who walked into the General Store. Those people were a Dethlefs, Enyart, Cooley, and either a Logan or Lewis and an Osterhout or Olsen. The last two are where the controversy lies. There are five different versions of the story, depending on who you talk to, says City Clerk Terri Koyle.

The City of Heyburn lies north of the Snake River and south of Interstate 84 between Idaho 30 and Idaho 27. It hosts several businesses, a police station, elementary school and post office. The Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce built it's new home and Mini-Cassia Visitor's Center in Heyburn since Heyburn's central location allows easy access to visitors and locals in both the Minidoka and Cassia counties.


During the summer they have free movies, live music and a Jass Festival at the Riverside Park.

Situated in the heart of the Raft River Valley about 38 miles east of Burley, Malta is the center of activity for residents of eastern Cassia County stretching all the way to the Utah border. Much of Malta's events revolve around Raft River Elementary and Jr. and Sr. High School. The Raft River Trojans produce consistently top-performing athletes who take state titles at an alarming rate. Malta is a jumping-off point for hunting and other recreation in the vast wide open spaces of the Raft River Valley.East of Malta, about 20 miles on Forest Road, is Sublett, popular for its fishing and camping recreation.

One of Cassia County's oldest communities, Oakley, is situated 20 miles south of Burley on Hwy 27. It is the western gateway to City of Rocks National Reserve and the eastern gateway to the South Hills, where an abundance of recreational opportunities abound all year round. This community is home of the world-famous Oakley Stone; Oakley Dam, the largest earthen filled dam in the world at its completion in 1911; the site of more historic homes per capita than anywhere in the U.S.; and the Oakley Valley Arts Council and Howells Opera House (one of the few continuously operating theatres built in 1907).The Oakley museum, on Main Street, is open May through Labor Day.

The city of Paul is located north of Burley and west of Rupert at the junction of State Highways 27 and 25.  It was laid out by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Minidoka Irrigation project.  The town is the hub of a vast farming area to the north and offers full services., groceries and restaurants and a new city park that features a snow tubing hill and will soon have a great jet water fountain.

Rupert has a rich heritage with a Historic Business District that extends around Rupert Square, which is the heart of Rupert. The Renaissance Arts Center, Inc. has been renovating the historic 1920 flatiron Wilson Building and Theatre for the past several years. When finished, it will house retail space, a community center and the grand theater. In the center of the Square is a park with a gazebo that hosts many annual events. Free Rupert Square walking tour brochures are available at the Minidoka County Museum or the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce.

Shoppers on and around the square can find a variety of specialty shops, including a quilting shop, bookstore, shoestore, flower shop and restaurants.  Many of the shops are located in historic buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Besides community events, history and shopping, Rupert offers many recreational opportunities for visitors. Thanks to the work of various service groups, there are miles of paths for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and in-line skating enthusiasts.

 

History
The area's first permanent residents arrived in 1868 settling in Albion. Many Mormon pioneers, under the direction of Utah Territory Governor Brigham Young, arrived in the Oakley Valley a short time later. Cassia County was later founded on February 20, 1879 with Albion as the county seat.

History

What is now Minidoka County was first surveyed in 1890 for a plausible location to construct a dam. On June 7, 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Reclamation Act allowing construction of the dam. In 1904, the Reclamation Service reserved three-one square mile town sites for Burley, Rupert, and Riverton (now known as Heyburn).

Nestled four miles east of Rupert, Acequia boasts only a few more residents than its neighbor to the east, Minidoka. About 110 people call Acequia home year-round, said the city's recently retired clerk, Eldon Stephenson.  In 1904 the settlement was called Sherrer, after one of its first settlers. It was a railroad siding for unloading settlers' livestock, machinery and supplies when  the Minidoka Dam was completed and water began to run through the canals to surrounding farmland.  The name was changed to Acequia in 1907.

 

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