Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montpelier in Bear Lake County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour

 
 
Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
1. Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour Marker
Captions: (top left) Montpelier business district blossomed thanks to emigrants passing on the Oregon Trail and the rise of the railroad.; (top center) Montpelier, circa 1929 - Note telephone poles running along both sides of Washington Street and mud puddles in the as yet unpaved streets.; (bottom center) Montpelier, circa 1950s - view looking east up Washington Street.; (middle left) Montpelier, circa 1960s - view looking east up Washington Street.
Inscription. Welcome to the Historic Downtown Montpelier Business District on Washington Street!
Take a few minutes to enjoy a walking tour filled with interesting information about this area and its place in history. Also, spend a few minutes visiting our many downtown businesses.

Sent by Brigham Young, Mormon settlers began to arrive in the Bear Lake Valley in late September of 1863 under the direction of colonizer and Mormon Apostle Charles C. Rich. On the following spring of 1864, John Cozzens led a group of sixteen families to settle the area known as Montpelier today. First known by travelers along the Oregon Trail as "Clover Creek", the town name later changed to "Montpelier" by Brigham Young after the capitol of his native state of Vermont.
The town business districts blossomed thanks to emigrants passing through on the Oregon Trail. The Bear Lake valley became a welcome rest area along the Oregon Trail to replenish supplies with fresh produce, daily products and beef.
With the arrival of the railroad in 1892, the first significant number of non-Mormon residents arrived and soon the settlement grew into separate communities - "Uptown (Mormon) Montpelier" and "Downtown (Gentile) Montpelier". The town became the home terminal for the Union Pacific/Oregon Short Line trains until October 1972 when the terminal
Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 11, 2015
2. Downtown Montpelier Historic Walking Tour Marker
was moved to Pocatello. Largely due to the arrival of the railroad, the community became the largest in the Bear Lake valley and by 1900 most of the businesses of the valley were located in Montpelier.
Montpelier continues to be the center of commerce of the valley with a population near 3,000. Agriculture continues to be an important way of life in the valley with farmers and ranchers raising grains and cattle. Tourism has fast become a strong industry in Montpelier due to the city's location to scenic Bear Lake to the south and its location on US Highway 89 half way between Salt Lake City, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. While this walking tour will direct you to interesting facts about the Historic Downtown Business District, the City welcomes you to see three other historic buildings found a few blocks to the west of the downtown area on Washington Street:

Montpelier City Hall
The neo-classical revival style city hall is the oldest building in the district and is distinguished by its portico with pairs of Tuscan columns. It was built of buff brick made by Utah Pressed Brick and Tile Company of Ogden.

LDS Tabernacle
The semi-circular LDS Tabernacle began construction in 1918 as a red brick structure employing classical motifs and round arched entries with ornate terra cotta tympanums. The tabernacle is the city's largest auditorium.

Bear Lake Middle School
This building was constructed in 1937 to serve community as the Montpelier High School under the Public Works Administration on the land opposite the tabernacle. Constructed of mountain red variegated tapestry brick, the building is distinguished by its expensive and profusely ornamented terra cotta trim.

First known by travelers along the Oregon Trail as "Clover Creek," the town name was later changed to "Montpelier" by Brigham Young after the capitol of his native state of Vermont.
 
Erected by Greater Bear Lake Valley Chamber of Commerce, Montpelier Gem Community Team, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, The Bear Lake County Historical Society, USDA Rural Development Agency and Utah Power. (Marker Number 1.)
 
Location. 42° 19.05′ N, 111° 18.571′ W. Marker is in Montpelier, Idaho, in Bear Lake County. Marker is on Washington Street (U.S. 89) near South 9th Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 915 Washington Street, Montpelier ID 83254, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bank and The Burgoyne (a few steps from this marker); Second Bank of Montpelier (within shouting distance of this marker); Model T's, Odd Fellows and the News (within shouting distance of this marker); Cleaners, Hospital, Plumbers and a Big Bear (within shouting distance of this marker); News Examiner (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Strong Building, Stock Chevys and Railroad (about 300 feet away); A Look at Memory Lane (about 400 feet away); Ritter Bros. Drug and the Roxy Theatre (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montpelier.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 23, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 207 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 23, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   2. submitted on November 24, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
Paid Advertisement