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Emmett, Idaho is the county seat of Gem County and

boasts a population of 6,557 residents at the 2010 census.

The elevation in Emmett is about 2,400 feet which made

it a nice place for prospectors to winter when the snows

near Idaho City made gold mining impractical. During the

early years, established stage and pack train routes joined

at the Payette River near Emmett just north of the present

river bridge providing yet another reason for folks to be in

the area. It quickly became apparent that the fertile soil

and lower elevation of the Emmett area would grow all

manner of crops which were then transported to the gold

camps utilizing the established transportation routes.

Emmett soon became known as the “garden” for the

nearby mining camps. Fruit orchards were especially

successful in this area and continue to be an economic driving force today especially after the closure of the Boise Cascade manufacturing facility in 2001. The annual “Cherry Festival” celebrates the heritage and continued influence of fruit orchards in Emmett.


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