Idaho Falls is the largest city in eastern Idaho with a population of about 51,000 as of the 2000 census and about 123,000 in the metro area as of 2008. Idaho Falls began as Taylor’s Crossing, a timber frame bridge which was built across the Snake River in 1865, by Matt Taylor. The bridge was part of the Montana Trail, which served as part of the way in which the westward migration passed through in this region. In 1891 residents of the town voted to change the name to Idaho Falls, a reference to the rapids which the bridge spanned over.
The largest irrigation canal in the world, known as the Great Feeder, began diverting water from the Snake River in 1895, which was a crucial part of changing tens of thousands of acres of desert into green farmland in the area. Eventually the farmland in this area became among the United States’ most productive.