Eagle, Idaho is one of the fastest-growing and desirable communities in the Treasure Valley. Its reputation for being a quiet suburb filled with beautiful, new houses while also having a small-town feeling downtown adds to the charm. But how did a one-horse town of 350 on the Boise River grow into the bustling suburb that saw over 200% growth from 1990 to 2000? Where did Eagle come from?
When gold was discovered in the Boise Basin and the mountains north of the valley, people flocked to the area to make their fortunes. While many sought gold in the form of metal, one intrepid man had other ideas. Truman C. Catlin, an Illinois native, saw that the prospectors and townsfolk needed food. He invested in 160 acres of land along the Boise River in late 1863. The site was named Eagle Island after the large number of bald eagles on the river near the property. The following year, Catlin and his neighbor dug irrigation trenches to get water to the farmland. The result was enough water to irrigate 700 acres and kicked off a 40-year effort by valley residents to dig canals and ditches to irrigate most of the valley. Many of these are still around to this day.
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