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Welcome to Arco, Idaho! Like you, many travelers have visited this town. During the mid to late 1800s, this area was a crucial connecting point for pioneers and other travelers. The original town site was just south of the junction where two stagecoach lines intersected. In fact, when officials applied to the U.S. Post Office to receive mail service here, they requested that the town be named "Junction." But the postmaster general thought the name was too vague. Instead, he proposed the name of Arco, in honor of George Von Arco, a German inventor who was visiting Washington, D.C., at the time. Agriculture is big in this area, although the short growing season limits which crops can be grown. The three most common crops here in Butte County are alfalfa, barley, and wheat. Most alfalfa is harvested three times each year and stored in stacks along edges of the fields. It is common to share the road with trucks carrying high-quality hay destined for dairies in the Magic Valley, which is about 100 miles Southwest of Arco. As you drive, look for cattle wherever grass can be found along the roadways. Most of the county is classified as open range. So watch out for cattle standing or walking on the roads! Perhaps Arco’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the first city in the entire world to be lit by atomic energy. If you’re here in July, come celebrate Atomic Days with us on the third Saturday of the month. Arco is still a great place for travelers to stop and stretch their legs. Visit one of our local shops, snap a selfie in front of the famous “atomic power” sign and enjoy the journey. We’ll see you at the next story site.
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