Inland Northwest

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Map of USA Inland Northwest.png

The Inland Northwest is a large region of the United States comprising Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The region totals 476,550 square miles. The region is towered over by Boise, Idaho, the region's largest city, the capital city of its state, and a relative cultural Mecca for anyone who finds himself in that part of the world.

The Inland Northwest is roughly the area occupied by the Idaho Territory (1863) and the Dakota Territory (1861). Their areas overlap, to avoid confusion. The region also sometimes referred to as Greater Boise.

Population figures[edit]

The population figures for the Inland Northwest show that virtually everyone lives in Boise, or would if he could.

Population Figures (2010 Census)
Largest City in State City Population State Population Comments
Fargo, North Dakota 105,549 672,591 Fargo isn't even the capital of its state, whereas Boise is.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 153,888 814,180 Sioux Falls is the county seat of Minnehaha County; not a big deal.
Cheyenne, Wyoming 59,466 563,626 Cheyenne is the state capital, but unfortunately, of a state where no one lives.
Thrillings, Montana 104,170 989,415 Some refer to it as Billings.
Boise, Idaho 205,671 1,567,582 Dynamic soul of the Inland Northwest™


The highlights of the first 150 years of the Inland Northwest show an unbroken positive trend revolving around Boise.

1863-1933: Territory, statehood, and hints of greatness[edit]

  • 1863: The Idaho Territory is formed, along with the now smaller Dakota Territory, marking the start of the Inland Northwest. The Idaho Territory capital is mistakenly placed in Lewiston, but moved to Boise two years later.
  • 1890: Idaho becomes the 43rd state in the union, which would transform Boise into a state capital.
  • 1920: The Idaho state capitol building is completed. The structure is beautiful and worthy.
  • 1926: Varney Air Lines is founded at an airport that stood at the present location of Boise State University, the first sign of the athletic might to be seen on the south bank of the beautiful Boise River. Boise was at the time a remote town of less than 22,000 people, yet gave birth to what became United Airlines.
  • 1932: Boise State is founded as Boise Junior College.
  • 1933: Boise Junior College begins a football program.

1958-1978: Growth and prosperity[edit]

The KTHI-TV mast is the tallest structure in the western hemisphere. It resides in the Inland Northwest along with Boise, Idaho, the greatest city in the world.
  • 1958: Boise State Junior College becomes the national junior college football champions.
  • 1963: The tallest structure in the world, the KTHI-TV mast (pictured), is completed in Blanchard, North Dakota, which is also in the Inland Northwest, as Boise is.
  • 1970: After surpassing all the other cities of the Inland Northwest in size, Boise becomes the largest city in the region with the tallest structure in the world.
  • 1970: Boise State joins NCAA Division II.
  • 1974: The Warsaw radio mast is built and becomes the tallest structure in the world. The Inland Northwest doesn't waste resources to build a taller mast, but simply waits for the inevitable.
  • 1978: Boise State moves to NCAA Division I-AA.

1980-2009: Blue Astroturf and destiny[edit]

  • 1980: Boise State wins the Division I-AA National Championship!
  • 1986: The blue football field is installed at Broncos Stadium at Boise State. Rumors begin about ducks crashing on the fine blue turf, mistaking it for the nearby picturesque Boise River, their colorblindness notwithstanding.
  • 1991: The Warsaw radio mast snaps in half during maintenance, and the Inland Northwest once again boasts the tallest structure in the world.
  • 2000: Over the prior decade, Boise again grows at over double the rate of the next highest performer in the Inland Northwest. With a growth percentage of 47.8% from 1990 to 2000, Sioux Falls is the next closest (23%) but can't even come close.
  • 2007: Boise State wins the 2007 Fiesta Bowl!
  • 2008: Boise area resident Kristen Armstrong wins Olympic cycling gold! Like other University of Idaho students such as Packers football great Jerry Kramer, Kristin Armstrong didn't have a high level of athletic success while attending U of I because even the greats can't win while at that place. She then moved away, started training in the foothills north of Boise, and the rest is history.
  • 2009: The Oregon Ducks crash on the blue turf, as was foretold a mere 23 years earlier.

The current decade[edit]

  • 2011: The Boise State senior class play their last football game, ending with yet another win. Their total of 50 wins over four years is a first in FBS history. Equally impressive is that the three games that were lost had a combined point differential of -5 points. Make no mistake, BOISE STATE RULES!!!
  • 2012: Still training in the Boise area, Armstrong wins her second Olympic cycling gold! Boise U-S-A! Boise U-S-A! Boise U-S-A!
  • 2013: Boise and the Inland Northwest both celebrate 150 years of existence. And yes, still totally awesome!
  • 2014: The Eighth & Main building in downtown Boise is completed, and is the tallest building in the region.
  • 2016: Kristen Armstrong wins her third Olympic gold medal! Boise U-S-A! Boise U-S-A! Boise U-S-A!

See also[edit]