The unincorporated community called Moreland sits in the flat country of the Snake River Plain, a few miles west of the Snake River. The area was reclaimed from the desert with irrigation water from the river, and today is a productive farmland that produces food sufficient to feed many people. The crops include wheat, beets and Idaho’s famous potatoes. The farmland surrounds Moreland for many miles in all directions except the northwest, where inhospitable lava beds cover the ground. Mountains can be seen in the distance to the north, south, and especially the east, where they reach closer to Moreland. To the northwest, volcanic buttes can be seen, Big Southern Butte, and the Twin Buttes.
Moreland was settled in 1893 by Mormon Pioneers who emigrated from England. They cleared the land of sagebrush, and built the “People’s Canal” to bring water from the Snake River. The name comes from a remark made by an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) who said “This is more land and here we’ll make a settlement.”
U.S. Highway 26 passes by Moreland on the north. It leads eastward to Backfoot, just a few miles away, and northwest to Arco. State Highway 39 passes by on the south of Moreland leading to Aberdeen and other small farming communities along the west side of the Snake River. Moreland is situated in between these two highways. The original route of Highway 26 passed right through town, running parallel to the railroad, but the route was later shortened by moving it further north.
The population of Moreland was 1,278 at the 2010 census and it has seen growth recently as people move further out from Blackfoot. The elevation is 4,460 feet.
For More Information:
Read the historical marker about Moreland’s settlement. See also the brief Wikipedia article, Moreland, Idaho.