About Mountain Home
Mountain Home was settled in 1881 on the Oregon Short Line railroad. It was originally named Tutville, after a Mr. Tutweiler who set up a store in a tent in the new town. Mountain Home was the name of a stop on the Oregon Trail eight miles east of Tutville. When the first train steamed into Tutville, the postmaster at Mountain Home packed up the post office and moved it to Tutville, bringing with him the name.
Mountain Home is located next to the Mountain Home Air Force Base, which is the dominant force in the local economy, in addition to agriculture from the surrounding farmland.
The name Mountain Home is somewhat of a misnomer, being that the city is located in a broad plateau in the middle of the Snake River Basin. Several miles to the south, the Snake River flows past at the bottom of a steep scarp of lava rock and volcanic ash. Several miles to the northeast, Bennett Mountain rises above the plain to the height of nearly 7,000 feet, which perhaps is the mountain referred to.
Mountain Home boasted a population of 11,143 in the year 2000, and it is the largest city and county seat of Elmore County. The elevation is 3,142 feet. Interstate 84 passes through Mountain Home, and it is a major stop for travelers along that route, with few towns for quite a distance in either direction. A few other major highways also service Mountain Home. U.S. Highway 20 heads to the northeast, towards the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains. State Highway 51 heads south to Bruneau and Nevada. State Highway 67 heads southwest to the Mountain Home Air Force Base, and to Grand View on the Snake River.