Monday, November 28, 2011

Sugar City--Where Sweet Things Grow!

Teresa moved to Sugar City Idaho a few months ago. I love this place! I'm spending Thanksgiving here to assist Teresa with the girls while she finishes up her last semester of college (Jared is working in ND).

Sugar City is small town America: 1 gas station, 1 grocery store, a post office, a water tower, a volunteer fire department, a high school that draws from the surrounding rural area, 2 LDS church buildings, Ole's Cafe, a dentist office, a family-owned market, and a combination furniture-hardware-appliance store, also family owned. There's a pleasant, clean, small-town feel here. No McMansions, boutiques, traffic jams, chain restaurants, no fast food and no stoplights.
 water tower

 the only grocery in town

 The town underwent a huge change 35 years ago when the Teton Dam gave way and all but washed Sugar off the map. For that reason almost every house in town is modern. Old farm houses still stand in Teton and Newdale, but Sugar was smack in the middle of the deluge, so almost everything old was destroyed. With less than an hour's notice of the dam break, people got out with the clothes on their backs, then had only a stone or concrete foundation to call home.

one of only a few survivors of the 1976 flood

center of town

Sugar's reason for being was the beet sugar factory built here in 1904 for the U and I sugar company. The town was built to accommodate the workers, and because of a labor shortage Japanese workers were brought in to help. Some of their descendants live here now. The factory has long been defunct and only 1 building of the complex still stands. Farming and ranching are still going strong. The high school team name is the Diggers, recalling the heritage of the sugar beet.
1904 sugar factory

My favorite walk here is to head east a couple of blocks to where I can see the mighty Grand Tetons rear up on the eastern skyline. The houses on that edge of town view this:

 Grand Tetons on a hazy November day

Sugar's only drawback is the wicked winter weather common to Eastern Idaho--wind, sub-zero temps, plenty of snow. But it's a nice place to raise a family.


  1. Thanks for posting these! Sugar is my hometown and I was looking for good images for a project. Thanks!