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RUPERT — The Minidoka County Historical Museum is the only historical museum in the Magic Valley that’s open year-round.

It holds an impressive expanse of artifacts from the area, including American Indian tools, a 1906 railroad depot, World War II military memorabilia and 111 years of soon-to-be-digitized local newspapers. The site also houses the county seat’s original jail cell.

The Minidoka County Historical Society, launched in 1970, is governed by a seven-member board of directors.

A Union Pacific caboose and rail cars sit near Rupert’s 1906 railroad depot, which was moved to the museum site in 1985. The town was named after a man named Rupert who hooked the mailbag from the train as it went by.

“So people ‘went to Rupert’ to get their mail,” said historical society treasurer Gary Schorzman. “If he missed it, everyone was mad.”

3 can’t-miss items

At the museum, be sure to look for these:

An 1898 wire fencer — the Kitselman Duplex Automatic Ball Bearing Woven Wire Fence Machine — that weaves wire into a fence on site. A three-man crew could construct a mile of fencing across hilly terrain in five days.

An extensive collection of Ice Age mammal fossils found near Acequia.

A massive firearms collection donated by resident Wayne Birch.

Museum information

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Where: 99 E. Baseline Road, Rupert.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturdays.

Cost: Free admission.

Contact: 208-436-0336.