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Jerome County Historical Museum

Jerome County Historical Society’s downtown museum is in a former train depot.

JEROME — Jerome County was home to the Minidoka Relocation Center — known to locals as “Hunt Camp” — the largest of 11 relocation centers throughout the West used by the federal government during World War II to house thousands of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast.

Barracks from the Hunt Camp can be found reused as homes, office buildings and barns on both sides of the river. A barrack recreating life at the camp is featured in every tour of Jerome County Historical Society’s IFARM (Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum) at the crossroads of U.S. 93 and Interstate 84.

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Jerome County Historical Museum

Dolls once played with at the Minidoka Relocation Center.

But that’s not the society’s traditional historical museum; it’s in downtown Jerome in a former train depot.

The society, founded in 1981, started its first downtown museum in a log cabin before moving into The Depot Museum about a decade ago. Jerome’s historical society had an unusually robust group of volunteers, but many are aging out now.

3 can’t-miss items

At The Depot Museum, be sure to look for these:

Photos and memorabilia from the iconic North Side Inn which sat until 1967 at the northwest corner of Main Street and Lincoln Avenue. The building was deemed a fire hazard and demolished. A near replica sits near the west end of Crossroads Point Boulevard off U.S. 93.

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Jerome County Historical Museum

A receipt from the former North Side Inn is on display in Jerome.

The 1910 museum building itself — one of Jerome’s two railroad depots — sat on the west side of town across the street from today’s livestock commission yard. The city of Jerome purchased the building in the 1970s from Union Pacific Corp. for $1 and moved it into town for the senior citizens.

A child’s sled made by internees at the Minidoka Relocation Center from metal scraps and wooden shipping crates.

Museum information

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Where: The Depot Museum is at 220 First Ave. E.; IFARM is at U.S. 93 and Interstate 84.

When: Depot Museum hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, April 1 to Dec. 31; winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, Jan. 1 to March 31. IFARM is by appointment.

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Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum

Above: Dolls once played with at the Minidoka Relocation Center. Left: People mosey around old farm equipment in September 2013 during Live History Days at the Idaho Farm and Ranch Museum.

Cost: Free admission at both locations. Memberships: $15 individual, $25 family, $75 supporting member and $100 business member.

Contact: Rob Ellis, tour guide, 208-308-9156.