Many times, the location of an image can say a lot about the person in the photo. The towns we hail from help define us. As our adventure of exploring the Magic Valley progresses, think about the stories you’re seeing and who these people are.
Photographs are moments frozen in time. Our job as photojournalists is to share these moments with the world, to preserve them for future generations to see. Sometimes we are drawn by the lighting or the color, but the heart of every great image is the subject. It’s their story to tell. Our goal is to give the viewer a better understanding of who that person is.
While the purpose of this project is to highlight the cities, we cannot do that without acknowledging the many wonderful people that inhabit them.
Check out the photos and learn about the towns in the map below or scroll down to see them in a list.
Map: Roaming the Magic Valley: Part 3
Roaming in Heyburn
Heyburn is in Minidoka County, just across the Snake River from Burley. Much like its neighbor to the south, Heyburn continues the tradition of using and appreciating the natural resource that draws so many water enthusiasts each year.
Roaming in Ketchum
Ketchum is known for its skiing and mountain hiking paths, but for a celestial photographer, its most impressive offering is its clear night skies. Named a Dark Sky Community in 2018 by the International Dark-Sky Association, Ketchum offers views that are literally out of this world.
Roaming in Hazelton
Hazelton is home to only 800 people, making the area a quiet and close-knit community. To the north is Wilson Lake Reservoir, a 600-acre fishing hotspot that includes boat docks, sandy beaches, a five-acre park and 40 different campsites to choose from.
Roaming in Hailey
Hailey, a small town nestled near the southern end of the Sawtooth National Forest, is a place of tradition. The city offers numerous outdoor adventures and dining options, but the biggest events in Hailey all celebrate the city’s heritage. The Trailing of the Sheep Festival, listed by USA Today as one of 10 great places to celebrate animals in the world, draws thousands of visitors each year. Hailey is the seat of Blaine County.
Roaming in Hollister
Hollister might feel like a ghost town to some. Many of the buildings are in various states of disrepair. Those that aren’t abandoned sport an older style of architecture not often seen in current housing construction. But the people show a resilience mirrored by the standing of their structures, still persevering despite much of the economic and commercial growth occurring in surrounding communities.
Roaming in Jackpot, Nevada
Jackpot, Nevada, is a town founded on gambling casinos. When U.S. Sen. Estes Kefauver, a Democrat from Tennessee, campaigned in the 1950s to remove gambling from the U.S., Peter “Cactus Pete” Piersanti and Don French moved their businesses across the state line Nevada state line. Seventy years later, the unincorporated community still owes most of its economy to the handful of casinos.
Roaming in Hansen
Hansen is located three miles east of Kimberly. Primarily a farming community, the city highlights the best qualities of a small town where everyone knows their neighbor. The town was named for John Hansen, one of Twin Falls County’s first county commissioners after the county was carved away from Cassia County.
Roaming in Kimberly
Kimberly, located six miles east of Twin Falls, is a city of moderate size known for its great schools and welcoming community. It is constantly evolving and growing to meet the needs of its citizens. The town was named for Peter Kimberly, an investor in the Twin Falls irrigation project.
Roaming in Jerome
Jerome is, in its essence, an agricultural community. Farming and ag-based industries still make up the majority of the economy, but in recent years a push has been made to grow the service and retail services. The community is filled with several family-oriented attractions, such as the Jerome County fair, the Jerome Freedom Fest and North Park, which features a splash pad and skate park.
In case you missed it, here's the first two parts of the project:
Map: Roaming the Magic Valley Part 1
Click on the points to see the photos from that town and learn more about the area.
Map: Roaming the Magic Valley, part 2
A collection of stories written by Times-News photographer Pat Sutphin and photos taken by Sutphin and Times-News Chief photographer Drew Nash.
Population: About 12,000
Fun Fact: Jerome’s city motto is “Today’s decisions and actions create tomorrow’s opportunities”.
Population: About 4,000
Fun Fact: In 2010, the City of Kimberly was awarded “The Best Tasting Drinking Water in the State of Idaho” from the Idaho Rural Water Association.
Population: About 1,300
Fun Fact: John F. Hansen did not establish the town of Hansen, but city founders promised Hansen they would name the town after him if he moved his mercantile from Rock Creek to the new town on the railroad 7 miles north.
Population: About 850
Fun Fact: Because the city is unincorporated, Jackpot is led by an advisory board instead of a local government. Almost everything they do has to be approved by Elko County.
Population: About 300
Fun Fact: The town incorporated on March 9, 1917, but its Certificate of Municipal Incorporation was not signed by Idaho Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa until July 29, 1998.
Population: About 8,500
Fun Fact: Hailey was the home of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore throughout the 1990s.
Population: About 800
Fun Fact: Founder Joe Barlow named the city after his daughter, Hazel Barlow.
Population: About 3,000
Fun Fact: Ketchum hosts the Wagon Days parade, which according to the city's website, is the largest non-motorized parade in the Pacific Northwest.
Population: About 3,450
Fun Fact: The original settlement was known as Riverton, but the name was later changed to honor U.S. Sen. Weldon B. Heyburn of Idaho.
Between pig wrestling and the town's 2013 fire, I chose the pig wrestling to represent the city of Jerome. This image of Team Pork Slingers competing in Pig Wrestling garnered several awards in 2012 and is still one of my strongest fair features to this day.