In 1909 one prognosticator at the Idaho Statesman got it right, helped, perhaps, by his neglecting to establish a timeline for his predictions. The day following the dedication of Treasure Valley’s New York Canal on February 22, 1909, an article appeared titled “Power Behind the Dam.”
“Upon even the most thoughtless the real importance of the work, completion of which was yesterday celebrated will be forced to mind when thousands of acres of additional land is brought under cultivation when Boise bounds to 150,000 population; when farms supplant great stretches of barren land and the swaddling clothes of towns in this part of the state are tossed into the rubbish heap in exchange for municipal togs.”
Boise’s population in 1909 was about 17,000, so a city of 150,000 probably seemed ludicrous. It would hit that mark in the early 1990s and today is closer to 250,000.
The progression from desert to farm to town to city was also correct. Eagle with a Hilton? Who’d have thought that in 1909 or even 1979?
Diversion Dam also supplied electricity for the valley for many years, as well as irrigation water for farmland that, in more recent decades, has grown into sprawling housing developments.
The photo of the dedication of the New York Canal diversion is courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society digital archive.