The City of Nampa [†] is located in the beautiful Treasure Valley in Southwest Idaho. It is the most populace city in Canyon County. The Area of City Impact comprises 48,851 acres and is bordered by the Boise River, the City of Caldwell, the City of Meridian, Lake Lowell and agricultural land to the south.
Nampa began its life in the early 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Granger, Wyoming, to Huntington, Oregon, which passed through Nampa. More railroad lines sprang up running through Nampa, making it a very important railroad town. Alexander and Hannah Duffes established one of the town's first homesteads, eventually forming the Nampa Land and Improvement Company with the help of their friend and co-founder, James McGee. Despite the name, many of the first settlers referred to the town as "New Jerusalem" because of the strong religious focus of its citizens. After only a year the town had grown from 15 homes to 50. As new amenities were added to the town, Nampa continued its growth and was incorporated in 1890.
Unlike most towns in that historic era with streets that ran true north and south, Nampa's historic roads ran perpendicular to the railroad tracks that traveled northwest to southeast. Farming in Nampa was dependent upon irrigation provided through a canal system developed in the early 1900's and subject to unstable the fluctuation of commodities markets. The local farming industry stabilized, with exception of market fluctuations after World War I, with the establishment of the Crescent Brewing Co. in 1907 and Amalgamated Sugar plant in 1942. In 1949, the Nampa Industrial Corporation (NIC) was formed to encourage other economic development beyond farming. By the 1970s the NIC's investment in land and facility improvements had resulted in a more diverse economy, having encouraged new businesses and industries to locate in Nampa. During this time period, residential and business development grew from the downtown grid to roads that were laid out on a NS/EW alignment away from town.
† Comprehensive Plan for the City of Nampa, 2020, www.cityofnampa.us, accessed August, 2021.