Wendell, Idaho Hub City of Magic Valley

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City of Wendell, ID Community Profile (Infographic)

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The town site of Wendell was chosen for the vast expanse of grass where sagebrush had been burned off by wildfire several years earlier. When the town site was surveyed, W.S. Kuhn named it after his 15 year old son, Wendel Speer Kuhn. No one knows when the town was named “Wendell” but when the village was dedicated in Lincoln County in July 1908, it was spelled with two “L”s. The town was laid out in July 1907 with certain blocks set aside for schools and parks. Main Street was plotted east and west, but the town grew along Idaho Street, south toward the railroad tracks.

13566928_1148500401859093_809019946357776947_nWendell is a very small city located in the state of Idaho. With a population of 2,744 people and just one neighborhood, Wendell is the 49th largest community in Idaho.  The Wendell area offers a variety of services catering to local and agricultural demands including: restaurants, bars, hair salons, gas stations, and a RV park. Also available: a hardware & lumber store, grocery/sporting goods store, garden nursery, banking services, laundromats, auto parts, licensed day cares, sandwich shop, coffee shop, fast-food drive-thru, real estate agencies, car wash, movie kiosks, churches, and mortuary services.

Wendell offers health services consisting of two medical clinics, dentist office, and a volunteer QRU service. At the present time, ambulance service is provided out of Gooding, 10 miles to the north.

Wendell Senior Citizens Center, located at 105 West Avenue A, provides one meal weekly at minimal cost. The number of seniors attending the Monday noon meal fills their present facility to capacity.

The Wendell school system has three components: an elementary school, a middle school, and a  high school. Its sports teams are nicknamed the Trojans. In 2005, Wendell Middle School was awarded the Idaho Education Award by the State of Idaho.

Things to Do In or Around Wendell, ID
Magic Valley Dairy Days & The Show and Shine Car Show

Every year Wendell, Idaho hosts “Magic Valley Dairy Days” in early June. For over twenty years the residents of Magic Valley have celebrated the importance and impact of the dairy industry on our region through Magic Valley Dairy Days in Wendell. The Show and Shine car show also takes place at the park during Magic Valley Dairy Days.  Join everyone in celebrating as they continue this tradition!  Location: Wendell City Park, Wendell Idaho. The following video is credited to KMVT and highlights last year’s program.

Things to Do In or Around Wendell, ID
Niagara Springs State Park

To the south of Wendell on your way to Buhl, Idaho there is a beautiful picnic and camping area that is part of the Thousand Springs Park System called Niagara Springs State Park.

For more information click HERE.

Things to Do In or Around Wendell, ID
Ritter Island

Another component to the Thousand Springs Park System is Ritter Island. It is also considered to be a part of the fabric that makes up the Wendell community.

The first recorded history of Ritter Island began with the arrival of French trappers in the 1800s. In 1918, a Salt Lake businesswoman by the name of Minnie Miller purchased the island. She set up what was then a state-of-the-art dairy. She planned to breed the best Guernsey cattle on earth, and she succeeded. The island still features Miller’s buildings. During the festival, people tour the old-fashioned dairy facilities while scientists and local dairy farmers educate the public about the modern dairy industry, which is a mainstay of the Magic Valley economy, adding approximately $200,000 to the westend’s economy during the last weeklend of each September.

In 1954 a federal judge by the name of Willis W. Ritter purchased the island and used it as a private hunting reserve. Then in 1986 The Nature Conservancy purchased the property, which includes two miles of river front. The Conservancy maintained it as a wildlife preserve until the organization gifted it to the state of Idaho in 2007. The island is now part of the Thousand Springs State Park complex and is maintained with money from a trust the Conservancy gave to the state of Idaho, along with fundraising efforts such as the Thousand Springs Festival of the Arts at Ritter Island.

A ride out to Ritter Island takes you to a beautiful place to kayak, fish, have a picnic lunch and enjoy the quiet serenity of the river.  There are lots of birding opportunities on the island as well as many other locations near Wendell, ID like … The Eagle Tree.

Things to Do In or Around Wendell, ID
Eagle Tree at West Point Service
(article credit Andrew Weeks, Magicvalley.com)

Every winter day at sunset, bald eagles come to roost in a large cottonwood tree just outside a small cafe and store along West Point Road.

Passers-by stop to watch the birds. Others, who’ve been by here before, bring their cameras. Those who see the eagle-filled tree for the first time are surprised by how many they find.  “We thought maybe they were crows. Then I got up there and saw one,” said Wally Bernard of Twin Falls. He and his wife, Wanda, were passing through recently on their way home from Wendell when they noticed the tree.

“We’d never seen anything like that before,” he said, noting they counted 53 birds.

Jeannine Arredondo, owner of West Point Service, said she’s counted more than 100 birds during the coldest part of the season.  The birds have been coming to the tree for years, but more so during the past four years, Arredondo said. They start gathering in early December and stay around until about mid-March. Though there are other trees in the area, they seem to like best the largest of the bunch that sits northwest of the store.

Restaurant staff as the West End Service restaurant say the eagles usually arrive around 5:30PM and stay the night till about 8AM in the morning.  Don’t forget to try out the West End’s delicious fare while you eagle watch – you won’t be dissappointed!



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