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The History of Buhl

From Idaho for the Curious: A Guide by Cort Conley

The eastern capitalist Frank Buhl came west from Sharon, Pennsylvania, to Salt Lake City in 1901 to examine a mining property that interested him. On learning it had already been sold, he decided to investigate a proposed irrigation development in southern Idaho, the Twin Falls South Side Project.

I. B. Perrine met Mr. Buhl at the train depot in Shoshone and introduced him to Peter Kimberly and Stanley Milner. Buhl and Kimberly formed the corporation that accomplished the project.

The townsite of Buhl was platted in 1905, and the Twin Falls Investment Co. sold lots at Broadway and Main Street for $1,750 each, in April, 1906. The location qualified as a village two years later; Buhl is now the second-largest town in Twin Falls County.

In 1927 a condensed milk company located here. Milk products still represent a major factor in the town’s economy.

In 1928 Jack and Selma Tingey came north from Utah to start the area’s first commercial trout farm at the springs north of the Snake River, six miles from Buhl. Tingey was the former commissioner of the Utah Fish and Game Department; his business was the forerunner of an enterprise that now employs local residents in the raising and processing of 25 million pounds of trout annually.

A sixteen-mile side trip to the regionally-famous Balanced Rock can be made from Buhl; drive south from the south end of Broadway four miles toward Castleford, then west six miles to that town. At the outskirts turn north off Castleford Road onto 900 East Road one mile, then west on 3700 North Road four miles to an area where the road drops into a canyon of basalt formations which gave Castleford its name, and crosses Salmon Falls Creek. One-half mile west of the creek, the mushroom rock can be seen in silhouette against the northern skyline (the base of the forty-foot-high rock has been reinforced with concrete).

As US 30 extends east from Buhl it passes [one] of the more oustanding barns left in the state. [At 1703E 4000N] across the intersection on the east side of the road, stands the monumental Kunze Barn...built by Schick. Apparently it is the largest barn of its age in the state.

The structure was built in 1911 for Gustave Kunze, a Pennsylvania-German cheesemaker who had established a factory in Tillamook, Oregon, in 1891. His Idaho Clover Leaf Cheese factory was located in the wooden building, now used as a granary, visible east of the barn. Kunze had over 100 cows in his dairy herd; the large transept that extends behind the barn was built in 1916 when milk inspectors stipulated that horses must be stalled in quarters separate from those for dairy cows.