Today it was suppose to be an easy 4.5 hour drive to Idaho, but four miles of I-15 was closed and I did not receive the memo. We spent an hour going 4 MPH until we reached the spot where everyone was being diverted off I-15 through some small town and then spent another hour making our way winding through a small town. All this added two hours to our drive. We ended up at a VERY small town that only had one motel, most likely built in the 1950’s. We stayed there because we were dead tired and just so we could appreciate the other motels we stay at a little more.
Today, Saturday, 6 July, we arrived in Boise, Idaho for Julieann’s visit to the Boise Temple. She had already visited this temple a few years ago, but we were here so…..
When she finished that visit we drove 28 miles down the road to Meridian so she could visit that temple. As I said, she’s been to the Boise temple before, but the Meridian is new; it wasn’t even built when we were here three years ago. She’s happy and I'm ready to check into another motel --- it's nap time.
And now, it is time for your history lesson (or just skip it if you’re not interested. We aim to please just about everyone.)
Meridian is a city located in Ada County in the U.S. state of Idaho. Meridian is considered the state's fastest-growing city and among the fastest-growing cities in the United States. With a 2018 Census estimate of 106,804 and a 1,000 percent increase in population since 1990, the city is currently estimated as the second largest in the state.
The town was established in 1891 on the Onweiler farm north of the present site and was called Hunter. The original Meridian town site was filed in 1893 on homestead grant land belonging to Eliza Ann Zenger. Her husband, Christian, filed the plat with county officials and called it Meridian. The early settlers, many of whom were relatives, left their homes in Missouri to go west, either by wagon, train or immigrant railroad car, bringing their lodge and church preferences with them. They established local institutions soon after arriving and filed for homestead lands.
Around the start of the 20th century, settlers established fruit orchards and built fruit packing businesses and prune dryers along the railroad tracks. Local orchards produced many varieties of apples and Italian prunes. Production continued through the mid-1940s, when it was no longer profitable and the businesses closed. In 1941, Meridian's status changed from a village to a city.
The lowest days of the Great Depression brightened for area dairymen when the Ada County Dairymen's cooperative creamery began operation in 1929. It provided milk checks to those who were members of the cooperative, enabling them to pay their taxes and provide food for their families. Other community members hauled milk to the creamery and were employed by the creamery, whose product was Challenge Butter. The creamery ran 7 days a week for 40 years. Additions and improvements were made while the plant was in full operation. Later years saw the Wyeth Laboratories affiliate with the creamery to manufacture SMA baby formula. After the creamery ceased local operations in 1970, the dairymen shipped their milk to the Caldwell creamery for processing.
The intent to built the Meridian Idaho Temple was announced on April 4, 2011. The temple's groundbreaking was held on August 23, 2014. A public open house was held from October 21 through November 11, 2017 and the temple was dedicated on November 19, 2017.
The temple's design incorporates seismic standards above the code requirements, including its exterior cladding. The cladding is connected to the steel frame so that it discharges energy through a rocking motion and acts like a buffer in the event of an earthquake. The temple interior includes marble quarried from Egypt, Italy, and Spain. According to the church, the temple's design includes the syringa (Idaho' state flower) and golds, blues and greens in the wool rugs and stained glass, reflecting Idaho harvest and nature.
After Julieann visited the two temples in Boise/Meridian we didn’t have much to do so I went looking for something I had read about. A giant (fake) potato is a 6-ton structure that was created to promote spuds while being driven across the US, sitting on a trailer. Since it was decommissioned it has been turned into a “room” that you can rent on Airbnb for $247 a night. Though the outside looks like a dirt-crusted tater you might yank from a five-pound sack, the accommodations within are actually, well, kinda nice? The interior is about as roomy as one would anticipate, but it manages to fit a queen-size bed, a little coffee nook, and even a bathroom. In short, it's not the worst potato you could stay in. The giant potato home comes with air conditioning, essential toiletries, and an indoor fireplace.
I wanted to visit it and take a couple of pictures, but you have to actually reserve and pay for a night before you’re told its actual location. I do know that it is resting on 400 acres of good ol’ Idaho farmland, just south of downtown Boise, but I could not find the actual address or location. Anyhow, I “borrowed” a few photos of the Spud for your viewing pleasure.