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Shoshone () is the county seat and largest city of Lincoln County, Idaho, United States. The population was 1,461 at the 2010 census. In contrast to the Shoshone Native American tribe for which it is named, the city's name is correctly pronounced "Show-shown", with a silent "e".
Founded in 1882 during the construction of the Oregon Short Line, Shoshone has long been considered the main railroad station in south central Idaho's Magic Valley region. The much larger community of Twin Falls 26 miles (42 km) to the south never developed a strong railroad presence due to the logistical issues presented by its location south of the Snake River Canyon. For many years, Shoshone was the only Amtrak stop in south central Idaho.
The Union Pacific Railroad opened the Sun Valley resort in 1936 (and owned it until 1964), and its pre-existing spur route to Ketchum connected here. The spur first headed northeast, following today's US 93, to Richfield and Tikura, then peeled northwest to Picabo and on to Bellevue, Hailey, and Ketchum, so the distance was greater than today's more direct 55-mile (90 km) drive north on Highway 75.
About 15 miles (25 km) north of Shoshone are the Shoshone Ice Caves, hollow subterranean lava tubes that stay cool enough for the ice inside them to remain frozen throughout the summer. In the days before refrigeration, this feature, coupled with the railroad, made Shoshone popular with travelers as "the only place for hundreds of miles where one could get a cold beer."
Today, Shoshone still has one bar, but also boasts a cafe, a movie theater, and a grocery store—unusual for such a small town. While limited retail jobs exist, Shoshone is primarily a farming and dairy community.
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