Latitude / Longitude:
43° 27′ 54″ N, 114° 15′ 24″ W
5,167 ft (1,575 m)
Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
Bellevue is a city in Blaine County in the central part of the U.S. state of Idaho. The population was 2,287 at the 2010 census, up from 1,876 in 2000. It is located in the Wood River Valley, about 18 miles (29 km) south of the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley. The city of Hailey and the Friedman Memorial Airport are a few miles north of Bellevue. The Big Wood River flows near downtown. The Bellevue Historic District and the Henry Miller House are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bellevue area was explored by fur trader Alexander Ross in 1824.
Bellevue was settled and chartered in 1882. The city is located on a mile-wide plateau noted for its rich soil suitable for fruit growing. The nearby lands are also rich with resources, and Bellevue grew as a mining town. Between 1881 and the 1893 crash of the silver market, the mines near Bellevue produced more than $60 million worth of silver, lead and gold. Some of Bellevue’s mines included Keystone, Palmas, Antelope, Big Camus, Phoenix, Paymaster, Silver Tide, and Monday Mine. The community soon had two newspapers, The Bellevue Daily Sun and The Bellevue Chronicle. In 1880, the Bellevue M.E. Church was established, as was Bellevue IOOF Lodge No. 9. The International Hotel was built at Main and Oak, and could accommodate 75 guests. A mining smelter was also constructed. From 1889 to 1895, it was the county seat of Logan County, Idaho. A devastating fire engulfed the city’s business district in 1905, started when the Seymour Saloon’s bartender lit a match to investigate a gasoline leak. Then in 1957, windows in Bellevue were shattered and the city was rocked when 8 tons of dynamite and 56 rounds of artillery shells accidentally detonated at a mine west of the city.
The Wood River Rock Festival took place in 1971 in nearby Slaughterhouse Gulch. The festival was plagued by faulty sound equipment, cold weather, inadequate facilities, poor attendance, and grasshoppers. Eight people were arrested for drug possession, and three for drunk driving. Local farmer Dave Markham lost his llama ‘Dagwood’ to mountain lions in 1998, while another local farmer Bill Sherbine was named Idaho Barley Grower of the Year in 2004, and received $500 and a trip to the Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado. In 2003, Bellevue was the location of the Murder of Diane and Alan Scott Johnson. Then in 2012, Bellevue’s Mayor Jon Anderson committed a murder-suicide, killing his ex-wife and then himself. In 2009, Bellevue’s City Clerk, Lacey Ann Loughmiller, was sentenced to 180 days in jail after being convicted of embezzling almost $14,000 from the city.