New Plymouth A Colony Town

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From "200 Years in the Making"
Highlighting Malheur, Payette, Washington, Owyhee and Baker County History in Idaho
Malheur Publishing Co. (Publishers of the Daily Argus Observer)
Bicentennial Edition, 1976, Page 1788

New Plymouth was perhaps the only town in the western United States which was planned before it was settled!

At least historians feel it is the only town platted in the shape of a double horseshoe.

A colony town, The Plymouth a Society of Chicago held a meeting in the Sherman House April 5, 1895, and a committee was selected to go to the irrigated Payette Valley to choose a site and make plans for the Plymouth Colony.

The location selected was in southwestern Idaho in what has become Payette County. The committee surveyed a town site they called New Plymouth Farm Village.

Incorporated as The New Plymouth Colony Co., Ltd., February, 1896, it was capitalized at $60,442 and each colonist purchased 20 shares of stock at $30 per share. This entitled him to 20 acres of land and a lot in town. The land was still to be cleared and planted in the company preferred the crop to be apples.

Acre tracts around the horseshoe were established as residential lots with homes to be built on the street side and the rest of each plot for a garden and pasture. The family cow and the team of horses needed that pasture!

Even incorporated in the planning was an 80 foot wide park about 1 mile in length (around three sides of the horseshoe) to be planted to trees and grass as a playground for the children.

First governed by colony directors, the village incorporated in 1908 and became officially known as New Plymouth, Idaho.

Once principally a fruit growing area, it now features diversified farming with sweet corn, potatoes, sugar beets, onions, hay and seed grown. Beef and dairy cattle are raised in the area.

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