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Some of the oldest dated artifacts that have been found in North America were found near Twin Falls, Idaho at the Wilson Butte Cave. From these artifacts, it is believed that humans first inhabited the state as far back as 14,500 years ago.
Although, thousands of people passed through the state during the California Gold Rush and on the Oregon Trail, very few people actually settled there. But, 1860 brought the first of several Idaho gold rushes and by 1862 there were settlements in both the southern and northern parts of the state situated around the mining boom.
Idaho became the 43rd state of the Union on July 3, 1890. The economy in the southern part of the state began to shift toward agriculture. But, mining continued to be a very important industry in the north for several more decades. Even though some of the mines eventually closed, the state still produces more silver than any other in the country.
Most of the state is covered by the Rocky Mountains. This rugged terrain still holds some of the largest unspoiled natural areas in the nation and is an important resource of tourism. Probably best known for its production of potatoes, Idaho also profits from other crops, the beef and dairy industry, manufacturing and the great wealth of timber.
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