Payette was originally settled as a railroad camp in the 1860’s and originally named “Boomerang”. Logs were floated down the Payette river to the sawmills at the camp to produce railroad ties. After completion of the railroad, the settlement moved upstream to its present site and incorporated in 1891 as “Payette,” in honor of François Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper and one of the first white men to explore the area. He arrived in present-day Idaho from Astoria and was later the head of the Fort Boise trading post for the British Hudson’s Bay Company.
Payette County was created in 1917, after it was partitioned from Canyon County, with the city of Payette becoming the county seat. The county is comprised of three towns: The city of Payette, Fruitland, and New Plymouth.
Payette is located within easy driving distance to spectacular scenery, recreational opportunities including fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, and golfing, and has over 67 acres of parks and greenbelt to enjoy.
Geographically, Payette is located in Southwest Idaho in an area known as the western Treasure Valley, separated from Fruitland by the Payette River and bordered by Washington County to the north and Ontario, Oregon to the west, across the Snake River. There are approximately 407 sq. miles in Payette County, making it the smallest Idaho county by area. Payette County sits at an elevation of 2,147 feet above sea level.
According to the 2010 census, Payette (zip code 83661) has a population of 9,881 and Fruitland (zip code 83619) has 7,201.
Here in the western Treasure Valley, we enjoy a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons that include cold, moist winters and hot, dry summers. The average high temperature is 65 degrees and the average low is 38.7 degrees. The average temperature in July is 90.8 degrees and the average in January is 19.5 degrees. Payette County averages 11.6 inches of precipitation annually.