Arco, Idaho

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United States > Idaho > Butte County > Arco, Idaho

Quick Facts

Former name

Geographic location

City Hall

Arco City

190 East Grand Avenue

Arco, ID 83213

(208) 527-8975




Church History and Records

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



Roman Catholic


The Idaho State Archives in Boise has a collection of city, county, regional and state directories.

Funeral Homes


When the town of Arco was formed in 1901 it was known first as Root Hog. Root Hog moved its borders to place the town at the intersection of two stagecoach routes that crossed Idaho. The town leaders applied to the U.S. Post Office for the town name of "Junction" for obvious reasons.(Junction of 26/20/93)
With a name that common and widely used the postmaster suggested that the place be named Arco for Georg von Arco (1869-1940) of Germany who was visiting Washington, D.C. at the time. (This is not a set in stone fact and can be disputed) Georg von Arco was an inventor and a pioneer in the field of radio transmission and would become the lead engineer of Telefunken, a German company founded in 1903 that produced radio vacuum tubes.

Arco was the first community in the world ever to be lit by electricity generated by nuclear power. This occurred on July 17, 1955. On that date electricity generated by EBR-1 was fed over the lines serving Arco, producing approximately 2,000 kilowatts of electrical power for about 1 hour. This was done at the nearby "National Reactor Testing Station" (NRTS), which is now the Idaho National Laboratory. NRTS made further history on January 3, 1961, when the SL-1 reactor melted down, causing three deaths. It was the world's first (and the U.S.' only) fatal reactor accident. 52 nuclear reactors were built in the years following. Several thousand people are employed and this helps support the surounding cities.


Military History and Records




Arco Advertiser
1463 Front St.
Arco, ID 83213
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 803
Arco, ID 83213
Ph. 208-527-3038
email -


Copies of issues of newspapers are in the collections of the Idaho State Archives in Boise.


School Records