Goshen—Spotlight City

Pretty Darn Friendly

By Geraldine Mathias

A large brass sign installed by the Boy Scouts some years ago that welcomes visitors to Goshen declares it to be the “Most Friendliest Place on Earth.” The scouts’ grammar notwithstanding, it just might be true, once you get to know the people.

I first became acquainted with Goshen because my quilter friend, Shirley Wilson, lives a couple of miles away from the cluster of homes and the church that would make up the townsite, if it were a town. It is not and never has been incorporated,  although it once had a post office. It’s not exactly on the beaten path, but that’s okay with the area’s four hundred or so residents.

Six miles northeast of Firth off Highway 91 on Goshen Road, this primarily farming area huddles against the foothills of the Blackfoot Mountains. Most of that range is private property, including the range’s tallest peak, Taylor Mountain, which is why a forty-unit wind farm is going up near Goshen—because on private land, it can.

When I decided to explore Goshen, Shirley gave me a list of phone numbers of folks who have longevity in the area. I called and called and called. But like many people in this day and age, including me, the area’s residents apparently are cautious about strangers who leave phone messages. No one called back except Bart (Barlow) Cook, who was busy with haying at the time, but he responded to my message right off. Bart said he’d be happy to talk when hay and spuds were done.

One bright October Saturday, I drove there from my home in Blackfoot to take photos, in case the weather turned before I was able to schedule in-person interviews. On the lookout for older homes and buildings, maybe from early settler days, I stopped at one interesting house and asked if I could take a picture. The woman who answered the door was congenial and helpful. She said I was at the home of Bart and Merralee Cook and invited me in.

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Geraldine Mathias

About Geraldine Mathias

Geraldine Mathias is a retired English teacher masquerading as a pet butler, who tries to write while attempting daily to make order out of the chaos in her household of two cats, one dog, and a retired spouse. She likes to drink coffee and watch the sunrise from the deck of the cabin on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, and bakes when the mood strikes.

4 Responses to Goshen—Spotlight City

  1. Christina Christensen - Reply


    I enjoyed your story about Goshen. My husband’s grandfather Joseph Niela Christensen and his brother Hyrum came from Hyrum, Utah and lived in a wagon while they cleared sagebrush on their farms in the summer and in the winter they cut blocks of ice from the Snake River and sold it. Joseph’s wife ran the post office from her home while her husband was on a mission for the LDS Church. She had three children at the time. Joseph donated the ground for the cemetery and the church. I have lived in Goshen for almost 63 years in a house that was built in 1900. My husband, Wendell Kent Christensen, was a farmer and we raised five children here. I’ve seen lots of changes over the years, some good and some bad, but it is still the friendliest place on earth.

  2. Blain Crezee - Reply


    Very interesting. I am from Firth Idaho but now live in Farmington New Mexico. Some of my family still live in the area of Firth and Basalt. We visit once a year but now mother and father are gone that will probably change. Thank you so much for the historical information
    Sincerely Blain

  3. Karen Frandsen Hill - Reply


    Nice story. A couple of minor inaccuracies but I liked reading it. I grew up in Goshen and cherish my memories of home

  4. Scott - Reply


    I live in Goshen, and it’s nice to get to know more of the history behind it. The man that I would talk to about the town history passed away a bit over a year ago. He owned the house with the general store until he passed.

    The sign may say the friendliest place on earth, but nobody in the town has talked to me in about a year. It would be nice if the town was the same as it used to be.

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