Story Behind Idaho’s Biggest Tourist Trap: The Center of the Universe
The quirky and witty reason that this became one of Idaho's biggest tourist attractions is a unique one. If you don't know the story behind how this spot in Idaho was officially dubbed Center of the Universe then it is time you learned.
Idaho's biggest tourist trap, you may have guessed the big potato hotel Airbnb, or the potato museum or craters of the moon but no. Deep in Idaho in good 'ol Wallace lays one of the most sought after Idaho destinations, maybe even one of the universes most sought after destinations.
According to atlas obscura, "The town of Wallace is four by nine blocks and has a current population of 784 citizens. But in 2004, the mayor made a proclamation: “I, Ron Garitone, Mayor of Wallace, Idaho, and all of its subjects, and being of sound body and mind, do hereby solemnly declare and proclaim Wallace to be the Center of the Universe.”
So with this Center of the Universe announcement, Mayor Ron kept going with it until it became a popular and kind of -in travel blogs and whatnot- thing.
Many asked the mayor for years and still ask town residents how they know it is the center of the universe? Residents of Wallace simply say, "prove it's not".
To mark the 'spot' there was a one of a kind manhole created marking the 'Center of the Universe'. If you are ever around Wallace Idaho it is on the corner of Bank Street and Sixth Street.
A website called Far and Wide gathered the top tourist trap in each state. There are some pretty entertaining ones for sure, but for Idaho - This was it. The Center of the Universe manhole in Wallace.