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The city was named after Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon. The area that is now Jerome County was first settled in 1864 by Mormon pioneers who were sent to colonize Idaho Territory. In 1884, a railroad line from Blackfoot to Twin Falls reached the future site of Jerome and settlers began moving into the area. A townsite company laid out lots for sale and platted streets; it also built a hotel on Main Street which still stands today as an apartment building (the Hotel Belmont). In 1889, gold was discovered at nearby Silver City which brought miners flooding into what would become known as "Gold Belt". By 1900 there were 3 mining districts: Gold Belt with its center at Silver City; Centennial with its center at Centennial Gulch near present-day Eden; and Bluebird District centered around Bluebird Gulch near present-day Murphy Creek Road north of town. With three separate mining districts came three separate communities: Goldbelt (Silver City), Centennial (Centennial) and Blue Bird(Murphy Creek).