Idaho History

The Idaho Transportation Department has been around in some form for more than 100 years. And during that time, employees have taken thousands of pictures, of everything from road projects to historical events in the Gem State. Now those pictures are going online and are free for anyone to use.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

This week, the City of Boise opens up the James Castle House to the public after three years of work on the property.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

As the City of Boise prepares to open up the James Castle House this week to the public, the workers restoring the property say they have found new work by the artist hidden behind the walls of the home.

April Mantha

Students at the College of Western Idaho have wrapped up a five-year project of mapping and recording hundreds of petroglyphs in Celebration Park near Melba.

Sam McPhee

Once in a great while, I interview an author who has more insights and ideas than can possibly be contained in a 30-minute conversation. Such was the case when I spoke with Emily Ruskovich about her debut novel, Idaho, and so we feature the second part of the interview here.

Emily Ruskovich’s novel, Idaho, begins with a family in northern Idaho who experiences an unthinkable, mysterious tragedy. Left behind is a mother of two in prison, and another woman — who barely knows her — trying to make sense of it all. It seems impossible that the two little girls who once played together in the open fields of beautiful Mt. Iris are gone.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s last independent neighborhood market is safe after two new owners pledge to preserve the local hub and carry on a legacy spanning a century.

Dave Crawforth / Preservation Idaho

Every year, the nonprofit group Preservation Idaho puts on its Heritage Home Tour, spotlighting unique neighborhoods around Boise. This Sunday’s 15th annual tour takes us to the Randolph Robertson neighborhood on the Bench.

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The building housing one of Boise's last true neighborhood markets is for sale. Southeast Boise’s Roosevelt Market has been a community fixture for nearly 120 years.

Matt Hintsa / Flickr Creative Commons

If you're new to Idaho, you may wonder how some Gem State places got their names.  Thankfully, historian and Idaho Statesman columnist Arthur Hart has you covered.

In a recent column, Hart went over the origins of a number of county names:

Kids Choir Students School
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Day, is Saturday, March 4, 2017. The day commemorates the state’s seal, symbols and history. In Boise, on the weekday prior, there was a lunchtime celebration at the State Capitol, with an official proclamation and songs by school kids. The fourth-graders of Longfellow Elementary sang "Here We Have Idaho."

Erin McClure

Stepping through the Roosevelt Market's front door in Boise is like going back in time. Back to an age when free-standing markets and their regular casts of characters created cultural hubs for neighborhoods. Customers walked to buy groceries, greeted familiar faces, and charged purchases to their family's account. None of this has changed for the East End's beloved market -- not even the charge accounts.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A Halloween activity growing in popularity is that of cemetery tours. These guided tours are designed not only to provide a little scare, but usually include a lot of history about the cemetery and the people buried there.

Preservation Idaho, which works to preserve historic sites in the state, is hosting a tour Sunday of Boise's Cloverdale Cemetery. It’s known for its resident swans and a group of reindeer which live on the premises.

Diane Simmons

A new book chronicles the bizarre true story of a Boise woman who became the victim of a bigamist who traveled around the West after World War II. The man, it seems, had a penchant for marrying, and then leaving, young women.

Preservation Idaho

Boise is known as the City of Trees, and one man had a lot to do with that title. Walter Pierce planted 7,000 trees in Boise. One of the neighborhoods he built, and some of his trees, will be part of a tour this weekend.

Walter Pierce was a land locator and surveyor in the late 1800s. When he started a business in Boise in 1890 he platted several Boise neighborhoods, including Elm Grove Park west of Harrison Boulevard in the North End.

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