Idaho History

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.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Barbara Perry Bauer likes to use the line from the movie The Sixth Sense, “I see dead people.” But she doesn’t mean it literally. This local historian is obsessed with the people and places that shaped Boise. Lately, she’s been seeing a lot of ghosts of groceries past in the North End neighborhood.

Karen Day

A new “commercial hybrid” film takes viewers on a visual journey of Idaho, covering hundreds of miles of landscape and history. “Destination Idaho” will be shown for free Tuesday night in Boise.

Idaho filmmaker Karen Day says her 65 minute travelogue took her all over the state, from Boise to Wallace to Priest Lake.

She funded the film with public and private partners, from Shore Lodge to the National Park Service, to the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. Her plan was to use history and visuals to inspire people to visit the Gem State.

Mary Hallock Foote

It was an Idaho controversy more than one hundred years in the making. And one playwright is bringing the story to the stage Saturday in Boise.

The story begins in the 1880’s. Mary Hallock Foote lived in Boise with her husband as he tried to build a canal system. She later wrote about her time in Idaho and the West in letters and prose. Almost 100 years later, a famous author used her words and her story, without giving her any recognition. That sparked a controversy over what constitutes plagiarism that lingers to this day.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Archives

If you haven’t heard of FDR’s hour-and-a-half stop in Boise on September 27, 1937, you probably aren’t alone. It was the first and only time he visited the city.

 

Almost 80 years later, there’s a local effort to have the visit formally commemorated. 

The president and his wife arrived by train that morning after a stop in Pocatello the night before and would go on from Boise to dedicate the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River. But before they did, they got in an open-roof motorcade and cruised the streets of Boise. 

National Life Group

Wallace, Idaho was once one of the largest and most prosperous towns in the state. Situated beside Interstate 90 west of Coeur d'Alene and less than 100 miles from the Canadian border, the old mining town boomed around the turn of the 20th century. At its height, Wallace miners produced the most silver in the country, earning it the nickname "Silver Capital of the World."

Wikimedia Commons

Members of Boise State’s Osher Institute Tuesday heard lectures linking Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch-hunts of the 1950s to Idaho. History writer Marc Johnson connected the dots between McCarthy and two Idaho elections.

AP

Anyone who knows 20th century American history knows about Senator Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for Communists in the U.S. And anyone who knows about Idaho history and politics knows about Democratic Senator Frank Church. But what you may not know is that McCarthy's fall contributed to Church's rise.

That’s the theory Marc Johnson is presenting during two lectures Tuesday at Boise State’s Osher Institute. Johnson is a former journalist, adviser to Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus and a long-time behind-the-scenes political player. Now he writes about Idaho and U.S. history.

Henry Whiting II

Nestled in the Hagerman Valley sits the only structure in Idaho designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Known as Teater’s Knoll, this artist retreat was built in 1952.

L.J. Krumenacker

New research shows that horse-sized, T-Rex-like dinosaurs roamed southern Idaho 100 million years ago. This discovery shows Idaho was home to more types of dinosaurs than previously thought.

Paleontologist L.J. Krumenacker has been digging up dinosaurs in Idaho for more than a decade. But in the past, scientists have mostly found small burrowing dinosaurs.

Working with a team of Montana State University paleontologists, Krumenacker found the teeth and small bones of three types of theropods, the family of animals that includes Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Leah Acevez / College of Western Idaho

Students at the College of Western Idaho are entering the next phase of their project of documenting rock art in the Snake River Basin outside of Melba. The Anthropology Club is going from the field to cyberspace to bring petroglyphs to researchers around the world.

Idaho State Historical Society

When you think of Boise, what names come to mind? That’s the question two local historians asked themselves as they wrote a book about Boise's highest profile people.

J.R. Simplot, Julia Davis, Joe Albertson, Curtis Stigers and Kristin Armstrong are just some of those profiled in the new book, “Legendary Locals of Boise.”

Historians Elizabeth Jacox and Barbara Perry Bauer own TAG Historical Research and Consulting. Jacox says their book covers a wide variety of people.

Friends and family of Idaho folksinger Rosalie Sorrels are raising money for a tribute album to honor her work as a musician.

“This album will be a tribute to her and her long career in folk music,” says Rick Ardinger, the Director of the Idaho Humanities Council and friend of Sorrels.

Sorrels spent more than six decades keeping folk music alive. Ardinger says he first saw her perform in the 1970s when he was a student at Idaho State University and she played in a coffeehouse.

Randy Craig / Idaho Fish and Game

Idaho’s largest fire this year burned 279,144 acres in the southwest corner of the state. That figure is from a list released over the weekend that details the Soda Fire’s impacts. The list has numbers on nearly 30 items, including 592 miles of fences burned and 68 golden eagle nests destroyed. It also says 16 cultural sites eligible for the National Register of Historic Places were burned.

Idaho State Historical Society

The University of Idaho is set to open its new law center at the renovated Old Ada County Courthouse later this summer. But university officials want to cover up a controversial mural depicting the hanging of a Native American by white settlers. Historians, though, don't want that to happen. 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Frank Eld has made saving historic buildings his life’s work; he started after college in 1969. The historian and preservationist founded the Long Valley Preservation Society, a non-profit group that has saved much of the tiny town of Roseberry in Valley County.

If all goes according to plan, Eld will get to watch a house in Boise's Central Addition move from downtown to an empty lot on the East End Tuesday at midnight.

The Idaho Statesman

Hay fields, vegetable gardens, and slot machines: There are several milestones that mark the timeline of tiny Garden City. This four mile burg, surrounded by much larger cities like Boise, has had a stop-and-start history.

The early history of Garden City is hard to come by. We do know the land caught the eye of the U.S. Army in 1863; Idaho historian Susan Stacy says that’s when soldiers came to the Treasure Valley to build Fort Boise. And with the Army came hungry horses.

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