© 2022 Boise State Public Radio

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact us at boisestatepublicradio@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-3663.
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Preserving The History Of Erma Hayman, A Longtime Black Resident In Boise

via Boise Arts & History Department
Erma Hayman was born in Nampa in 1907 and lived much of her life in Boise's River Street Neighborhood. It was one of the only areas where Black people could purchase a home.


Have you heard of Erma Hayman? The Boisean lived a long and influential life, much of it spent in the historic River Street Neighborhood. Hayman, who was Black, was a leader in the community until her death at the age of 102 in 2009. The neighborhood was one of the only places in the capital city where Black people were able to live in the 1940s due to racist redlining policies and housing discrimination. 

Now, her legacy is living on as the City of Boise works to preserve her home in downtown even as the neighborhood undergoes rapid change. Idaho Matters learns more about Hayman's life from Brandi Burns and Rachel Reichert of the city's Arts and History Department, along with Shannon McGuire from the citizen task force overseeing the Hayman House project.

Credit Boise Arts & History Department
The Hayman House is located at 617 Ash Street in downtown Boise.

Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters


Frankie Barnhill is the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast. She's always interested in hearing surprising and enlightening stories about life in the West. Have an idea for Idaho Matters? Drop her a line!