Idaho History

Sam McPhee

This encore interview was originally broadcast in October, 2017.

Once in a great while, an author who has more insights and ideas than can possibly be contained in a 30-minute conversation.  This is the second part of the interview with Emily Ruskovich about her debut novel, Idaho.

This encore conversation first was broadcast in October, 2017.

Emily Ruskovich's debut novel, Idaho, centers on a mysterious and shocking act that fractures the lives of an entire family, and looks at the influences and reverberations from that event covering a span of nearly 50 years.  In June 2019, the novel won the International Dublin Literary Award, one of the most prestigious honors in the industry, and the largest prize awarded to a single-work of English literature.

Hannah Gardoski / Boise State Public Radio

The Foote Park Center opens with a focus on the early pioneers of the Treasure Valley. Mary Hallock Foote and Arthur DeWint Foote came to Boise in the late 19th century to create farms across the valley. Mary Ann Arnold and Janet Worthington join the program to talk about the history of this public space.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise lawyer TJ Jones built his Victorian house 125 years ago in the Central Addition neighborhood.

“In 1893 when Jones finished his house," says current owner and occupant Frank Eld, "there was an article in the Statesman that said ‘TJ Jones has finished his house in the Central Addition…and he has a very unusual china cabinet in the dining room.’ And this is it.”

via Inciweb

Wildland firefighters continue to make progress on the Sharps Fire burning near Sun Valley, even as it makes its way further into the Sawtooth National Forest.

We Visit A Frank Lloyd Wright House In Idaho

Aug 2, 2018
Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

A one-of-a-kind house sits on what was once a barren promontory in Idaho’s Hagerman Valley. In the mid-1950s, landscape painter Archie Teater and his wife commissioned arguably the world’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design a studio for them. While in safe hands at the moment, Matt Guilhem reports the future of the studio – and other notable buildings – is far from guaranteed. Idaho Matters takes a closer look.

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.

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.

Century-Old Boise Neighborhood Market For Sale

Aug 29, 2017
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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.

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.

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