History of Boise, Idaho- The City of Trees Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

The land that would become Boise, Idaho, is thought to have been discovered by a group of French Canadian fur trappers. In the 19th century, these explorers looked over Bonneville Point and were immediately impressed with the land's expanse of trees. Today, the city is still commonly referred to as "The City of Trees."

Ada County IdahoFort Boise was established in 1834 about 40 miles from where the city of Boise stands today. The location was chosen for convenience; it was situated at the mouth of the Boise River. Unfortunately, trouble with the local Native Americans prompted the military to abandon the original fort location.

A new fort location along the Oregon Trail was chosen, shortly after gold was discovered in the area in 1862. The lure of gold and the protection of the military attracted settlers to the Fort next to the town. As well, the Oregon Trail, a popular route running from Missouri to Oregon, brought many travelers through the area, increasing the need for trade and services in the town.

Boise was incorporated as a city within the Idaho Territory in 1864. At that time, the existing capital of the territory was Lewiston, but many believed Boise was a more desirable choice for the capital. A resolution was drafted to switch the capital to Boise in December of the same year.

The city's population contracted somewhat after the gold rush, but progress continued throughout the second half of the 19th century. Notable development projects of that era include the completion of the Capitol Building and a streetcar system. Idaho became a state in 1890 and Boise was again declared its capital. At that time, the city's population was about 88,000.

By 1910, the population continued to swell and the infrastructure was in need of expansion. The next year, construction was started on the Arrowrock Dam, which would be the tallest facility of its kind until 1932. Arrowrock was listed on the National Historic Register in 1976.

Boise built its first airport in 1926 and then expanded to a new facility in 1936. The larger facility, called Gowen Field, was leased by the Army Air Corps and used as a training base for the crews of B-17s and B-24s during World War II. After the war ended, the Idaho National Guard leased Gowen Field from the city and continues to use the site today.

Posted by tlangford at 10/26/2010 12:31:00 PM
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