The SHPO encourages the preservation, documentation, and use of Idaho cultural resources. Idaho Stage Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) educates the public about the importance of Idaho’s cultural heritage.
Idaho’s historic, archaeological, and cultural resources represent the physical and tangible manifestations of our history; they reflect who we were, where we came from, where we are now, and help shape our outlook for the future. By protecting, preserving, and understanding these important resources, we span the past, the present, and the future, not as separate events or periods, but as an ongoi
Operating as usual
Picking up the pieces...
Items stored at ASI’s repositories can be from sites associated with notable people in Idaho’s history.
Arthur De Wint Foote (1849-1933) was a notable engineer in the west, responsible for the initial design of the New York Canal here in Idaho. Mary Hallock Foote (1847-1938), his wife, was a notable author and illustrator. The couple lived in Idaho while Arthur traveled working as a mining engineer, mine manager, and surveyor. Eventually, the couple retired to Grass Valley, California.
The pickaxe featured in this photo is from property related to the Foote couple. Artifacts in this collection span personal items, household items, food remains, to construction items.
Collection Information: Corp of Engineers
Photo Description: Rusted pickaxe head, the pickaxe is missing its handle. Pickaxe laying on white background.
I heard it on a podcast...
Listen to Outreach Historian Dan Everhart on the @oldidahopenitentiary's Behind Gray Walls podcast to learn more about the historic U.S. Assay Office, which is now home to the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office.
Photo: "Public Buildings - US Assay Office," 68-57-62, @IdahoStateArchives
Thanks for stopping by Ada County Development Services!
I am the Lorax…
We are saddened to announce that one of the beloved silver maple trees on the historic U.S. Assay Office grounds will be felled this week after 150 years. In 2021, a certified arborist performed a tree assessment on our grounds and determined that the two silver maples planted by Boise pioneers had a “moderate to high-risk” rating—with the one along Main Street noted as having advanced decay in its trunk. After the snow in early May, the tree lost another large branch and damaged the historic fence that surrounds the grounds. In light of this incident and the arborist’s report, the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) will be removing the tree due to health and safety concerns.
In a 1931 column titled “Inanimated Interviews: The Assay Office Speaks” by the Idaho Statesman, the Assay Office said--“I like those trees. They are the finest trees in Boise, lithe, graceful reaching delicate arms high into the sky. They are like poems…" and we couldn’t agree more.
The ISHS and the Foundation for Idaho History began fundraising in 2021 to restore elements of the historic landscape and introduce new amenities including an interpretive path with signage and benches. With the support of The Land Group, Inc., Idaho SHPO staff developed a project that will preserve and maintain important features of the site – including the legacy trees which shade it – while enhancing the experience of the grounds for the public. New trees will be planted to maintain our tree canopy, and historic formal planting beds will be recreated to introduce seasonal color to the site. Ornamental shrubs and planter beds along the historic fence line will be refurbished and missing street trees will be restored. While saddened to lose one of our remaining historic maples, we are committed to restoring the historic tree canopy around our National Historic Landmark.
To make a contribution to the Assay Office Landscape project visit: https://history.idaho.gov/donate/donation-payment/ and select “My donation is for: Assay Office Landscape..” To provide in-kind donations please contact Diana Burrell at 208.514.2310 or [email protected].
Glazed and confused...
Are you glazed and confused about why the Archaeological Survey of Idaho (A.S.I.) would preserve ceramic fragments?
Archaeologists use items that may be broken or discarded to understand more about places and peoples through time.
These ceramic fragments are from an old mining ghost town in Idaho. While they may seem insignificant, these ceramic fragments offer insight into the diversity of mining history in Idaho. As part of ASI’s mission to support research, these fragments can aid researchers in their understanding of Asian Americans and their role in Idaho’s mining history.
The first set of fragments is from a small cup. The floral design is hand-painted. The second set of fragments is from a bowl. This bowl features a maker’s mark on the bottom. Maker’s marks can be used to date a vessel, this is due to changes in maker’s marks over time by specific manufacturers.
Photo Description: Four ceramic fragments from a mining ghost town in Idaho. Ceramics are broken but have been photographed fitting together. The first ceramic fragments are from a small white cup. On the outside of the cup, there is a hand-painted purple flower with two different shades of green for the stem and leaves. The second ceramic fragments are from a light blue bowl. The ceramic fragments from the bowl are dirty. On the underside of the bowl, there is a dark blue ceramic maker’s mark, the mark is incomplete due to the bowl being broken.
The Union Block, located in downtown Boise on Idaho St, boasts a Romanesque Revival style. Designed by John E. Tourtellotte in 1899, and constructed in 1902 by J.W. Smith, this rough-cut sandstone building has housed a plethora of businesses. Some of these businesses included a bank, barbershop, and even a roller rink!
In the 1990s, a rehabilitation project on the Union Block began.
Brooklynn Allen selected these photos from the slide scanning and digitization project.
Photo 1: before rehabilitation
Photo 2: during rehabilitation, note the new storefronts.
The City of Boise, a Certified Local Government and preservation partner of the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office is hiring a Sr. Historic Preservation Planner. This position will oversee and perform independent, professional planning work to promote and regulate the preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic structures within the city. This preservation professional will assist property owners and design professionals in the planning and permitting process within the city’s historic districts. In addition, this role will provide professional and technical assistance to the Historic Preservation Commission.
As a Certified Local Government (CLG), Boise has shown a commitment to historic preservation for 40 years. They have done this by adopting a local ordinance, creating a historic preservation commission, and promoting historic preservation priorities. The CLG program is a dynamic partnership between local governments, the SHPO, and the National Park Service. It assists local communities in preserving their unique historic character and provides technical assistance and small grants to local governments. The CLG program gives local communities a more active level of participation in the National Register of Historic Places program and a greater say in any federally funded projects in their area.
Photo: O'Rouark House, 1710 E. Warmsprings Ave., 1957
Notes from a Know-It-All...
Do you follow us on Instagram? If you don't, then you are missing out on our fabulous new series "Notes from a Know-It-All" on Instagram Reels.
Watch this reel by idahoshpo on Instagram Idaho SHPO posted on Instagram: “Notes from a Know-it-all with Dan Everhart Episode: Son of a Preacher Man Weiser, Idaho …” • See all of @idahoshpo's photos and videos on their profile.
The items we leave behind, tell a story. Not only do items show where people have lived, but they offer a glimpse into our lives. Objects show what activities or work was done, what kind of foods were eaten, or what kind of clothes were worn.
Have you ever asked where these artifacts are stored?
Let’s dig into the Archaeological Survey of Idaho (A.S.I)!
ASI manages the long-term conservation and preservation of archaeological and archival records. ASI is comprised of three regional repositories across Idaho. The Idaho State Historical Society manages one of these repositories. Artifacts relating to culture and history are stored by different Archaeological Survey of Idaho repositories for research and education purposes.
Along with managing repositories, ASI establishes standards for research, education, and outreach through access to collections and educational programming. Items stored offer researchers the opportunity to access information acquired from stored collections.
For more information on ASI and Idaho Repositories visit https://history.idaho.gov/archaeology-historic-sites/asi/
Photo Description: Rusted shovel with partial handle fragment. Shovelhead has rivets affixing shovel blade to the collar and handle. The shovel is in long-term curation with the Western Repository. This shovel is from a mining ghost town in Idaho.
Collection Information: Sawtooth Research, 1964
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Advancing Idaho's early learning profession & advocating for children & families. Our vision is to see all children thrive wherever they play, learn & grow
Follow the leader style dance exercises. 60 minutes of carefully chosen music and songs, this class
The University of Idaho Integrated Design Lab in Boise [IDL] is dedicated to the development of high-performing energy efficient buildings in the Intermountain West.
guiding the physical, social/emotional, and cognitive development of each child www.vistamontessori.net
Most over-the-air viewers and cable customers can experience the quality of Idaho Public Television programs on five free digital broadcast channels. We are Idaho's PBS affiliate. Find information and schedule grids for all channels at idahoptv.org.
Community Printmaking Studio & Workshop 530 W Myrtle St, Boise, ID 83702
The Morrison Knudsen Nature Center offers a one-of-a-kind fish and wildlife experience on a 4.6-acre site along the Boise River Greenbelt near downtown Boise. The Nature Center's stream walk and education building provide a glimpse of Idaho.
Cashmere knit wear designer and knitting machine teacher.
Giraffe Laugh provides early childhood education and nurturing by ensuring school readiness, empowering families and building strong futures.
Boise Rock School--come rock with us!
The IEA advocates for the professional and personal well-being of Idaho public school employees and the vision of a great public school for every child.