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Landmarks of Old Boise

Posted by Hughes Group Blog Team on Monday, July 16th, 2018 at 2:18pm.

 

 

Though Idaho is not a very old state and there are places that have been settled for a lot longer, there is still a lot of history that Idaho has and there are places that still stand today that represent that history. Boise is full of history as it is the state’s capital and there are places in Boise that are specific landmarks of old Boise. There are places that hold information about the past and preserve some of the history the city has through places and objects so that you can still learn about it and experience some of the things that the people that lived here before you experienced. There is a train depot, bridges, parks and more that hold a piece of Boise history all through the city. These places hold stories of the past and they are easily accessible for you history buffs out there. The train depot is a great place to go and check out the old train tracks, there is a beautiful building that holds a lot of history and detail. The view from the train depot is breathtaking with views over the city of Boise. People love to go here and it is a hub for prom pictures, weddings and other gatherings that you may participate in. There are several other places in Idaho that hold pieces of Idaho’s history within their walls.

There are places like the old penitentiary that is no longer in use as a prison but allows for people to wander through the cells and the common areas and learn about what happened there. There are pictures of people that lived in the cells along with the crimes they were committed for. These pictures detail what they did to get in, what they did once they got out and, in some, cases why they came back. There are displays showing the weapons that were found in the prisoner's possession with the prison was in use. There are posters with information about the schedules that the prison had, stories from the guards and small history lessons as you walk through the structures. You can even find the washing machines that they used and the showering area. Going on a tour through the Old Penitentiary is very interesting and informative. The grounds are surprisingly beautiful and the stories of the people that were there can really make you think. There was an inmate that helped create a rose garden in the prison with the help of a guard. You can only imagine how those conversations went and what the little stories were that happened everyday. A lot of schools come to tour this area and it is friendly for all ages despite its fairly dark past.

Just down the road from the Old Penitentiary is the old Bishop’s house. In the past, this was the home of the bishops of the Episcopal Diocese. This home was remodeled in 1899, ten years after it was originally built, and it was made to look very different than it did when it was first built. There were people after that who fought to keep the integrity of the building when it was in danger of being demolished. The house was then moved and restored on Old Penitentiary road. Now, this home is a hub for weddings and other social gatherings due to the beautiful style of the architecture of this home. The home is large enough for a small wedding or graduation party or whatever the occasion may be. The Old Penitentiary and the Bishop’s house are nestled in the foothills of Boise and it is a quiet place that has a beautiful view. Walking through the halls makes it easy to think about the days that there were bishops that lived there and just lived normal lives. The home is filled with conversations and events that we may never know about but it is fun to imagine and think about those days.

The National Bank in Boise is also a landmark of the past that has been remodeled twice since it was originally built and has been converted from a bank to office spaces and there are some shops in the building as well. The building was first built on the opposite side of the street than it is now. That was the first remodel that happened and it was to make the building more modern. The building was trimmed with brick and iron but there was also bronze detailing that really made the building stand out. The bank was organized by powerful businessmen in Idaho and there were sponsors outside of Idaho that got involved. The building of a national bank was a big step for Idaho and there was a lot of growth that came with it. However, this building is not a place that you can tour around and see what it was like when it was first built. There are pictures of the interior and there are journals and other articles that you can read to learn about the history of the building. However, it is still a beautiful building that represents the past with its gorgeous and sturdy looking exterior.

There are other great sights to view such as old bridges and there are parks that have been started in memory of the past. These areas are made to preserve part of the state’s history and help us all remember those that came before us and made Idaho and Boise such a great place to live in the first place. Visiting these sites is a great way to learn more about the state, the people that lived here before and so much more. These areas are not only informative but also beautiful, interesting and thought provoking. Boise has a lot of history and there are a lot of interesting facts and stories that you can find from visiting the capitol building, the train depot, the old penitentiary and more. Take a trip, learn something about the past and enjoy the beauty all around you.

Sources:

https://pds.cityofboise.org/media/200922/boiselandmarks.pdf

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