Idaho's 150th territorial anniversary

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by Karen Zatkulak and KTVB.COM

NWCN.com

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 3:29 AM

BOISE -- Monday, March 4 marks Idaho's 150th territorial anniversary.

The territorial sesquicentennial commemorates a period of time that helped develop the political and economic foundations for our state.

That's because on the same date back in 1863, Idaho territory was signed into existence by President Abraham Lincoln. The political action gave rise to modern-day Idaho as we know it.

KTVB's 'Idaho at 150' web page

FIRST SETTLERS

The O'Farrell Cabin on Fort Street was actually built in 1863 for John O'Farrell and his family. It was a single room cabin for seven people, and the oldest standing family home in Boise.

A year later, came another home, built by Cyrus Jacobs. He was a settler who moved here from the East during the gold rush.

"In 1862 they discovered gold in Idaho City, so there was a huge boom of people to that area," said Patty Miller, executive director of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center.

Miller says Jacobs' home is the oldest brick residence in Boise, and In 1910 it became a boarding home in the Basque community. It' also where as many as 20 people lived at a time throughout the decades, helping to grow the Basque culture that helped grow the city.

"There still is an effort to preserve the culture and the history here and to be Americans and Boiseans and Idahoans, but also keep our culture and history alive," said Miller.

GOLD RUSH HISTORY

The history of the gold rush still stands today in the Boise Basin Museum in Idaho City, built in 1867.

Gold was then traded for cash at the Assay Office in downtown Boise, built in 1870. Two years later, Lorenzo Hill Hatch built his home in Franklin, marking the Mormon movement through the state.

PRISONERS

Also in 1872, the Idaho State Penitentiary opened, housing as many as 640 prisoners at a time.

However, after several riots and burned buildings, the outdated prison eventually closed in 1973. Yet, it still keeps a history of a century's worth of Idaho's inmates.

"It's really a walk through time, 1870s, 80s, 1910s, all these different eras, all in one place, so I think that's what is really special about the old pen," said site manager Amber Beierle.

OTHER HISTORIC AREAS

A few more historic places include Shoshone County's Pierce Courthouse built in 1862, part of the booming mining town, and the Fort Sherman Chapel.

It was built in 1880, and is Coeur d'Alene's oldest church, school, library and meeting hall.

The Birch Creek Charcoal Kilns near Leadore still stand from 1885, and at one time employed hundreds and produced thousands of bushels of charcoal each day.

We'll take a look back at much more of Idaho's history on Monday.

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