The end of the road…

Ahhh sad to say, but true. The adventure I so foolishly sent myself on is over. I must say, however, I have probably made worse decisions in my life than doing the group project alone….maybe…

As I spoke about during the presentation, the hardest thing for me to get done was the permissions for the photos I most wanted to use. That, and wrapping my head around the fact that I needed to match up to all you grad students; now that class is over I can admit that! Being able to attack the project in a way that I really felt excited about was a great benefit, however, and I wouldn’t trade that for all the hair I may have lost throughout the process.
Building the site through google definitely made it easier on me, as well as the awesome support that I had. I got to use skills from my internship, as well as last semester’s undergrad public history class and really prove that I had actually learned something and my parents’ money wasn’t wasted. They were pretty excited.
I chose what I did, as I said before, because of Arthur Hart and Todd Shallat. I fell in love with history because I liked finding out all the things that no one else knew or really showed an interest in until someone else brought it up. I enjoy telling what I know and what I love, so that was my approach to the project; I hope everyone enjoyed it.
You all did amazing projects—obviously. I was honored to have been in a class with you all.

A tour, built…

Group Members: Me.

My local history project focused on my two loves in History; interpretation and preservation. By finding structures along Capitol Boulevard with historical significance, I created a tour from the Depot to the Capitol building. Instead of being a wealth of knowledge on all of the stops, and potentially overwhelming the average tourist, I decided to format the tour around enticing the public to enter these buildings or sites in order to do some investigating of their own.

The Process

I knew from the start that I wanted to embrace my professional experience as a Historical Interpreter into my public history project. Growing up, I became fascinated with the stories of buildings that surrounded me, no matter how ‘insignificant’ they were to everyone else. Whether it was a modest family homestead, or a bustling cultural landmark, I wanted to know. My endeavor began with trying to find a way to properly tell the story of Boise, as I wanted my tour to encompass the history and culture of a city I’ve grown fond of over the past 6 years.

With the ‘Freedom Trail’ in Boston fresh in my memory, I decided that I needed to choose a path that would lead the user from one destination to another, but not necessarily in any chronological order. As long as the building had significance to the establishment of today’s Boise, then I’d include it. At first, I thought of ‘Main Street USA’ as a universal theme that could tie to other major cities, but the development of Main St. in Boise didn’t tell as much of a cultural story as I had hoped. Other themes such as the government buildings, or Masonic footprint were considered as well. In the end, the breadth of information and variety of stories of Capitol Boulevard proved to be the best introduction to this idea.

The first step was to reference other similar projects. One important resource was Boise’s Department of Art and History and their “Did you Know?” brochure ( and Boise State University’s “Depot to the Dome” (

These projects gave me a solid foundation and direction on where my project should lead. Both of these resources provided me with locations and an introduction to its significance. In some cases (mostly in the ‘did you know?’ brochure), no information was given other than a location and title.

With a rough outline in hand, I started researching. My first ventures lead me to Google, which provided me with more overviews of the sites in question, mostly from the websites of the buildings or the businesses within. Once my resources ran dry, I started searching the library on campus where I came across some helpful tools including “Quintessential Boise – An Architectural Journey” by Charles Hummel and Tim Woodward. This site not only provided me with further detail into the sites I had already started to investigate, but also some that I had not considered before.

Learning Objectives

My goal in developing this application/mobile site was to provide the city with an outlet for promotion and narration in some of the untold history along Capitol Boulevard. The vision of the entry into Boise was important in the construction and development of these public buildings and businesses that line the street, but has disappeared into the background as an active history on the street hasn’t been maintained.

In drawing inspiration from the ‘Freedom Trail’ in Boston, my hope was to inspire the city to form a dedicated path with interpretation in signage, oral tours, and in developing technologies such as this mobile app/website. In my research into the beginnings of the Freedom Trail, I found out that all of the sites struggled on their own to maintain tourism and profits until the trial was developed. By having all of the sites joined together under a common theme, more visitors were able to find out about these sites and visit them in hopes of learning the story of Boston and the beginning of the country.

One of the goals that was developed over the process was to not over-interpret the sites. I wanted to provide a brief narrative that was interesting enough to provoke the user into finding more information out on their own. This was accomplished by either showing pictures of what the structures looked like throughout their history, or telling just enough of the site’s story to tease them into reading signage or entering the establishment. This goal was also met by mentioning the current business and what services they offer.

Sources and the Influence

This project was unique in that influence was discovered throughout the entire process, even finding new sites and stories up to the day before the project was to be presented. It seemed as if every new picture found or story told lead to another that was crying out to be discovered. I had to find a way to censor my material in order to not overwhelm the user with information, but include it so that the story doesn’t go untold. On the slide depicting the history of the Capitol Building, the pictures of the entire process provided a narrative that I didn’t know existed; in that the dome was almost axed from the final product due to budgeting issues, and that the picture of it without the dome occurred not just during a point in construction but during lengthy deliberations on whether or not the city could afford to include it.

At other times, I discovered new sites by walking Capitol Boulevard multiple times. Buildings that I previously thought as insignificant or not historically important such as The Literary Center or the Library ended up being some of the more interesting stories on the tour. The wonderful thing about this project is that I was able to pull influence and resources through multiple routes, and sometimes they jumped out at me.

The Challenges in a Trail

Most of my challenges were internal. As a former Interpreter, I want to be a wealth of useless knowledge on a topic. Every story is important to me, and the inner Historian in me wanted to publish an entire website for each individual building on the tour. After watching Nancy Proctor’s presentation on mobile devices in museums, I was inspired to go against everything I wanted to do in order to keep it simple. From the development to the site, to the information on it, I needed to remember that not everyone is as endlessly interested in random information like I am. My goal for the project wasn’t to bore the user into never wanting to walk near anything historical (or developed by me) again.

In being a bit of a tech guru, I wanted to make the application/site very in-depth and feature-ridden. After developing the first template, I realized that not only would it be difficult to operate on a mobile devices, but that someone who isn’t as tech-savvy wouldn’t be able to understand the multiple layers of the site. I removed all of the navigation buttons except the large picture of the skyline at the top to return to the homepage, and a ‘Next’ button at the bottom of every screen. This way, the emphasis of the tour is focused on the content rather than the features.

As mentioned before, my main quarrel with this tour was in the information provided. Not only was I having difficulties omitting certain stories or facts, but also in finding those details out in some cases. Buildings such as Papa Joe’s, the Library, and the Literary Center do not serve the same purpose for which they were built, and have served many purposes over time resulting in a lost narrative. When I did eventually find out stories or facts about a place, even some city Historians and archivists were surprised at my findings. This result inspired me to complete it, because if no one puts in this effort than the histories of these places risk being lost.

What the Future Holds

My hopes is that this project eventually gets picked up either by the city or an outside organization so that Boise will be able to have a cohesive culturally themed tour to promote itself, but not necessarily have to provide additional staffing to join the sites. While I would love to pursue this myself, my impending military career would take both my time and my self out of Boise, leaving the research and development efforts to a severe detriment. The contacts that I hold in the Historical Society were aware of my project and the potential benefit that could result, as well as the ‘word of mouth’ that could hopefully be created by my research, presentation, and establishment of the application. Since this was an academic project, my resources were fairly inexpensive, especially in gaining permission from the Archives to use all of the pictures I didn’t take myself. If this project was to be developed professionally or by the city, a good portion of the research and collection would be provided to them in the form of the mobile site. If an outside organization was to pick this project up, grants and funding from the federal government or the city of Boise could be obtained in addition to personal and business donations, much like how the Freedom Trail in Boston came to be.

Advice and Hopes

The primary thing I hope to portray in my project is the importance of ‘insignificant’ history. When I was an Interpreter for the Old Pen, I focused on the small stories that made the site more personable. The story of the individual tends to interest the common person much more than the overarching theme. What also needs to be kept in mind is that not everyone has the time or interest to perform the level of research it usually takes to get the personal story of a site or the people who worked or lived there, but its those stories that are the most interesting to them. The grand tale of a site can be easily told through signage or literature provided by the site, however if an interpretation effort is extended in telling at least one seemingly unimportant story about a single person or event that occurred here, the tourist can imagine themselves being in the same situation and hopefully would inspire them to immerse themselves in the wealth of knowledge the site could provide.

The only advice I can provide in this type of research situation is to be persistent. Over the course of my 2 1/2 year tenure as an Interpreter, I slowly developed a tour that accomplished my main goals as a Historian; inform the public while enticing their further research or inquiry. I never wanted any of my guests to leave the site fulfilled with the knowledge they had received. I wanted them to leave asking questions, debating topics, or having discourse with others who may or may not have ever been to the site. An active conversation is the only life a historic site has to offer. Without it, the site can disappear into its own history. ( app)

Hello All,

I found a new app a few weeks ago and forgot to post it.

It is a new iPhone app that offers self-guided walking tours of more than 250 cities worldwide.  It includes pictures, directions, and location details.  The cost is $3- $5.

Below is the link for the Boise tour ( 2 choices)


** They are also looking for authors to write tours, include photos, and add narration


Proctor Reading Reflection

The importance of virtual tours is evident in the comparison of visitors and virtual visitors to the Smithsonian in 2010.  There were 30 million visitors, and 180 million virtual visitors. This example shows us how many people are accessing information through the use of technology.  They may be using their home computer, or mobile devices.  Students from any school may access information from the Smithsonian, regardless of their location.

I found the example of Amsterdam in 1952 using audio tours interesting because today many U.S. museums do not have audio tours, or are beginning to implement audio tours or virtual tours with the use of mobile devices.  I thought Nancy Proctor made a great point by saying that with technology/mobile devices increased use and being more available, museums do not have to hand out or purchase the devices, many of the patrons already have them.  If the museum relied on patrons to already have mobile devices this would keep their running costs low if they chose to have a virtual/mobile tour.  This system would save the museum money because they would not have to purchase devices, train staff, or hire tech support for problems.  Patrons could simply download or purchase an app from a site or the museum.  However, there would also be the issue of some patrons not owning a device, or that they can’t afford to purchase one.  Then the information would not be accessible to everyone.

For the River Street Project, the use of mobile devices is basically a plus, because the mobile device is portable, and users could learn about the project from any location.  Also users may read the blog, and later use it as a reference to go to the location at River Street and look at the neighborhood and reflect on how it looks today, compared to images on the blog.

Mobile devices would work well in several subject areas.  For example, in a History class if a professor is discussing a specific city or town, the students may look up maps during the presentation to learn more about the region.  It is useful to look up information, however some students may get distracted so that would be a drawback.

Public history projects that use mobile devices are basically moving with the times, and making their content more accessible to users.  With the portability of the devices, people are willing to look up information they are curious about because it is convenient.  The average person who goes to a museum may not find some information they want to know, but with a mobile device they may search the museum apps/directory for topics they want to learn about and do that with their mobile device (a learning tool).

In my opinion mobile devices = winning !

Local Gems: Farm Directory

Group Members:  Brandi Burns, Sarah Nash, and Stephanie Milne

       For our mobile history project, we chose to create an online directory of farms in the Treasure Valley. The intent of the project was to create a resource that could be used by consumers to find out more information from general searches of farms in their area to more specific searches for individual farms in the hopes of connecting consumers to locally grown food. For each farm we documented the history of the farm, the growing techniques used, the diversity of crops grown, and the availability for purchase. The directory can be viewed at:

Process of Building Local Gems Project

       The building of Local Gems started with group members, Brandi Burns, Sarah Nash, and Stephanie Milne, brainstorming and collaborating over dinner at Red Feather Lounge. The initial building of our project required a lot of organization on who would be responsible for the various platforms we would be working with for our project. One of the first items of business we sorted out was the delineation of the social media platforms Local Gems would be working with. We came to the agreement that Brandi would be responsible for the Flickr account, Sarah would be in charge of the Facebook page and Twitter, and Stephanie would steer direction of the blog. From this point on each person was responsible for the establishment and maintenance of their respective account.
       Also at this meeting we decided to focus on farms in Ada and Canyon County. From here we narrowed our focus to five farms we would like to highlight. After all the platforms were established, we then set out on contacting those five farms. Our main avenue of communication with the farms was through email. We scheduled times to meet with farms and later in the project with others who have played a large role in the local food movement.
       All group members made a commitment to the best of their ability be in attendance at all farm visits to ensure accurate information was collected and a diverse questions were asked of the farmer or local food entity. With the three group members present it also ensured a diverse amount of pictures. All pictures were sent to Brandi the day of the visit or at the latest two days after the farm and local food visit.
        After a visit to a farm, one group member would be responsible for the writing of the blog post. This responsibility alternated each time so the writing duties were equal through the duration of the semester. After the post was complete, it was then added to Local Gem’s dropbox account and also emailed so that it could be peer-reviewed by the other group members. Corrections or changes (if needed) were done after this and then the post was emailed to the farm (or other local food entity) to be approved of before it was posted on the blog. After the local farmer or business approved the blog post, it was then posted to the blog. Once the post was viewable on the blog, updates were then announced on the Facebook and Twitter platforms.

Meeting Learning Objectives

        Our group outlined three learning objectives for the Local Gems project. The first objective was the desire to connect people, primarily those living in and around the Treasure Valley, to local producers and growers of food. We accomplished this goal by continually maintaining our blog and networking around the Treasure Valley. In the month of April the Local Gems: A Directory of Treasure Valley Farms had over 300 visitors and overall we have had over 420 page views since it went live in February. We’ve connected with people through business cards, posting the blog link to the Local Gems Facebook page as well as personal Facebook pages, Twitter announcements, and simply talking to people around the area, specifically at farmers markets. In conducting various types of networking we’ve achieved our goal of providing a face to local farmers. In some ways we have even gone a step further. Many farmers we visited with mentioned that they don’t know one another. Our blog serves as a starting point in having farmers in Ada and Canyon County get to know one another as well as how and what they are individually farming. Ideally, Local Gems could be a starting point for support groups for local farmers.
       Our second learning objective was close the gap between the seeming opposites of smartphone technology and the traditional practice of agriculture. This objective was attained in two major ways. First, our blog is set to a mobile friendly version. Whenever someone accesses the blog from a smartphone or iPod Touch, it is displayed in a mobile friendly manner. This makes it easy for someone on the go to learn about a specific farm or a new feature of the blog. Second, when the Local Gems group went out and met specific farmers, we explained how we were creating our project with mobile users in mind. Many were appreciative and understood that this user platform was a way to get more people interested and potentially purchasing their specialty crops.
        The last objective of the project was to increase the public’s knowledge about history of the foods our community eats. While the project did not focus on specific crops, we did highlight important aspects of growing and what traditionally works and doesn’t when it comes to farming in the Treasure Valley. Additionally we provided history on the farms and farmers themselves. Providing this historical perspective enable the project to display a farmer’s practices and more broadly how farms have evolved.

Sources Influencing Project

       Resources for this project included Idaho Preferred, the menus at Bitttercreek Alehouse and Red Feather Lounge, Idaho Department of Agriculture (organic list), County Extension Office—specifically Ariel Agenbroad at the Canyon County Extension Office, Farmer’s Market List/Websites, The Boise Weekly, and the Boise Co-op. Another valuable resource was Janie Burns from Meadow Lark Farm who is one of the leading voices in Idaho’s local food movement. The Treasure Valley Food Coalition website was consulted, as well as the Idaho Farm Bureau News blog and other farming-based blogs.

Challenges Faced

       One of the main challenges we faced in the project came from its participatory nature. Our work could really only begin once a farm agreed to be featured on the blog, which meant that it was dependent on farms returning our initial contact. Of the first five emails we sent, only two farms responded to our email. One of the reasons why they may not have chosen to respond was that the project had no visible achievements, meaning they could not see other farm’s profiles on the blog. The need for cooperation slowed us down in the beginning, but we have now begun working with local food organizations and have networked at various events and are establishing a relationship with local farmers. As it stands we already have our next interview of a farm to profile scheduled.
       Another challenge we faced was the use of multiple technologies. When setting up the project, we felt it would be best to set up as many forms of interaction with the community is possible. To do so, we created a blog, a Twitter account, a Flickr account, and a Facebook account. It could have easily become overwhelming and confusing if all three of us accessed and worked with all of the accounts. Therefore, we split up the accounts and made each individual person in charge of a different account. Stephanie is responsible for the maintenance of the blog, Sarah is responsible for the Twitter and Facebook accounts, and Brandi is responsible for the Flickr account. For individual blog posts, one person writes the rough draft and all group members edit and review it.

Future of Project

       The next step for our project is to do a strategic plan and decide how we want our project to continue. Several farmers and stakeholders in the local food scene have expressed to the group that we are serving a need, so at this point we need to evaluate our vision and be sure that we are not duplicating any services in the community. The idea is to phase the project into a farmer’s alliance that serves to connect local farmers with one another in a support group and a network of knowledge, and an advocate for farmers and food policies that support local food. This new direction would continue to include efforts to connect the consumer with the producer using mobile technologies and other innovative approaches. Our farmer’s alliance could model the Working Lands Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving Connecticut’s farmland, and consists of farmers, conservationists, anti-hunger groups, planners and local food enthusiasts.
       To create the farmer’s alliance, the group will need to seek out other resources. By creating a non-profit, several grant opportunities should become available. It is possible that we could partner with the Treasure Valley Food Coalition instead of forming our own non-profit, but the search for funds would still need to continue. Several resources offer help on creating a non-profit and finding funding, particularly and After the semester ends the group will have a meeting about what our vision is, and if it is something that we can pursue. If we can pursue this new idea, then we will take the necessary steps to form a non-profit and begin the strategic planning stage.

Advice to Others

       The biggest piece of advice that we can offer is to network and follow it up with a strong internet presence. Through networking with people we know who work with local foods we have been able to talk to local restaurants, connect to farmers, meet with people doing similar projects, and create a relationship with the Treasure Valley Food Coalition. Janie Burns, a local farmer, was one of our best resources and by simply retweeting our posts on Twitter, she was able to direct a larger audience to our work. We also networked at local farmers markets and have gotten many people interested in the project through simply introducing ourselves and explaining our goals. However, networking alone would not have been sufficient because many of the farmers looked at our website before they decided to participate. Our Twitter and Facebook accounts have also been very successful at drawing people to our blog.

River Street Neighborhood

River Street Neighborhood: Changes in the Physical and Cultural Landscape 1863-1970

Group Members: Angie Davis, Clete Edmunson, Jena Herriott, & Ellen Matthew

Our group solidified rather quickly because of our mutual curiosity about the River Street neighborhood located in Boise.  None of us knew much more than that the neighborhood had at one point included several African-American families. Since that is no longer the ethnic make-up of the neighborhood, we wondered how it had changed and for what reasons.  Some topics of interest included; community life, segregation, racism, economic opportunities, and push-pull factors of moving in and out of the community. Our group decided to focus on the diversity of River Street, and how the neighborhood changed due to enviornmental factors and business opportunities for residents.  Our objectives were to see how the neighborhood transitioned with each new phase of the city.  For instance we were able to see the effect the railroad and irrigation projects had on the neighborhood and how it changed River Street.  Our learning objectives were met through the use of oral histories, maps, photos, newspaper articles, archives, and working with local museums.

At the start of the process, the timeline for our project included several weeks for information gathering. That turned out to be a great idea since we began to see how much the neighborhood had changed. Our first idea had been to cover the years 1890 to 1970, but we bumped it back to 1863 to include the earliest white settlers who homesteaded in that area along the river. At the Idaho State Historical Society Research Center we found photos and newspaper clippings.  Our group found information online and we gained access to research already completed about the neighborhood by others.  We researched at the library and checked out books to share.  We learned about many different roles the neighborhood played in Boise City history.

After gathering our research, we then narrowed down the topics based on interest and sources available to us.  In order to keep focued, we chose a selection of individuals and families to highlight.  Their lives and experiences reflect the social, economic and political themes which played roles in the changing neighborhood over the years.  The families we focused on also reflect the diversity in the River Street neighborhood.  In addition, their jobs or career choices reflect the opportunities available at the time.

Each of us chose what we wanted to work on in more depth and it seemed like an even distribution of work.  Angie completed research on historical maps and took the lead with the technology component, Clete researched the effect of the railroad and diversion dams/canals, Ellen and Jena researched the people/houses/business of the River Street neighborhood.  We met on several occasions and used e-mail to pass information back and forth.  Our group also met at the library and archives to share information and find images for our project.  We were also able to talk after classes to check on our process and discuss what we would be working on next.

Our group completed research on-line, at the library, by contacting local museums and archives, and speaking with Boise State Professors.  We learned about capturing information off microfiche on computer readers at the BSU Library.  In addition, we found the digital Idaho Statesman Historical Archives through the Boise Public Library (1864 to 1922) to be a wealth of information.  Our sources also include oral histories, and autobiographies.

By mid-April we started compiling photos and written text into a PowerPoint Presentation. This enabled us to organize our work, and put things in chronological order and intersperse images with text. Our original idea to learn Omeka did not happen. We chose to try a WordPress Blog instead. Our idea to include a Flickr slideshow also had to nixed because we could not get permission to put our images on Flickr. One of our problems was that we were not aware at an early date that permission was needed in order to use some  of our images.  Also, some of the organizations did not want to give permission for the images to be used on Flickr, however some were already posted and other websites posted images as well.  Clete mentioned that his biggest challenge  was acquiring top quality photos and obtaining the permission to use them.  An additional challenge for the group was the technology component, and just not being as informed as we would have liked as to how to use Omeka, blogs, and/or developing an app.  It is difficult as a group to chose which technology to use when we did not have experience with some of the technology and the implementation process.  However, as a group we overcame challenges and completed our project to the best of our ability.  We have been able to keep to our timeline and have completed a project that has been fun to work on and that we feel will be of interest to others.

The project could be expanded in a variety of ways.  For example, more information about an individual, family, or additional maps may be added to the blog at any time.  In addition, based on user interest, we may add more links for more information and sources.  A continuing activity that may also be included is the use of a walking tour of River Street with an app. The app may expand upon some free podcasts that provide audio or visual walking tours. Some websites that provide free access include:,, and  Other tours that may be of use include destination-specific guides, such as those found on and  There is also a new iPone app titled, GPSmyCity, which offers self-guided walking tours of more than 250 cities worldwide.  GPSmyCity may be used as a guide or model to create a walking tour of River Street. These apps would be great for the project because they may include sound to inform a visitor, or display a map to direct visitors to a specific building or area.  In order to develop a new app, it would take time to learn the technology required, or it may be expensive to hire someone to create it for you.

The biggest mental challenge to completing the project was the technological aspect.  That was really intimidating, but during the early stages it consisted of trying things out and then seeing the process and making changes.  I would like to make it bigger and better, there are things I wish I could do of course, but that will just take time and experience.  Thankfully the technology is getting easier for the novice; programmers have done all the work for us, we really just have to plug in the information and push a button.  My advice for others is that, you don’t have to know a lot of programming languages to publish something simple online because there are valuable sources out there that will help with the process.

I think the real challenge was trying to trace or uncover histories that have been neglected.  For instance, trying to find historic photos of these homes and the people who lived in them was hard because they were not taken.  So we have to assume then, that it was not what the city of Boise valued, or there would have been more photos.  Our group had to uncover the past of individuals through piecemeal bits of information that included;  the Washington archives, the Basque museum, and from Pam Demo’s thesis for example, both relatively recent works.  There was no comprehensive history for these people. (I can’t remember when the oral history project started, but I think that was the first attempt to record a first-hand account of the lives/past of those people who lived there.  Completed by Osa–was the last name, but I’m not sure what the whole situation was…..)  The easiest part of researching was the economic and political environment (railroad, federal works projects, etc) that helped transform the physical landscape and demographic makeup of the community there.  My advice to anyone else is to follow any lead, no matter how small, because there are bits of history just waiting to be found.

Below is the link for our River Street Project



Alegria, Henry.  75 Years of Memoirs.  (Caldwell, ID: The Caxton Printers 1981)

Bird, Annie Laurie. Boise, The Peace Valley (Caldwell: The Caxton Printer, Ltd., 1934).

Idaho Daily Statesman, July 9 and 28, 1887 (From Boise the Peace Valley)

Demo, Pam.  “Boise’s River Street Neighborhood: Lee, Ash, Lover’s Lane/Pioneer Streets, the south side of the tracks” a thesis by Pam Demo, University of Idaho, 2006

Hartman, Hugh H. The Founding Fathers of Boise. (Boise, Idaho: H.H. Hartman, 1989)

Hummel, Charles and Woodward, Tim. Quintessential Boise: An Architectural Journey. Boise State University College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, 2010

Idaho Daily Statesman/Idaho Statesman 1968-1910:

Zarkin, David. “Once Proud River Street Area Hosted Boise’s Cultural, Sporting Activities.” The Idaho Daily Statesman, 11 March 1968, p. 14

“Hotel Arrivals.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 11 October 1892, p.2

“Hotel Arrivals.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 1 June 1893, p.5

“A Rich Strike.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 22 July 1894, p. 3

“Notice.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 29 November 1901, p. 6

Ballgame Advertisement Riverisde Park Idaho Daily Statesman, 3 august 1902, p.5

“Past Week’s Sales.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 1 January 1903, p. 8

“Asks Divorce for Cruelty.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 1 January 1904, p.7

“Lee Case Settled.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 26 June 1904, p. 8

“Hicks Acquitted.” Idaho Daily Statesman, 23 December 1905, p.3

“Brief Local News.” The Idaho Daily Statesman, 28 February 1910

“Pioneers of Idaho Around the Festal Board.” The Idaho Daily Statesman, 2 October 1910, sec. 2 p. 6

Johnson, Richard Z., ed. Illustrated History of The State of Idaho. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1899)

Wells, Merle. Boise: An Illustrated History. (Woodland Hills, CA: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1982)

Williams, Royce A. “Stacking the Stone”. Capitol of Light.

Witherell, Jim. History Along the Greenbelt. (Idaho State Historical Society, 1989)


Albertson’s Library

Illustration, A Bird’s-eye View of Boise City, 1890 Special Collections, Albertsons Library (

Basque Museum and Cultural Center (images):

Henry and Eustaquio “Stack” Yribar, dressed to play pala (1939)
Henry and Espe Alegria (1979)

Boise City Archives

Title: Detail of “Oregon Short Line Railroad Boise Branch” (Oregon Short Line Railroad, 1907)

Title: Detail of “Railroad through Town, Original Map” (Oregon Short Line Railroad, 1893)

Diversion Dam

Fort Boise Archives, Amos Lee

Idaho State Historical Society (images courtesy of):

Clara and Warner Lewis Terrell Photo #81-19.5

Mr. and Mrs. Terrell Wedding photo, # 81-19.2

Bud Stevens (left) & Warner Terrell (right), Photo # 81-91.16b

Terrell Family Photo #81-19.10

Lemp John, Portrait, IHSH 430-A, Ethnic Landmarks

Maps, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Collection (Sanborn Fire Insurance Company 1893-1956)

New York Canal

Sears archives online:

USG archives, Map of Idaho, 1917,

Washington State University Archives & Oral Histories: Mr. and Mrs. Terrell



Projects on Boise History

Hester, Johnny.  “Reinventing Boise, Changing Influences on Boise’s Growth Pattern as
Exhibited through Maps, 1863-1930” (Boise State University )

Further Reading

Urban Renewal


Proctor Video

It took me a while to watch the Nancy Proctor video partly because, like Clete, I didn’t check my Broncomail. Also, once I read my e-mail (after class on Monday) I wanted to watch on my big PC monitor, but was frustrated with the audio. I finally ended up getting out a little laptop (one that my 83 year-old, rather tech savy father handed down to me) that I rarely use and plugged in the ear buds. The sound was really great.

I think my feelings about mobile devices in museums may be evolving. I’ve had this idea that people would pay more attention to their mobile devices than the actual exhibit, but I’m not sure I think that anymore. I have often used audio tour devices in museums because I find them more informational than reading signage on the walls. Though I sometimes get annoyed out and about in the world by how often people have ear buds in their ears, in a museum I appreciate being able to cut out other distractions and to concentrate on the exhibits. Now I have this shiny, new iPod Touch and I want to be able to use it. I really would like to be able to take my own device into a museum and access information from it. I used to spend lots of time looking up supplemental information before or after a trip to a museum… back in the dark ages from a big, multi-volumed, out-of-date encyclopedia. Now I could access extra information while I’m at the exhibit while it is fresh on my mind.

After seeing even a little bit of what is involved with getting a small-scale mobile project to “work” I think it is even more important that mobile devices be part of classes in public history. If the mission of a museum is to “provide access, education and interpretation to all audiences” then museum visitors are going to expect uses of new technology. Students who want careers in museums or as public historians need exposure and practical experience and time to think about any how new technology fits into their work.

Boise Historic Music Tour

Group Members: Jacey Brain, Tabatha Butler, Sarah Phillips.

The Boise Historic Music Tour guides users as they find and recognize historic (and current) Boise music venues. We focused on the past twenty-five years (1986 to present). The venues included in the app were not necessarily founded after 1986, but they have been actively involved in the Boise music scene since then. The guide allows users to locate venues on a map and learn more about the location. The historical information included for each venue varies, however each location description includes the significance and contribution of the venue to the Boise music community, including a listing of some of the artists who have performed there.

We used archives, newspapers and other periodicals, and other primary and secondary sources to complete the research for the project. We also used electronic resources such as YouTube to locate supplementary videos which are linked through the application. After completing the research and writing blurbs for each site included in the tour, we created a map of venues through Google Touring, and placed the blurbs and YouTube links into the venue descriptions. We then registered a Google website for the tour at We posted a link to the tour, a list of sources used in creating the project, an introductory page and a link for comments on the website.

The biggest challenge we faced as a group was the issue with BuzzTouch. We decided within a week of finding the mobile application developer that it was perfect for the project. We ran a test of the application attempting to publish an app with just one music venue complete with sources, YouTube links, and quiz questions on what the users learned. After starting the publication process we discovered that Xcode is required for publication of the application. This service is free with a Mac computer to provide a simulation of the application, but to make it available in the app store, purchase of Xcode is required. According to the FAQ’s on the BuzzTouch website, Xcode is available for only $99 a year. At this point in the project we decided to try to find a different route.  We were able to overcome this complication because we tested the application early in the project to ensure it would be available for the deadline. This allowed us ample time to find a solution. We decided to use Google. We put together the tour using Google Earth and Maps to remedy our Buzztouch problem. Getting venue information was the only other notable challenge we faced as group. We emailed several venue owners to get additional information or possibly include an interview in the tour. We did not receive a response from any venue contacted. We started with a list of 25 venues expecting the challenge of getting information, and allowing on one other to cut two or three venues from their share of the list.

The Boise Historic Music Tour serves as a base for a number of other potential apps and websites. Ways to build upon this idea might include:

Expanding the Music Tour into a fully developed tour app. This app could incorporate the venues already listed, as well as any other appropriate venues within the Boise area. As a tour, this app could incorporate GPS locations to queue recorded information for the user to listen to. This information might include history of the venue, larger history of the area, artist information, or a combination of all three.

QR Codes located at various venues could be used for patrons. Rather than being an “active” tour which users download for a specific use, QR codes would provide patrons of each venue the opportunity to find “secret” stashes of information about its history.

The Historic Music Tour could also easily be turned into a walking tour of downtown Boise. Brochures containing information about each venue, along with a map providing a route that stops at each location could be viewed as an app or website, or provided as printed brochures.

Possibilities for including more information on the Tour are abundant as well. If the app remained a website or was converted into a fully functional app, options could be added to increase the user’s interaction with it. Links to current show information, ticket purchasing capabilities, discounts, reservations and reviews are all well within the reach of what may be added to the Tour. 

Other options to expand could also include creating tours for new cities. Although there are a small number of music tour apps for other cities, having a unique format in which history and current day are combined give this Tour greater depth. Besides new cities, tours could be created for a number of historic venues; theaters for instance.  By expanding in this way, the user demographic would be similar and could be easily marketed. It could also reach more people by being able to cover a variety of types of places that are interesting to the general public.

Other individuals or groups creating apps such as this are likely to run into a number of the same problems we did. With that in mind, people should be aware that time is crucial. Time to properly plan, research, and build the app is something that could easily be underestimated. For Historic Music Tour apps such as ours, developers need to have the time to dig into archival materials, microfilm and books, sometimes to just get the basic venue information. Anyone taking on a project like this needs to know how to find primary source material. Be prepared to sift through newspapers to find concert advertisements and tour information. Along these same lines, be ready to actually make connections with people at each venue, as well. Sometimes, actually visiting the place and talking to employees is the best source of information.

Time is also necessary when trying to figure out just how to implement the final product. Be able to go through various programs, build maps, websites, and really play with what is available to find what works the best.

Also, take nothing at face value- for most historians; technology like this is foreign ground. Nothing is as easy or simple as it seems. Be sure to read the fine print and find out costs before you stop your search, otherwise it might come as a rude surprise after a lot of time and effort has already been invested.

Applications such as CityListen: NYC Rock & Roll Tour influenced the model and idea for the project. This tour takes the visitor through New York City on a walking tour, stopping at notable musical spots. Other applications we used include Sutro Media’s Nashville Essential Guide, an application featuring historic sites and entertainment locations in Nashville. The Rock Junket – Rock ‘N Roll East Village Tour, an application featuring music venues and historic music sites marked with pinpoints on a Google Map, also influenced the production of our project. A majority of our information was found in Boise directories, Boise Weekly, The Idaho Statesman, and venue websites, as well as the following sources:

Hart, Arthur A. Western Idaho Fair: A Centennial History. Boise: Western Idaho Fair, 1997.


Ann Morrison Park:

Basque Block:
Basque Museum and Cultural Center:

Big Easy/Knitting Factory:;col1

Egyptian Theater:

Idaho Botanical Garden:

Idaho Center:

Julia Davis Park:,

Morrison Center:

Old Boise/Pengilly’s:

Record Exchange:

The Reef: 

Taco Bell Arena:,

Terrapin Station/Crazy Horse:

Other sources:

The Idaho Statesman archives, via microfilm collection at the Albertson’s Library, Boise State University

Boise Basque Tour: A Walking Tour of Basque Historic and Cultural Sites in Boise, Idaho

Our project, a mobile walking tour of Basque historical and cultural sites in downtown Boise, evolved several different times during the course of the semester. We knew that we wanted to create a walking tour that was accessible on a mobile device, but initially we were unsure what form it would take. We first considered creating a paper brochure that would be accessible via a text file (PDF, Word, or other) that would be optimized for viewing on a mobile device. However, this option seemed like it would result in a static brochure with less possibility for interactivity than we wanted. Second, we attempted to build a mobile-optimized website from scratch using a page creation platform that we found available for free online through Since none of us had any solid background in building complex websites, and since the platform was somewhat difficult to figure out, the website that we created using this method was basic and, like the brochure option, seemed like it would be difficult to update or improve. Thus, we finally settled on creating a blog through WordPress that we fashioned to look more like a website than a blog.

In order to determine which sites to include on our tour and figure out what resources were available to us for the project, we met with Patty Miller at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center early on. Patty pointed out sources in the Museum’s archives that contained information about the sites we wanted to include, and assisted us further by providing copies of historical photographs of various Basque sites. We also took photographs of the present-day sites to include side-by-side with the historical snapshots on the mobile site for the walking tour.

Once we gathered the necessary photographs and information, we each chose a handful of sites to write brief histories on. We created a page on our WordPress site for each historical site that includes both text and photographs. The mobile site also includes a map so that visitors can easily locate the sites we chose, a menu on the left-hand side listing all of the sites for easy navigation, and a brief history of the Basques in Boise.

Our research for this project has increased the general knowledge of our group on Basque history in Boise and the unique cultural landscape that has taken root here as those who have left their Basque homeland in Spain have brought many of their traditions to the western United States.  Our project provides a new, more cohesive layer of interpretation for the Basque block by including a brief history of each Basque historical site on one website or on a single printed brochure.  The content on our website provides information about life for the newly arrived Basques in the nineteenth century, the customs they brought with them, their contributions to the foundation of Boise, and their architectural influence on the evolving capitol city.  The Basque block mobile walking tour caters to two different types of potential tourists to the Basque block: those who visit the Basque Museum and Cultural Center and have the desire to view the other historical sites on the block that deal with the same topic, and those who may not be as interested in a museum interpretation of Basque history, but have an interest in the architectural, cultural, and historical significance of this portion of downtown Boise.    The mobile tour gives an excellent introduction to Boise’s Basque history that can function independently or that can augment the experience provided by The Boise Basque Museum and Cultural Center.

The greatest challenge in creating this project stemmed from the fact that none of us had prior experience with mobile devices or mobile website design and implementation. The Wapple platform was difficult to work with for someone who did not possess the necessary vocabulary of web designers, and even WordPress posed some issues with its seemingly basic WYSIWYG editor. Once we figured out how to create menus and pages, however, WordPress has been decidedly easier to work with than any other platform that we considered. Although it is not entirely mobile optimized, the WordPress format allows the site to be viewed on a mobile device in a manner that is sufficient for a walking tour—a success for our limited programming skills.

A further challenge that we encountered was gathering the necessary resources to include in the project, namely historical photographs. The Basque Museum and Cultural Center has a wealth of these materials in its archives, but since many are copyrighted or were not given to the Museum for public use, we were unable to freely collect photographs for use on our mobile site. Patty Miller was of great assistance to us when dealing with this issue, and she was able to procure low-resolution digital copies of several historical photographs as well as obtain permission for us to use them. We had hoped to include audio files of oral histories on the mobile site, but so far we have been unable to do so. Several problems had led to this, including difficulty obtaining permission from surviving family members of those who gave the oral histories, and the necessity of converting audio tapes to digital files. Patty Miller is currently working on both of these issues for us, and we hope to be able to add these materials to our walking tour soon.

We are currently in the process of expanding our project and are searching for funding sources to implement our ideas. Three main areas are being considered for this expansion: the creation of a physical walking tour brochure that can accompany our mobile tour site, the expansion of content on our website, and a means to connect the physical sites on the tour to our online interpretive content.

We are presently in the process of creating a physical walking tour brochure which will be available in Basque, Spanish, and English. Expanding the content of our website will be a more in depth process. In the near feature we would like to add audio files that will make oral histories available and are working with the Basque Museum and Cultural Center to get these oral histories digitized. We would also like to add photos and histories of no-longer existing historical buildings to our website. This will allow us to expand our tour both online and geographically to the River Street area. Lastly, we would like to make our website’s content available in Basque, Spanish, and English to reach a larger and more diverse audience. We are also working with Patty Miller to incorporate QR codes into our project. This would allow mobile users to photograph a QR code on a historical site and use an app to transfer to building’s page on our website.

Expanding our project’s content will require both institutional and financial resources. Institutional resources have been made available by Patty Miller at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center. Patty has provided support and encouragement in addition to access to historical photos, documents, oral histories, and an online home for our project.[1] Funding for designing and printing the brochures will hopefully be provided by grants from Bank of America and the City of Boise Department of Arts and History which we are currently in the process of writing.

Our main points of advice would be two. First, it is important to find competent, highly motivated, creative, and overall awesome individuals to collaborate with on a project. This allows the group to confidently assign work to any individual member. The second point of advice also addresses the importance of collaboration. For us working with the Basque Museum was an invaluable resource. They were able to provide excellent historical materials to incorporate into our project, and provided support and guidance on how to procure funding for expansion. As newcomers to the field, working with established public historians and a successful institution was extremely beneficial.

Several essays in Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J. B. Jackson edited by Paul Groth helped our group contextualize our mobile project as we helped to weave the story of the Basque community into the fibers of the Boise cultural and historical landscape.  The blog post “But I Want You to Think” by Jeremy Boggs also provided some inspiration for our project pushing us to evaluate the information that we gathered from our research to make it relevant to our potential audience and make a case for the importance of Basque history and culture to Boise’s story.  Translating the brochure aspect of our project into Spanish is also part of Boggs’ admonition of considering those who might be interested and making it accessible to a larger demographic.  We looked at several different walking tours and walking tour apps when developing our mobile project and received inspiration from the definitive Boston Freedom Trail App (  The Boston Freedom Trail App adds points of interest that the Freedom Trail lacks and we used this idea to add additional sites to our Basque walking tour website that lack interpretive signage which provides a more complete historical picture for this area of downtown.  We also consulted Racontours, which has mobile tours of New York City ( and Geogad mobile city tours ( that helped us decide what elements such as pictures, maps, and the type of historical, cultural, and architectural content should be implemented into our mobile project.


[1] This will occur in conjunction with the reworking of the Museum’s own website that is currently in progress.

LauriAnn Deaver, Anna Holdorf, and Luke Schleif

Nancy and her 2.0 Talk

Let me first say that technology is only as good as the person who reads his email.  In the case of this blog, since I didn’t read my email, I blame technology rather than take the blame myself.  I like how that works!  Sooooooooooo let me play catchup.   I did take the time to watch Nancy Proctor’s presentation and do agree that it looks like somebody filmed it with their cell phone and put it on YouTube.  Oh the irony of it all!    She brings up some very interesting ideas concerning the use of technology in museums.  I thought it was interesting how they were using this new technology for audio tours in Amsterdam in 1952 and sixty years later many museums haven’t got that far yet!  I think that if a museum really wants to take full advantage they need to accomplish a few things. 

First they need to have strong leadership that fully understands this new technology or hire somebody that fully understands it and give them full reign( or is it rein?)  to get the job done.  They also need to be able to accommodate all levels of customer understanding of technology.  They will have everyone from the 14 year old tech genius who almost knows too much, all the way down to the 80  year old grandma who still has a rotary dial phone in her house and is deathly afraid of all technology.  The trouble is that the museum only has a few minutes to accommodate these customers so they must be prepared for all levels beforehand.  This might require dividing the customer into A, B or C groups and adjusting the technology and presentation accordingly. 

I think we have all seen some of this in our class.  There is so much out there that is exciting and we wanted to use for our projects that we (or I) had a hard time trying to narrow it down to one or two.   The advantages of  using technology in our class was limitless, but our abilities to learn and time to learn was limited.  I think that if I was teaching a graduate or undergraduate public history course using mobile devices the I would keep it narrowed down to a few of the best apps or programs.  Assignment “A” would be done this way using that app, Assignment “B” would use another app, Assignment “C” would use another, etc.   I think all this mobile tech and apps is awesome, but drinking from a fire hose is hard to do and harmful to your health!