( 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 !

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


Hoping for Preservation-Reading Reflection

After reading the text, it was frustrating to read so many negative situations in which people are being mistreated and taken advantage of by big businesses and government bureaucracy.  In cases where the environment is being damaged and polluted, our citizens’ safety is being ignored.  In the case of PG&E and their hazardous dumping, it not only polluted the environment, it made people gravely ill and killed many others.  Once again when it comes to government agencies, when there is an issue, there are numerous loop holes, and confusing paperwork that typical people are unprepared to deal with.  Hiring lawyers is often impossible(too expensive) for many people to try to combat an environmental issue that they need to address.  Even King spoke about his frustration to help people in need, but that he needs to get paid too.

I thought the Rosas family was rather amazing, since they came up with two solutions that would limit or stop the blasting of canyon walls, and there would be no need to use bridges and embankments. They suggested running the second track along the same lines as the original track to reduce environmental impact. They also hired a civil engineer, Dr. Kamran Nemati who suggested putting the train lines underground and using a tunnel.  This would make the route safer because it would be a straighter route. Also, by using a tunnel the train wouldn’t have to deal with issues like rockslides, or animals wandering on the tracks.  However, how were the Rosas rewarded for their efforts, not at all.  The BNSF’s engineer Robert Boileau, said the tunnels were too expensive and impractical.  Basically they told the Rosas IDK…

There sure were a lot of acronyms in that book.  Since several of you posted some acronyms from previous jobs, here are some educational ones.  ELL English Language Learner, ED Emotionally Disturbed, EDSPED Special Education, SLC Small Learning Communities, IEP Individualized Education Plan.

Ethical Dilemmas Part I: post for 4-17

After I read the article about the 4th grade Virginia textbook, I thought that Joy Masoff should not be writing any books, especially history books.  She is not a trained historian, and should not be writing textbooks for schools.  In the article, she even admits that her statement/sentence about thousands of black Confederate soldiers was based on information she found on the internet.  It is obvious she needs training as to how to conduct research, and write textbooks.  The review board should have also done a better job evaluating her textbook.  This is why parent involvement is so important, because an actual historian and parent, Carol Sheriff noticed the sentence in her daughter’s textbook and had a problem with it as a parent and as a historian.

The problem with the docents at the Baron Von Munchausen House, is likely they did not receive adequate training.  It could be that someone else told them that the myths were true so they are just repeating what they have learned.  Here too is an excellent reason to do your own research before you go on a tour of a historic home/site.  The docents should also be conducting their own research and educating themselves.  Just because someone is a docent, or wrote a history textbook does not mean they are being historically accurate.  The fact that Historian Larry Cebula heard several myths reported by the docent, and calling slaves “servants” is not being accurate and is downright wrong; the site definitely needs to focus on correcting and improving upon their interpretation of history, and training their docents to be historically accurate.

The response of the curator I find rather comical.  Maybe the curator forgot to take her “meds” that day.  I especially found it ridiculous that they omitted slavery due to some kids teasing others.  To change history, or omit facts so as not to make someone feel uncomfortable is not what a historic institution should do.  Obviously some of the teachers need to educate their students before the tour as to how to behave.

After reading the article about Earl Taylor, it just reinforces again that when you want others to follow your political agenda, people are willing to change or omit real events of the past to suit their agenda.  The fact that Taylor said that Jefferson’s slaves wouldn’t want to leave Monticello is ridiculous.  Of course they would want their freedom.  During Taylor’s workshops, he just omits past events as if they didn’t exist, and reports on portions that fit in with his philosophy or agenda.  Obviously, he is not being historically accurate.  I don’t agree with information being changed or omitted to fit with a political agenda.  Yes, it is an ethical dilemma….


Here is an interesting site I found, not related to this week’s topic.  This site has several photos of historic Boise

Pirate Reflection 4-10-11

I thought the professor used creativity in his assignment when he had his students create a hoax with the last American pirate.  The students worked well together, were creative, and used technology in their assignment.  In the last 10 years, it seems all ages from elementary to grad school are integrating technology into the learning process.  For example, our class using an iPod, and apps, and the BSU Music department using iPads.  The professor was also showing his students the importance of improving their research skills, and evaluating what sources/ information you find on the internet.  Students must focus on primary sources, and academic websites, or they too will fall under the hoax of misinformation on the internet.  With the improvement of technology, and the user friendliness, everyone must evaluate what they are reading.  Information on the internet may either be from an academic background, or it could be a random post/website from someone who is bored, misinformed, or creating a new hoax.

I also found it interesting that the professor stated he did not want to offend anyone.  I didn’t feel offended in any way.  However, the blog did have several spelling mistakes.  What does annoy me, is when people don’t use spell check….especially on blogs.  Please people use spell check, it is great!!!  BTW some of the words were caffeine, and archaeology.

Below is a silly site, if you want to generate a pirate name…Arrr

Here is one more

Reading Recommendations

1.)  I read a very interesting article about a married couple that are pros in preservation, who bought and restored a 1880 Maryland house.  They designed the home  to be energy efficient and wheelchair accessible for their son.  They worked with their local historical commission to be sure that they preserved as many materials as possible, and did not change the front of the home.  They enclosed a side porch and turned it into a hallway so their son’s wheelchair could fit, and they also constructed a new elevator in the back of the home so their son could go upstairs.  The home uses a modern geothermal system to heat and cool the home.  The family also added on a new kitchen, and a studio in which their son could have his physical therapy. They built the home so it included “sustainable preservation.”  The homeowners, Logan and Paca both have a background in preservation, and included their experiences in the restoration work at their own home.


2.)  The National Trust for Historic Preservation site provides information for those looking for a job in historic preservation.  The site is user friendly, and you may search for jobs by title, or just look at openings by state.

3.)  For those of you who may travel over the summer, below is a site that includes historic hotels, and of course you may search by state.  The site includes over 200 hotels, they are over 50 years old, or are sites of historic importance, or architecture.

Efficient Preservation

After completing the reading I learned a great deal about how sites are designated for preservation and in which ways they are preserved.  I also enjoyed learning more about land that is included in preservation, including; Civil War battlefields, parks, and gardens.  When I’ve traveled and visited historic sites, I especially enjoy looking at the gardens, and grounds.  The gardens at Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and the governor’s mansion at Colonial Williamsburg are all very beautiful.  I think it is just as important to preserve the buildings as it is to preserve the grounds and the gardens.

I also found chapter 10 interesting, although it was not part of our reading.  On page 308, an order of Catholic nuns, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary decided to rehabilitate their compound as a “green” residence and offices for the two hundred nuns.  The IHM Motherhouse in located in Monroe, Michigan.  The renovation took 2 years, and outdated pluming, electrical, and living spaces were all improved and many items were recycled or re-used in the buildings.  They installed a gray water recycling system, expanded the use of natural lighting, and reused windows, doors, marble, and many other building materials. The project was so energy efficient that they were recognized by several agencies and given several awards.  One was from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with three “Energy Star” awards in 2007.

I was so interested in their building that I also looked at their website.  They also included the use of a geothermal system to heat and cool their 376,000 square feet building –the Motherhouse.  Also, by using the gray water recycling system, they reduced their fresh water use by almost 50%.  Their campus is also home to native trees over 100 years old and an endangered oak savanna ecosystem.  They wanted to restore and improve their building, so as not to re-build somewhere else on the property and have to cut down any trees.  They also have a 2 acre organic community garden.  The garden provides educational opportunities to the community to get involved in environmental responsibility and healthy living.


Preservation and technology at odds?

After completing the reading I found it interesting that most of the chapters focused on preserving historic buildings, however there was a brief mention of the importance of National Parks, and historic battlefields.  When I think of preservation, I think of all areas that include; ocean/river ways, land areas, as well as historic buildings.  I assume most of you do as well.  I’ve been to a few tide pools along California’s coast and the coastal communities there are very involved with preserving their tide pools for future generations.  They organize volunteers to clean the tide pools, and community members even volunteer to educate visitors and help with class field trips.  The connection I saw in the reading is the importance of being involved in your community and fighting for preservation.  Some examples included, the ladies association to preserve Mt. Vernon, as well as Clete’s example in saving Wallace, Idaho.  Local organizations, and donations make a significant contribution to preservation.  However, even some wealthy preservationists do receive negative comments.  For example, Henry Ford’s preservation efforts at Greenfield Village were “criticized as too much a product of Ford’s personal tastes…” pg.38.

Our government has made efforts to preserve historic buildings, and the National Parks Service also does great work in preserving buildings, land, and trails at our national parks.  Last week on PBS there was an interesting documentary about Idaho fire lookouts and cabins that are being preserved, and people are able to rent them out.  The program was organized by the Forest Fire Lookout Association or the FFLA.  Here is their website Many cabins have been restored, however it is expensive, and other cabins that have been deserted for years are falling apart.  The longer they are left empty the further in disrepair they become.

I was also interested to learn how Japan, and China deal with preservation.  Preservation is important in terms of their language and culture, but not so prevalent in the age of their buildings.  I was surprised to learn about the Ise Shrine in Ise city, Japan; and that they rebuild the shrine every 20 years.  Japan and China have an abundance of historic shrines that locals and tourist often visit.  The Ise Shrine reminded me of an article I read about the Three Gorges Dam in China that was built across the Yangtze river.  The intention of the dam was to control flooding, and provide electricity.  However, the construction forced at least 1.4 million residents to move, and it altered the course of the river which flooded several archaeological sites.  Some historic shrines were relocated, however it was too expensive to move everything.  The river dolphins are also being threatened and may face extinction.  It is a difficult decision to make when it is time to modernize, but that may threaten or destroy historic sites.

Educating or Entertaining?

The readings for this week question how museums use entertainment to draw in visitors. Timothy Luke questioned why people go to museums?  Is it to be “entertained” or to actually learn something and then analyze and reflect on the displays and information at the museum.  Luke is also critical of museums that use Disneyland like forms of entertainment to draw in patrons, and in this way the focus is heavily on the entertainment factor and not on the education experience.  He used Disneyland as a comparison to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., and called it a horror tour.  Luke was also critical of the museum because of its shock value, and he questioned whether the violent film footage of atrocities playing over and over, is overexposed.  He also had an issue with the museum’s focus on Jews, and the limited information about the millions of Roma(Gypsies), handicapped, Poles, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, and political dissidents who also suffered under Nazi rule.

There is also a comparison of the Holocaust Museum and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angles. Lukes is somewhat less critical of the Museum of Tolerance over the Holocaust Museum.  He said, “the Museum of Tolerance far outclasses the Holocaust museum in the scope and depth of its comparative analyses..” (pg.51)  In my opinion he preferred the Museum of Tolerance because of their choice of exhibits, as well as the balance and portrayal of racism in society, and extreme acts of violence by individual people as well as political figures.  One exhibit I found interesting, is in the Hall of Testimony, there is a section “…recounting forty-nine representative accounts of the eight thousand good souls recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem as those who aided the Holocaust’s victims under Nazi rule.” (pg.53)

In Chapters 7 & 8 about the Missouri Botanical Gardens & the Sonora Desert Museum, I was thinking about them as treasures, and how great it is to live in communities that have gardens or “open habitat” zoos and museums.  However, here comes negative Lukes again….he sounds like a pessimist to me.  After completing those readings, it sounds as if Lukes is saying that because of places like the botanical gardens and desert museum people are less likely to be interested in nature in their own backyard, or preservation.  In my opinion, when you visit a local botanical garden you would learn more about native plants.  Then, you would likely plant more native plants in your yard or community because you would have learned about; which plants are drought resistant, which plants do well in what temperate zone, or which plants deter specific kinds of bugs or weeds.  To me that is a positive, however, Lukes seems to think if there is a designated “nature” area then people in cities may feel free to just go ahead and pour cement over everything.  He also referred to the botanical gardens and desert museum as “scientific simulations in the name of environmentalism.”(pg.164).

Lukes stated that much of nature is either dying or dead?  What is your opinion on this?  Do you think we have had more conservation efforts in the past 20 or 30 years or less?