Life in the Old West

True stories, tall tales, memorabilia of the American West

Posts Tagged ‘Boise’

Gold led settlers to Boise; irrigation farming kept them there

Friday, February 10th, 2012:

As with many towns of the West, promises of sudden wealth brought the first settlers to Boise, Idaho — prospectors drawn by an 1862 gold strike. But it was the rich soil, coaxed into bearing crops by a complex of irrigation channels cut into the Idaho desert that turned fortune seekers into settlers.

Originally named “Les Bois” (French, meaning “wooded”) by Hudson’s Bay Company trappers who came into the area as early as 1834, the stretch of wooded land was transformed first into gold diggings, then a small town, and finally the capital of the state of Idaho. It grew from about 400 houses and other permanent structures in 1868 to a city of more than 205,000 population by 2009.

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