The History of the Boise River From Native Americans to Now
Lifestyle

the History and Impact of the Boise river

From fur trapping to a popular book, the Boise River holds much more than meets the eye

224

With the 2018 floating season having started on the 22nd, people from all around southwestern Idaho flock to the Boise River to raft. While nowadays the Boise River means a fun day to cool off for most Idahoans, this wasn't always the case. The river, a modern day attraction, was once a safe haven and source of riches for those in need.

Before the Louisiana Purchase, Native Americans such as the Shoshone and Bannock tribes that lived in the Great Basin culture areas utilized the river for upwards of thousands of years. Using buffalo and fish that the river attracted, some Native Americans opted to stay near the river and survive off the plants and animals there.

Idaho Department of Transportation Boise River, undated

By 1592, Spanish explorers made their way to the Boise River and found something extraordinary: beavers. Through the 1650s, intact beaver furs were in high demand in neighboring Canada and could be traded for commodities such as sugar; with beavers so easily found, many Spanish explorers chose to set up camp by the river and make their living there.

Outside of Native Americans and fur trappers, not many people lived along the banks of the Boise River until after Lewis and Clark's expedition west when gold was found on the banks of the river. Many of the first American settlers made their way towards towarsa the river hoping to find a better life. While many found nothing, the French-Canadian fur trappers dominated the area and grew prosperous. Communities began to form and towns such as Ceour d'Alene, French for "heart of the awl," were recognized. The primary issue lay with the very river that brought them there.

Despite the prosperity the river brought, quarrels arose over its name. The French insisted the "the wooded river," La rivière boisée, best represented the river; Scottish American explorer Robert Stuart insisted it be called "The Wooded River;" and British fur traders tended to call it either the "Wood River," "Reed's River," or "Reid's River" in memory of John Reid's failed post in 1813.

The arguments over a name continued until 1833 when Captain B. L. E. Bonneville arrived in what would later become Idaho during an information-gathering expedition. Though there's no evidence to support this, a legend suggests that the French Bonneville reached the river and exclaimed "Les bois! Les bois!" or "The trees! The trees!" Bonneville later recounted his experiences to Washington Irvine which were documented in "The Adventures of Captain Bonneville," a free and legal copy of which can be read here.

Boise River, 1933

The widely read book helped popularize the name "Boise River," but French Canadian postmaster Francois Payette solidified it.. Payette, postmaster of Fort Boise, would teach emigrants how to pronounce the word and they would continue using it even after leaving Boise. By the time the country was settled, the word "Boise" was closely associated with the river.

The Boise River we've come to know and love may be just a summer pastime for us, but without it, Idaho may not have even become Idaho; the Native Americans wouldn't have had access to the food they needed, settlers would have never come for the gold, and Spanish explorers wouldn't have stayed in the area. Without the Boise River, we likely wouldn't have the history we do and the population we have. It may be a fun day for us, but it meant so much more to the people who relied on it in the past.

Idaho Department of Transportation Boise River and city of Boise, 1959

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

30 Black-Owned Skincare Brands Every Beauty-Lover Should Know About In 2020

They're not changing the game — they're making a new one.

Skin is something most beauty-lovers obsess over from our early teens, whether our aim is to be glowier, softer, dewier, or poreless, most of us are consistently tracking a new skincare goal. No matter how many products we try, we'll likely forage on with the goal of IRL Photoshopped skin, no matter how many dollars go to them.

The black-founded skincare brands below are the brainchildren of extreme dedication and resilience within the privileged world of beauty. Born out of resilient entrepreneurs overcoming circumstance in a world that does not favor business people of color, these brands have loyal cult followings, and with good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

A huge part of being in a relationship is communication and, well, part of communication is listening. So, why not have a little fun with your partner and see just how well they know you?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Ways You Can Safely Attend A Protest In The Middle Of A Pandemic

Wear a mask, but speak up.

It seems like coronavirus (COVID-19) has been around forever now. Life before masks and with public sporting events is a distant memory, hoping to make a comeback sometime this year. We've all had to make some sort of life changes to abide by this pandemic's rules. But that doesn't mean everything has stopped. On May 25, George Floyd died at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, sparking a cry for justice and racial equality across the nation.

For the last week, protests have taken place in major cities like New York City, LA, DC, Chicago, Phoenix, Portland, Dallas, and Floyd's hometown of Minneapolis. Many of the cities experiencing protests have begun phased reopening, while others (specifically New York City and LA) have yet to begin phase one of post-coronavirus reopening.

As COVID-19 is hardly in our rearview mirror, there are extra precautions protestors can take as they advocate for justice.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments