Boise, Idaho

Boise and Nampa, Idaho feature a great deal of understated beauty, as befits a pair of simple western towns. While the two have distinct cultural identities and came about for different reasons, the two share a great many characteristics with each other. Both are very heavy on trade, and from the beginning both have been central points through which goods navigated the west. As time has gone on, both cities have adapted extremely well to the changing world and its constantly revised set of rules.

When the trails were king the community's attendant Army base was there to keep things civil. When the railroads became popular for transportation of goods, Boise adapted and Nampa slowed in its development. However, as trucks and highways became the major way to move goods and services, both cities adapted and became strong communities. Today Nampa and Boise are both great places to find entertainment, great food and good times. Both have adapted brilliantly to the modern service economy, and both continue to be elegant but still down to earth, as has generally been the tradition throughout the west.

Boise is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Boise History

Boise, Idaho and Nampa, Idaho have conjoined pasts with such close proximity to one another. While Boise was officially incorporated in 1864 and Nampa was incorporated in 1890, the two began for different reasons but have grown over time to be strikingly similar to one another. Boise was formed as a river town, while Nampa was initially formed as a railroad town. Both saw trade as one of the keys to their success from the very beginning. As the two cities grew with time, both have seen a lot of economic cycles and changes which have threatened their livelihoods. Fortunately, both of these cities have proven very resilient, rolling with the punches and becoming stronger whenever things changed.

Boise was originally centered on the Boise River, and from the early days was a center for the military and civilians to trade. The Oregon trail's violent times during that 1850s led to an old base being reopened by the Army in the 1860s, and Boise helped the locals meet their needs. In contrast to this, Nampa began in the 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad happened to build a line from Granger Wyoming to Huntington Oregon. Nampa formed through a homestead and later a development company built by the Duffes family and their friend James McGee.

Nampa was different from the average town in that the streets didn't run true to north and south. Instead, they ran perpendicular to the railroad tracks bisecting the town, so wagon wheels would not get stuck in ruts and endanger people's lives. The city's railroad depot is the fanciest in the area because the Oregon Short Line even bypassed Boise.

When the Montana Territory was created, Boise became the territorial capital of what had become a far smaller Idaho, which was hotly contested and even originally voted down by a single vote of majority.

The 19th century saw both cities working as central hubs, connecting booming production areas to other parts of the country where goods would be bought in large amounts. This use of trade allowed both areas to flourish, and both weathered the poor economic conditions of the early 20th century relatively well. As US and state highways were built in the area, such as I-84, water and railroad usage diminished considerably for both cities. However, both were able to weather this storm through adapting to the increasing use of trucks to transport goods, making themselves into road transportation powerhouses as well. As the 20th century drew to a close, both cities began adapting to the new service-based economy by building new retail establishments.

About Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho is the major anchor of the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area. Boise is the largest city between the cities of Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon. As a matter of fact, Boise is the 104th largest city in the entire United States. While it took decades for the city to be formally incorporated, it was a boom town for a long time during the 19th century. The name is thought to have come from a a French guide who got excited about finally seeing water after an irritating trek through the woods. Of course, accounts differ on precisely who named the area. Since that time, Boise has become a very viable place for business and for the locals to enjoy themselves.

Boise, whose name is pronounced by locals as BOY-see, was located in a trapping area for many decades before it was formally settled. Some accounts say that Canadian mountain men, many of whom spoke French, named the river which flows through the area la riviere boisee, which translates into "the wooded river." Since the area has a lot of desert surrounding it, this made the river and its surroundings fairly distinctive. Of course, a later expedition led by Capt. Bonneville could also be the original cause of the name, when a French-speaking guide was overcome by the gorgeous sight and shouted "Les bois! Les bois!" which translated into, "The woods! The woods!" Either way, the name has been a permanent fixture of the area since then.

Boise is a fairly large area, but is being eclipsed by its neighbor Nampa Idaho. Nampa has existed for almost as long as Boise has, and has had more interesting capital investments made in it. For one thing, a local investor bought and later drained the former irrigation reservoir known as Lake Ethel. Another local businessman spent a quarter of a million dollars in 1902 constructing an opulent hotel which eventually fell into disrepair and had to be torn down. However, one of the most interesting and valuable improvements that endures to this day is the very well appointed railroad station in Nampa.

In more recent years, the roads like I-84 are drawing in all kinds of traffic and additional business opportunities. The local malls in Nampa are making comebacks, and new shopping centers are being built all over the place. Both Boise and Nampa are turning into major economic powerhouses, and the citizens and tourists are able to enjoy a lot of great places to eat, shop and have fun, whenever they please.

About Ada County, Idaho

Boise Idaho and Nampa Idaho are both located in a county known as Ada. The entire county sits in the southwestern area of Idaho, and Ada county contains cities of over 10,000 residents including Eagle, Garden City, Kuna and Meridian. Ada County is the largest population center in the entire state, as well. Interestingly enough, this county is named after the first pioneer child to have ever been born in the area. It was established during the late stages of the Civil War, and has been reduced in size by being partitioned out into Canyon County.

Ada County was named in 1864 for a girl named Ada Riggs, who was the first pioneer child to have been born in the area. Her father, H.C. Riggs, had been one of the co-founders of Idaho several years before that point. The population growth of the area has been steady and nearly constant since that time, despite the fact that in 1890 a part of the county was chiseled off to create Canyon County.

Ada County is composed of just under 1,055 square miles of land in a fairly arid environment. Water actually takes up only half a percent of water in the entire county. The Boise Range mountains border the county to the north, and the county's southwestern border is formed by the Snake River.

The Census of 2000 reported that the population of Ada County was just under 301,000 people. Out of these people, there were 113,000 households and just over 77,000 families living in the area. The population works out to be 285 people per square mile. Out of the families in Ada County, just over 55% of them were married couples, and about 36% of all the total households held children under the age of 18 years. There is a fairly wide disparity in the county between households and families, however, with the average family size being 3.11 people and the average household size being composed of 2.59 people. Interestingly enough, the income disparity is fairly small, with the average household earning around $46,000 per year and the average family earning a little over $54,000.