Old Fort Boise

“Left our camp 2 miles above Fort Boise & passed the mud-walld Fort of Boise & the clerk was Kind enough to make us out a Sketch of the rout to walla walla.” (James Clyman, 1844).

Fort Boise was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1834, in response to Nathaniel Wyeth’s Fort Hall, the stone he rolled into the garden of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company (A Majority of Scoundrels, Don Berry, p. 400). There is nothing on the spot today except a locally built monument, but that is  very well worth seeing.  I’m not going to show you everything. The object is to whet your appetite. There is a replica  of the fort in the nearby town of Parma, ID. The site is easy to find and worth the trip.

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Oregon Trail KioskTHIS IS THE Oregon side of the crossing, showing the interpretive kiosk with a blowup of one of the interpretive panels. Again, there is more to see here. The arrow says the crossing is a mile east, but I couldn’t find it. I was stopped by a dead-end road, private property, and angry dogs. We crossed to the south side of Snake River and camped about three o’clock. In crossing we tied the oxen to the stern of each wagon in front, at the same time a chain from the hind part of each wagon was made fast to the yoke of oxen in the rear. I thank God for the mercies that have attended us through all our difficulties.” Rev. E. E. Parrish (1844)

Ft. Boise Locator Map

Old Fort Boise
OAG = DeLorme’s Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
 = Franzwa’s Maps of the Oregon Trail
 = Franzwa’s Oregon Trail Revisited

The Old Fort Boise site must be approached from Idaho; there is no bridge. It is kind of fun to go back through Parma and over to Adrian, Oregon, where you will find a South Alternate interpretive display. I didn’t even know there was a South Alternate till I did this trip. Franzwa’s directions allow you to follow the South Alternate for a few miles.

The next stretch, Keeney Pass, is relatively barren of modern improvements, so it will give a good idea of the terrain the emigrants encountered. Click on the red dots.Click on blue dots or the word Kiosk for the Interpretive Kiosk Tour Sites