Fort Boise (1)
Fort Boise (1863-1913) - Established on 4 Jul 1863 by Major Pinkney Lugenbeel also known as Camp Boise and Boise Barracks. Between 1863 and 1879 the fort was a base for operations against hostile Indians during the Snake War and during the Bannock War in 1876 it was the field headquarters for operations against the Nez Perce Indians.
Fort Boise was near the intersection of the Oregon Trail and the roads connecting the Owyhee (Silver City) and Boise Basin (Idaho City) mining areas, both booming at the time. The fort's site had the necessary combination of grass, water, wood, and stone. With three companies of infantry and one of cavalry, Major Lugenbeel set to work building quarters for five companies. They built a mule-driven sawmill on Cottonwood Creek, got a lime kiln underway, and opened a sandstone quarry at the small mesa known as Table Rock. Lugenbeel's greatest problem was the lure of the Boise Basin mines — more than 50 men deserted within the first few months.
The U.S. Army left the post in 1912, and the Idaho National Guard occupied it until 1919, when the Public Health Service obtained it for veterans of World War I and tuberculosis patients. In 1938 the Veterans Administration acquired the site, and its successor, the DVA, presently operates the Boise VA Medical Center. In 1957, the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital was built on a portion of the old fort's land. The Federal Building (& U.S. Court House), built in 1968, also occupies a section of the site.
Visited: 12 Oct 2009