Idaho February 26, 2018
8 Places Where You Can Still Experience Old Idaho
Idaho is undoubtedly one of the most rapidly changing states in the nation. With more people flocking to the Gem State than ever, it seems that the “good ol’ days of Idaho” are steadily becoming more and more of a distant memory. Our state’s history is a unique one that should never die. Fortunately, there are numerous historic places throughout Idaho that are still reminiscent of Old Idaho. As our state continues to change, these places will act as poignant reminders of our past. How many have you been to?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
The small town of Mackay looks to be frozen in time. It's one of the few Old West towns that still looks exactly as it did over 100 years ago. Founded in the late 1800s during the mining boom, this place still retains a genuinely western feel. The small town of nearly 600 people is full of hard-working ranchers, farmers, and hunters. Stop by the local watering hole, Perk's Bar, which has been serving drinks since 1916, or simply meander along the authentically small town streets.
2. Silver City
Although it's still home to a handful of people, Silver City is what you'd call a "living ghost town". The small community looks like it could be a replica of one of Idaho's old mining towns, except it actually was one. It doesn't look like a lot has changed over the decades, and that's what makes this town such a great place to visit. The town is full of original wooden structures and historical attractions. If you've ever wanted a good look at what 19th century life looked like in Idaho, this is it.
Pierce is a small town that is simply teeming with history. It's home to Idaho's oldest public building—the Pierce Courthouse. In fact, for a long time Pierce was actually considered the oldest town in Idaho since it was settled in the 1860s (although later it was discovered that Franklin was actually the town that deserved that title). There is a tremendous amount of history to explore here.
4. Fort Hall Replica
Fort Hall in southwestern Idaho is widely recognized as one of the most important landmarks along the Oregon Trail. It was a place for explorers, traders, trappers, miners, and more to come together during Idaho's very early days. The original Fort Hall was built in 1834 and eventually withered due to weathering and flood waters in 1863. However, since it was such a notable part of Idaho's 19th century world, a replica was constructed in the 1960s near Pocatello. Today, Fort Hall is a unique reminder of just how different the early days really were.
Founded in the 1880s, Wallace is by far one of the most historic places you can visit in the state. In fact,
every single downtown building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This little town has withstood a lot over the years. When the Federal Highway Administration made plans to build a new Interstate Highway right through Wallace the community fought back in order to preserve this historic gem of a town. It's pretty amazing to think that even with all the changes the state has undergone throughout the years, the little town of Wallace remains authentically itself.
6. Old Boise
Idaho is home to over 1,000 nationally recognized historic places. They are scattered throughout the state, but Ada County is the one place with the highest concentration with a whopping number of 157 historic places. A majority of these historic buildings can be found right in downtown Boise, sometimes referred to as "Old Boise". Many of Boise's very first buildings are located right in downtown and the surrounding area. The city even offers guided walking tours that take you through "150 years of history and architecture".
7. Chesterfield Historic Site
The Mormon pioneer town of Chesterfield was founded in 1880 in southeast Idaho. Chesterfield is a unique historic site since it prominently shows the rural agricultural side of Idaho's 19th century. Now considered a ghost town, Chesterfield is home to 27 unoccupied structures that stand silently as reflections of early frontier life. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the gorgeous Portneuf Valley, Chesterfield has recently been restored. Tours of the old town and accompanying museum are available.
What do you think? What would you add to this list? If you love Idaho history, then you should definitely plan a trip to
The Oldest Town In Idaho That Everyone Should Visit Once.