1/12/15 – Coeur d’Alene Mining Pollution

We recently came upon an unexpected Idaho Daily Statesman headline – “Nelson Attacks River Pollution” – while doing research on the early 1930s.[i] The headline appeared more than 30 years before pollution and sewage caused Ohio’s Cuyahoga River to catch fire and help spur the environmental movement to address water pollution nationwide. But, in northern… Read the Rest »

1/7/15 – Women for Legislature: High-Brows or Flappers?

With the 2014 midterm election not far behind us, an archival article from 1930 on women serving in the Idaho state legislature seemed too good not to share. The Idaho Statesman article recounted a tongue-in-cheek debate between Mrs. Frank Bruins and Mrs. W.T. Leighton that took place at a Burbank Federation meeting and revolved around… Read the Rest »

1/5/15 – Hells Canyon

This October, SHRA had the chance to explore Hells Canyon on the Snake River, North America’s deepest river gorge. From the water, the many layers of cliffs, hills, and mountains rise 7,400 feet to the Seven Devils Mountains on the Idaho side, and more than a mile to the canyon rim on the Oregon side…. Read the Rest »

12/22/14 – Happy Holidays from SHRA

SHRA is taking a blog hiatus for the next couple of weeks, but we will still be posting to Twitter and Facebook.  Please join us at @pastforwardSHRA on Twitter or for some our favorite blog posts from the past, as well as interesting articles from around the web. We’ll be back with new content the week… Read the Rest »

12/17/14 – First Ladies of Idaho

Here’s a neat find from a recent trip to the archives: a booklet of photos and autobiographies of the first ladies of Idaho.[i] The booklet was published by the Friends of the Historical Museum in 1990, and it offers a glimpse into the lives (and wardrobes) of the wives of Idaho’s first governors. The early… Read the Rest »

12/15/14 – Then & Now Fairview Avenue

Because most of our projects focus on the built and natural environments, SHRA researchers often find themselves researching at the unique intersection between environmental and urban history. In early 2014, our research led to 1950s photographs of Fairview Avenue in Boise, Idaho, a road that is now a major thoroughfare in the Treasure Valley. One… Read the Rest »

12/10/14 – The USGS Takes on Dowsing

While perusing the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) water-supply papers recently, SHRA researchers were surprised to find a paper from 1917 titled “The Divining Rod: A History of Water Witching.”[i] USGS papers tend to deal with river hydrology or aquifer resources, so this topic was quite a change. What did the USGS have to say… Read the Rest »

12/8/14 – A Bird’s Eye View

Some of our favorite sources here at SHRA are maps. While our researchers take great joy in analyzing the intricacies of all maps, bird’s eye view or panoramic maps are some of our absolute favorites. Created in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century by cartographers, these images depicted cities from above at a… Read the Rest »

12/3/14 – Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

Here in Idaho, the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in September 2014 has a special significance. Idaho is home to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the second largest wilderness area in the United States, containing 2.4 million acres of rugged mountains, forests, and rivers. It was named after Frank Church, who… Read the Rest »

12/1/14 – Warts and Frogs: a 19th Century Explanation

From current popular television shows like Dr. Oz to the evening news and the morning newspapers, it seems like we are constantly bombarded with information pertaining to our health. The information is generally taken from the latest scientific research and expressed straightforwardly, in terms that most Americans can understand. A look through the archives shows… Read the Rest »

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