Land Histories

Every parcel of land has a history. From indigenous settlements to pioneer homesteads, industrial manufacturing to residential subdivisions, land often has a long and complicated history of population, zoning, and use. SHRA can research and narrate this story for you, connecting your present interests to the location’s storied past.

Select Past Projects

Harris Ranch (2015-2020): The Harris family of Boise, Idaho has spent the past 40 years working to transition their cattle ranch to the 1300-acre master planned community known as Harris Ranch. The development is located in Boise’s Barber Valley, which was home to myriad people, wildlife, and various enterprises in the years before the Harris family came to own the land there. The valley was the site of Native American gatherings in the earliest times, and several sawmills, an entire town, a railroad, and a box factory in later years. The Harrises hired SHRA to research and write a book about the rich and varied land use in this valley over time. The book was published in 2020. 

State Lands: In 2014, the State of Idaho hired SHRA to research and write the history of state-owned lands in one of the state’s lake resort areas. Because the state is mandated to direct the highest and best uses of its lands, SHRA was tasked with understanding all of the area’s past and current uses. In the course of research, we chronicled many non-governmental organizations’ extensive use of the lake, including by churches, the Boy Scouts of America, and the YMCA.