Fort Boise/Boise City

ABOVE: Boise City (50 miles from the fort). BELOW: Inside the original fort.

Fort Boise was originally built by the British Hudson's Bay Company to compete with American Fort Hall for fur. But by the 1840s, the fur trade was declining, and the emigrants were increasing. The fort served the wagon trains throughout the 40s but floods plagued the area--and by 1855 Ft. Boise was gone.

Eight years later a new Ft. Boise was built 50 miles to the east--and the city of Boise grew up alongside. Except for the start and finish, Boise was the largest city on the Oregon Trail. Over a century later, it still is.

By the time the emigrants struck west from Ft. Boise, it was mid-September. What if the snows came early, they worried. Would they be stranded in the mountains. Would they end up like the Donner Party--freezing to death, or resorting to cannibalism? It was on the mind of nearly everyone as they hurried through this region--and they still had 400 miles to travel.