Monday, March 23, 2009

Arthur Hart Straightens Me Out

Arthur Hart, Director Emeritus of the Idaho State Historical Society and historian extraordinaire, pointed out that my description under the postcard of the "Public Buildings, Jefferson Street", the second photo shown in the previous post, Governor Steunenberg's Office in the Territorial Capitol Building, is incorrect.

Dear John,
I appreciate receiving your informative and interesting "Idaho Meanderings." One minor correction to your labeling of the first postcard in today's wonderful collection of images: I am sure the big building in the foreground is Central School, not the courthouse. The interior shots are gems!
With sincere appreciation,
Arthur A. Hart

I did go checking, goggling, comparing images, etc. After all, this was a chance for the rookie to show up the veteran, to make by mark and demonstrate who has the sharper eye. However, I guess that will have to await another time. Just as Arthur indicates, that is the old Central School building in the foreground, not the courthouse as I mistakenly identified it. The courthouse is in the very far distance with just a peek of the steeple visible. If I had been smart, I would have opened up my copy of Life In Old Boise by one...Arthur Hart! It shows an engraving of Capital Square and Arthur has written "An engraving of Idaho's Territorial Capitol Building, published in 1887, shows Capitol Square; the buildings, left to right, are Central School, the Capitol, and the Ada County Courthouse. (The present capitol now occupies the space.)"1888 ENGRAVING CAPITOL SQUARE, BOISE CITY  

Since we can't see much of the courthouse in that picture postcard from the previous post, here is one of several I have of it with the Haywood Trial inset. It looks kind of like the central school building!I have cut and pasted a couple items below from the Internet. The picture immediately below shows the "new" central school built in 1905. The old central school continued to be utilized for various purposes until it burned on November 24, 1908 (see further down below). It was destined for demolition anyway. You can see in the fire picture that the new capitol rotunda is already under construction to the immediate right. The building would need to come down to make way for the wing of the capitol housing the senate chambers. I believe I have it right but I know Arthur will straighten me out if not.

From-- (no longer an active link)

CENTRAL SCHOOL - 610 North Seventh Street
The State Legislature passed a law on February 4, 1881 creating the Independent School District of Boise City No. 1. The School District began operations in the large Central School building in September. 1882. The school housed four grades; primary, secondary, grammar, and high school. Central was the only public high school during the territorial period. The original building was located at 8th and Jefferson (the site of the State Capitol Senate Chambers).

A new Central School opened in 1906 at the corner of 7th and Washington The old building was used for a time for some special programs, and burned in 1908. Beginning in 1946, Central was the home of the cadet teacher program for Boise College.

The article below showing the fire is a bit misleading, as the picture to the right of the burning school would appear to be presented as a shot taken before the fire. However, that picture shows the already existing new central school at the corner of 7th & Washington, not the building that burned at Jefferson and 8th. Am I right Arthur?

The Fresno Morning Republican California 1908-12-05
Posted November 24th, 2008 by Stu Beitler

Dec. 4. -- The Central school building, temporarily occupied by the Idaho State School for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, was partially destroyed by fire early this morning. Forty children, inmates of the institution, were being marched to breakfast when the alarm was given and they were taken out of the building in perfect order. The loss is $10,000.


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