Historical Fun Facts

Fairgrounds

DID YOU KNOW? From 1902 to 1967, the Western Idaho Fair (formerly known as the Idaho Intermountain Fair) was located right here in our neighborhood? In 1967, the fair outgrew its Bench location at Orchard and Irving and was moved to it’s present-day location in Garden City.

“Western Idaho Fair: A Centennial History, 1897-1997” by Arthur Hart


Wood Products Co, Inc.

DID YOU KNOW? Wood Products Co., Inc. located at 5420 W. Morris Hill Rd. was built in 1959 and is one of the first commercial buildings in the Morris Hill area. The wooden arched dome roof came from an airplane hangar in Spokane, WA. Wood Products is a locally-owned family business now in its 3rd generation. Robert Johnson purchased the business and passed it down to his son, Marvin Johnson who then passed it on to his son, James Johnson. The equipment photos above include a jointer, chain mortiser, and an American sash sticker and molder, which is one of only two remaining in the United States. This particular machine was originally steam driven and then replaced with an electric motor.


Tandy Center

Idaho Statesman Digital Collection

DID YOU KNOW? The Tandy Center is the shopping center on Orchard Street where Tandy Leather Company is still operating. The structure cost $200,000 to build and originally had five stores, Color Tile Supermarts, Dial Finance, Tandy Leather/American Handicrafts, and Allied Radio Shack. The shopping center held it’s grand opening on October 24, 1970. Among the participants were (left to right) W. Charles Anderson, president elect of the Boise Chamber of Commerce, Sherm Perry, Boise City Council President and Dean Lawrence, Seattle District Manager for Tandy Corporation.


Neighborhood Watch

Carol Nye provided the handwritten neighborhood watch map below from the first Neighborhood Watch group in Morris Hill. The group was created by Carol’s father, Dick Nye and another neighbor, Bill Beus back in the early 1960’s.


Paul Revere and the Raiders

Mildred Hickman and her husband rented a home on behalf of Robert and Loretta McDowell to Paul Revere (i.e. Paul Revere and the Raiders!) and his first wife during the 1960’s. Mildred has all sorts entertaining stories and photos.

 


Orchard Street Celebration 2012

In the spring of 2012, the Morris Hill Neighborhood Association sponsored an event called the Orchard Street Celebration. The City of Boise and several Orchard Street businesses helped to fund the all day celebration – complete with live musical entertainment, an Up On The Bench art exhibit, and activities for the whole family.

 


Morris Hill Welcomes New Neighbors

In 2008, the Morris Hill Neighborhood Association created a Hospitality Committee to welcome new neighbors to our community. The Fun Facts worksheet, found below, is included as part of our Welcome package and it helps acquaint our new neighbors to the rich history of the Morris Hill neighborhood.



Idaho Statesman Articles

Idaho Statesman – Backyard refuge on the Boise Bench – June 25, 2010

Idaho Statesman – Gardens flourish on the Bench – August 13, 2010