by Wildcat Dianne
August 10, 2003
When we first entered the Idaho Black History Museum, I was surprised at how small it was. We were greeted by a kind volunteer named Bill who asked us if we were local or from out of town. I said I lived in Boise, and Ken said he was from Arkansas. Bill then told us about the history of the museum.
The museum is housed in the former St. Paul the Baptist Church, one of two African-American churches founded in Boise in 1909. St. Paul's Church was built in 1921 by church members and served as an important place of worship for Boise's small African-American population until they moved to a new location in 1993. A preservation committee fought to save and preserve the church, and the museum has been there since 1995.
The exhibits in the Idaho Black History Museum change often, and the day Ken and I visited, we saw an exhibit on African-American inventors. Did you know an African-American invented the lawn mower>My friend and fellow Igougo guide Ken (GN: ducksunset) and I just parted company after spending five fun-filled days visiting each other in my adopted home of Boise, Idaho. It was sad parting after so much fun touring around Boise, and Ken said he learned a lot more about Boise from me rather than books or tour groups? It was interesting learning about the many inventions we take for granted were invented by African-Americans. It is sad to know that an African-American invented plasma, but bled to death when a white hospital refused to treat him after an accident.
I was hoping for more about the history of African-Americans in Idaho, but I guess I will have to wait for another exhibit.
There was a model train set up on the floor of the museum, and as I was talking with Bill, I looked down, and there was Ken, the train nut, playing with the trains. I just broke up laughing.
The Idaho Black History Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday in the Summer from 10-4 and in the Winter from Wednesday-Saturday from 11-4. It is free to get into the museum, but a donation box is at the entrance to encourage donations to keep the museum going.
Idaho Black History Museum
Inside Julia Davis Park, Capital Boulevard
508 N. Julia Davis Drive
Boise, Idaho 83702
From journal Dianne and Ken's Grand Tour of Boise