The Legend of Boise’s Name
A popular legend surrounding the naming of Boise involves the French fur trappers’ reaction upon discovering the wooded area along the river. According to the story, the trappers, weary from their journey across the hot and dry plains, were overjoyed when they stumbled upon the oasis of trees in the midst of the high desert. They are said to have exclaimed, “Les bois! Les bois! Voyez, les bois!” (The woods! The woods! Look, the woods!”). Although the authenticity of this tale is uncertain, it captures the essence of how the name “Boise” came to be associated with the city.
In conclusion, the story of Boise’s name and founding is a testament to the city’s deep connection with its natural surroundings and the impact of early explorers on its development. From its beginnings as a haven for French-Canadian fur trappers to its growth spurred by the gold rush and eventual designation as the capital of Idaho, the city’s history is inextricably linked to the wooded river that continues to define its character today. As Boise continues to grow and evolve, the legacy of its name and founding remains an integral part of its identity as the “City of Trees.”
Cover image by Glen Hush Photography