ICHF Museums

Boise Basin Museum & Giftshop

The Boise Basin Museum was originally the Post Office. It took Postmaster James Pinney only twenty-nine days to build the Montgomery Street post office after the second great fire in Idaho City destroyed the first one on Main Street. Pinney lived in part of the building and in addition to stamps; he sold books, musical instruments, pistols, magazines, knives, and toys from the post office side. Pinney also operated a circulating library. After Pinney resigned as postmaster in 1872, the building housed a meat market and later the Idaho World newspaper. It remained a post office until 1910.In 1953 the building was deeded to the city for $10 and other valuable considerations.” During the Gold Rush Days in June 1958, it was opened to the public as a museum. It contains a working replica of a mining operation, pictures of many of the Idaho City pioneers and other items of interest.


Kenn Smith Wildfire Museum and Smokejumper Exhibit

These displays are in the Strauss House on Montgomery St. The Wildfire Museum contains displays on Detection, Prevention, Dispatch, Training and Suppression. It has an extensive collection of photographs of firefighting in the Boise Basin. There is a video center where you can view old Forest Service training films, etc. There are several cases with an extensive display of Smokey Bear artifacts. The Smokejumper exhibit has displays and artifacts from when the Smokejumper Unit was in Idaho City. It also has a computer where you can view movies about Smokejumpers, the Region 4 Smokejumper database assembled by Leo Cromwell, and other items of interest. The sign from the Smokejumper’s Loft when they were stationed in Idaho City is on the grounds. It contains signatures of many of the jumpers who were stationed here.  See also: Smokejumpers Park and Strauss House 

Pon Yam Chinese Museum & Cultural Center

This is the only remaining building from Idaho City’s Chinese population, which the 1870 census reported at 1,751 – more than 45% of the total. Nearly all the Chinese in Idaho City were from the Canton vicinity of China. Pon Yam was a successful businessman and a respected leader in the community. It was reported he owned the largest diamond in the mining camp, and he was often called upon to settle disputes among the Chinese tongs. From this building he sold herbs and other Chinese products.

Veterans Park & Firewise Garden

The pedestal in the park honors Jack Williams, a veteran and longtime sheriff of Boise County. There is also a sign made and donated by Scott and Lisa Jackson that honors Veterans. The Firewise Garden is meant to show alternative landscaping ideas that can complement a home and make it safer from wildfire.