In 1834 the Hudson Bay Company erected a fur trading outpost near the mouth of the Boise River where it flowed into the Snake River. By 1836 the post was known as "Fort Boise", and was under the charge of Francois Payette until 1844.
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Although the fur trade soon declined, the Fort remained a vital place, and it became famous for its hospitality to travelers on the Oregon Trail. The Fort was a virtual oasis along the deserts of the Snake River Plain,. The last outpost prior to this being Fort Hall, some 300 miles to the east. In 1853 a flood washed away the original building which were constructed of adobe, and in 1854 the Snake River Indians massacred twenty-one emigrants led by Alexander Ward in Boise Valley. This event lead to the closing of Fort Boise by the Hudson's Bay Company the next summer.
Work began again on a new post at that location in 1863 by a troop of Oregon Cavalry. Troops were being moved into the area to protect the miners and settlers who were flooding into the area to follow a gold and silver rush. The new Fort Boise was established at Moores Creek under the command of Major Pinkney Lugenbeel, and housed U.S. Cavalry.
As wagon trains of miners and emigrants increased the next year, so did uprisings of the Snake River Shoshones. Thus, constant patrols crossed the Idaho tablelands to help keep the Indians peaceful, and to help support law officers in the mining camps. Almost continuos warfare operations were waged against the Indians during 1863 to 1879.
In 1879 the Fort was renamed to the "Boise Barracks, and continued to house a small Cavalry force until 19l3. Abandoned after World War I, the site is now used by Veterans Administration; many fine buildings built in l890 remain. The oldest structure is the former officers quarters, built in 1863. The site is north of downtown Boise at 5th and Fort Streets.