The Historical Archaeology of Boise Basin Mining Communities
by Renae Campbell, University of Idaho
In the late nineteenth century, mining booms in Southern Idaho’s Boise Basin drew migrants from across the globe to what would briefly become the largest population center in the Pacific Northwest. In communities like Idaho City, Placerville, and Old Boston, nearly half of this population had been born in China. Today the Boise Basin is best known for its outdoor recreation activities, historic graveyards, and not-quite ghost towns, but it also contains a rich archaeological record of Chinese mining sites. This presentation summarizes research being conducted by the Boise National Forest and the University of Idaho to uncover the stories connected to these archaeological sites, the Chinese pioneers who once inhabited them, and the mining networks operating in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Boise Basin.
LECTURER: Renae Campbell Historical Archaeology Doctoral Candidate, Departments of History and Anthropology Research Associate, Asian American Comparative Collection, University of Idaho, Moscow