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Reference Series

Former State Historian Merle Wells originated the Idaho State Historical Society Reference Series in the 1960s. Merle sought to have a handy series providing people with quick snapshots of different topics in Idaho history. Since Merle wrote many of the vignettes himself, it is no wonder that the series is particularly strong in topics such as territorial politics and Idaho mining history, some of his favorites.

But Merle also enlisted others to write; indeed, he encouraged virtually anyone he knew who was researching an Idaho topic particularly, but not limited to, Idaho State Historical Society staff to spin out a reference series summary. Under his enthusiastic leadership, the series grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s.

As technologies changed, providing new ways for the public to access information and as Merle retired new entries to the series virtually ceased. But it remains a rich repository of Idaho information.

For the most part, the series entries are unattributed. Few have bibliographies or endnotes. Most are undated. Certainly, these are frustrations to the serious scholar. But Merle did not aim this series at the scholar. Rather, he intended it as a means for people to get started in Idaho history. Find a topic here and whet your appetite. The idea was that those interested in more would move on to explore other research materials; the series was never intended to be the end-all of information available about any given topic.

Enjoy. Here you’ll find stories of famous Idahoans; of trappers and miners; of towns and counties; legends and battles; trails and historic sites. There are more than 1,000 topics to choose from.

And if you are interested in more information, be sure to check out the rich repositories of information about Idaho that we have available for researchers at the Idaho State Archives and at the State Historic Preservation Office. The Idaho State Historical Society helps people of all ages to explore and appreciate Idaho’s rich past. A good place to begin is right here, with our Reference Series.

How to Use the Reference Series
The number of pages in the article appears in parentheses. (Gaps in the numerical sequence are reserved for future titles.) The documents were created over a span of time and use a variety of fonts and layout schemes.

We offer (below) a thematic arrangement of our Reference Series but please note this is a partial list of the titles in the series. Our site’s Search feature–found at the top of the page–can help you find exact names or topics.

50. (2) The Oregon Trail In Idaho

51. (2) Goodale’s Cutoff

52. (3) The California Trail in Idaho

71. (2) Eagle Rock Ferry

74. (3) Kelton Road

75. (2) The Toano Route

78. (9) Boise-Idaho City Toll Road (Boise to Idaho City Toll Road)

79. (1) Route of the Oregon Trail in the Upper Boise Valley

93. (4) The Goodrich Trail

94. (3) South Boise Wagon Road

95. (5) Rice and Porter Toll Road

96. (3) Mount Idaho-Salmon Meadows Wagon Road

115. (1) Kleinschmidt Grade and Seven Devils

126. (5) City of Rocks and Granite Pass

127. (1) O’Farrell Cabin

143. (15) North Idaho Stage Lines

144. (3) Stage Lines – Boise Basin

145. (3) Stage Lines – Owyhee

146. (2) Stage Lines – Overland and Kelton

147. (1) Stage Lines – Salt Lake – Montana

148. (3) Stage Lines – Yankee Fort, Wood River, and Salmon (Lemhi)

149. (4) Stage Lines – Southwestern Idaho

150. (4) Stage Coach Travel Times

151. (5) Poor Law Legislation

182. (23) Soda Springs

184. (10) Salmon Falls and Thousand Springs

185. (4) Three Island Crossing

187. (3) Rattlesnake Station

189. (3) Exploration of City of Rocks and Granite Pass

215. (3) Gilmore and Pittsburg Railroad

216. (2) Idaho Central Railroad

218. (1) Boise, Nampa, and Owyhee Railroad

220. (2) Boise Valley Electric Railroads

221. (2) Intermountain Railway

285. (1) Nez Perce Trail

286. (4) The Lolo Trail

287. (4) The Mullan Road in Idaho

288. (1) The Mullan Tree

290. (3) Hudspeth’s Cutoff

349. (2) Overland State Company Operations at City of Rocks

350. (3) Alexander Ross, Fur Hunters of the Far West (1956), Footnote Corrections

436. (1) Brownlee Ferry

465. (19) South Boise Stage Lines

 

3. (1) The Boise City Assaying and Refining Works

4. (1) Four Stages in Idaho’s Mining Development

5. (1) Idaho’s Gold Production Compared to the US Total in 19th Century

6. (1) Idaho’s Gold Production, 1860-1866

Idaho’s Mining History JPG (small)

8. (2) Elias Davidson Pierce and the Founding of Pierce

9. (26) Mining in Idaho

19. (1) Rocky Bar Spanish Legend

20. (2) Thunder Mountain

64. (1) Idaho Ghost Towns

65 (2) Mining In Idaho

66. (3) Silver Mountain Mines

99. (2) Placer Mining Methods

92. (19) Caleb Lyon of Lyonsdale and The Boise Claim

106. (3) The Boise Claim

160. (2) Silver Mountain Mines

161. (2) Idaho Silver Production

162. (1) Boise River Placers

163. (1) Boise Ridge Mines

166. (3) Placer Mining in Idaho, 1862-1864

167. (4) Lode Mining in Idaho, 1864-1869

172. (4) The Effect of Mining in the Economy of the Boise Region

173. (4) Lumber in the Boise Region

176. (6) Agricultural History of Boise Valley, 1920-1945

177. (3) Markets for Boise Valley Crops

191. (1) Gold Silver Value Formula

194. (3) Site Report – Pierce-Weippe

195. (3) Site Report – Elk City Region

196. (4) Florence

197. (5) Site Report – Warrens

198. (4) Site Report – Boise Basin

199. (12) Rocky Bar Mines

200. (2) The Owyhee Country

201. (2) Banner

202. (5) Atlanta

203. (2) Leesburg

204. (8) Site Report – Yankee Fork-Robinson Bar

205. (10) Site Report – Cariboo Mountain-Tincup Creek

206. (7) Site Report – Wood River

207. (2) The Sawtooth & Vienna Mining Districts

208. (6) Mackay and Copper Basin

209. (3) Gilmore And The Viola Mining Region

210. (3) Coeur d’Alene Mining Wars

214. (2) The Idaho Farm Workers’ Service, incorporated

223. (2) Deadwood

225. (1) Horse Combines In The Palouse Country

283. (1) Black Warrior Mines

296. (2) Snake River Fine Gold

297. (5) Snake River Placers

364. (1) Chinese Mining in Idaho

365. (1) Stanley Basin Mines

366. (3) The Loon Creek Mines

380. (3) Recovery Processes for Idaho Ores

385. (6) Yellow Jacket Mining District

394. (1) Salish Languages in North Idaho & Adjacent Washing and Montana

395. (1) The Name Coeur d’Alene and Pend d’Oreille

396. (3) Reference List of Articles on the Nez Perce Indians in Idaho Yesterdays

431. (1) Pioneer Day

441. (2) The Chinese Massacre at Douglas Bar, Snake River

447. (2) The Coeur d’Alene Mine Labor Problem, 1892-1899

455. (2) J. Marion More: Idaho Mining Pioneer (1830-1868)

456. (1) Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining and Concentrating Co.

468. (5) Calendar Of Idaho State Auditor’s Correspondence Relating To Coeur D’Alene Mine Labor Problem, 1899 1900

472. (1) Mining Districts In Idaho

Idaho’s Mining History JPG (small)

2. (1) Date of the Creation of Idaho

11. (1) Counties Which No Longer Exist

12. (1) Territorial Political Conventions 1864-1890

15. (2) Territorial Governors of Idaho

30. (2) Boise City Charter

31. (2) Trees in Early Boise

32. (1) The Name “Boise”

33. (1) The Name “Eagle Rock”

34. (1) The Name “Minidoka”

35. (1) The Name “Moscow”

36. (1) The Name “Owyhee”

37. (1) The Name ” Pocatello”

39. (2) The Origin of the Name Nampa

40. (3) Bigfoot

42. (1) Total Votes of Counties in Territorial Elections

46. (2) Territorial Legislative Apportionment

48. (3) Territorial Government in Idaho, 1863-1969

69. (3) Origins of Idaho’s County Names

83. (4) Idaho Territorial Administration, 1869-1876

84. (3) Mason Brayman and the Boise Ring, 1876-1888

103. (2) List of Early Post Offices in Idaho

104. (3) Pacific Northwest Boundaries, 1848-1868

107. (7) Theatre in Idaho 100 Years Ago

108. (3) Idaho Before Statehood

112. (1) Alturas County

123. (1) Early Idaho Secretaries in Government Offices

129. (1) Census of 1863

130. (1) Census of 1864

131. (1) Idaho Legislature 

132. (4) Idaho’s Territorial Capitol

155. (1) Penitentiary and University Locations

156. (1) The Idaho-Mountain Boundary Legend

180. (2) Idaho Territorial Government

222. (3) Idaho Centennial Publications

226. (2) Idaho’s First Year, 1863-1864

251. (1) John Kelly And Willie The Snake Indian Boy

252. (1) Idaho Territorial Prison

253. (1)  Picket’s Corral

255. (1) Meaning Of The Name Pahsimeroi

258. (1) How Idaho Got Its Name 

264. (3) The Creation Of The Territory Of Idaho

265. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns October 31, 1863

266. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns October 10,1864

267. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns 1865

268. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns August 13,1866

269. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns August 10, 1868

270. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns June 6, 1870

271. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 5, 1872

272. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 3, 1874

273. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 7, 1876

274. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 5,1878

275. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns December 4, 1880

276. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 7, 1882

277. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 4, 1884

278. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 2, 1886

279. (1) Idaho Territorial Election Returns November 6,1888

324. (2) Early Idaho County

329. (3) Early Lemhi County

334. (2) Early Nez Perce County

335. (2) Early Oneida County

336. (2) Owyhee County

339. (2) Early Shoshone County

344. (2) Location Of Idaho’s Territorial Capital

348. (1) Delegates To The Idaho Constitutional Convention

359. (2) The Old Assay Office In Boise

369. (4) Caleb Lyon’s Bruneau Treaty April 12, 1866

371. (1) Arrival Of Territorial Officals In Idaho 1863

372. (1) The First Idaho Territorial Legislature

373. (2) Cochran, Daniels And The Golden Age

374. (1) Caleb Lyon On Lyonsdale

375. (1) S.D. Cochran’s Candidacy For Office

376. (2) Absence Of Idaho Territorial Officials 1864

377. (2) Caleb Lyon’s Statehood Scheme

378. (2) The Slocum Case

379. (2) Organization Of The Idaho Territorial Supreme Court

425. (1) Idaho Centennial Series Published In Idaho Yesterdays

461. (1) Slaterville And The Founding Of Lewiston

467. (13) Legislative Investigation Of The Defalcations Inthe Secretary’s Office January 31, 1866

478. (2) National Issues In Idaho During The Civil War

479. (2) Meeting Places Of The Territorial Legislature

480. (5) Fur Trade Era Idaho Annotated Bibliography

481. (6) Founding And Construction Of The Penitentiary

482. (3) Idaho Indian Treaty Lands

483. (1) Idaho Indian Reservations

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