Welcome to the Great State of Idaho!

Appaloosa, State Horse Mountain Bluebird, State Bird Syringa, State Flower

This is a website for sharing historical and genealogical information about the state of Idaho. I would be very happy to link to any website you have which deals with these subjects. Any topic is acceptable as long as it deals with Idaho's history or genealogy.

The American history and Genealogy Project (AHGP) is an unincorporated, not-for-profit network of independent sites devoted to History and Genealogy and covering North American Countries and Territories. For more information about our group, including how you can join us, please see AHGP About Page. ~ Sharon McConnel ("McConnel Homesteads", in Canyon and Valley Counties).

The first Europeans to enter what is now Idaho are believed to be Captain Meriwether Lewis and Captain William Lewis, enroute to the Pacific Ocean. Their expedition crossed the Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass in 1805. Finding the Salmon River to rough for passage, they eventually crossed the state by way of the Lolo Pass and the Clearwater River. (See Discovering Lewis & Clark, Lewis & Clark at Nat'l Park Service and Trailblazers)

In 1836 Henry H. Spaulding and his wife established a Nez Perce Indian mission near Lapwai (now Nez Perce County). Eliza Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman were the first European women to cross the Continental Divide.

In 1843 the first Oregon Trail immigrants passed through southern Idaho. (See Oregon-California Trails Assoc. and Oregon Trail at Nat'l Park Service.)

Idaho Territory was created on July 4, 1863, at Lewiston. Parts of the present-day state were included in the Oregon, Washington, and Dakota Territories. The new territory included present-day Idaho, Montana, and most of Wyoming. Idaho became the 43rd state on July 3, 1890.




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Sawtell Ranch, Freemont County

"Jackson took this interior of Sawtell's ranch house. Partners Sawtell and Wurtz caught fish for sale to miners at Virginia City, Montana. They also rented lodgings to big game hunters.

"Earliest to record the scenery of eastern Idaho was undoubtedly William Henry Jackson, photographer with Ferdinand V. Hayden's Geological Survey party of 1871-72. . . Although most of Jackson's pictures for the Hayden Survey recorded topography and geology, those of Fort Hall Agency, Sawtell's Ranch and Taylor's Bridge, on the site of modern Idaho Falls, have great historical interest. His photographs of Yellowstone are often credited with persuading Congress to make it our first national park." - Arthur A. Hart, "Camera Eye on Idaho, Pioneer Photography, 1863-1913;" The Caxton Printers, Ltd., Caldwell, Idaho, 1990.

exterior of Sawtell Ranch on Henry's Lake, Fremont County ~ More of Jackson's photographs at National Archives


Updated 10 December 2014  ~  Updates
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