Near Boise in Ada County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
According to tradition, a hunting party led by the explorer Captain Benjamin Bonneville reached this promontory in 1833. They saw the lush river valley below and exclaimed in French, “Les bois; les bois; vouyez le bois!” (“The woods; the woods; see the woods!”) In this way, Captain Bonneville’s party became credited with naming the Boise Valley.
A career soldier, Bonneville secured a leave of absence from the Army to “examine the locations, habits and trading practices of the Indian tribes, visit the American and British establishments, and study the best means of making the country available to American citizens.” He left St. Louis in May 1832 with 110 men and 20 wagons.
Bonneville explored Utah’s Great Salt Lake and crossed southern Idaho several times. His routes helped establish what became the Oregon Trail for settlers entering the Boise River Valley. He finally returned to the East in 1835.
Today, Bonneville County, Idaho, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are named in his honor.
-Washington Irving, The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, 1837
Bonneville Point Time Line
- 1978 - Congress designates the Oregon Trail as a National Historic Trail.
- 1972 - Bonneville Point is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
- 1927 - The Kiwanis Club of Boise erects a stone monument at Bonneville Point.
- 1890 - Idaho becomes the 43rd state in the Union.
- 1883 - The Oregon Short Line Railroad reaches southern Idaho. Wagons continue to travel the Oregon Trail.
- 1878 - Bannock War began on Camas Prairie.
- 1877 - United States establishes Duck Valley Indian Reservation.
- 1867 - United State establishes Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
- 1864-66 - The Governor of Idaho Territory negotiates two treaties with southwestern Idaho bands of Shoshone, Bannock, and Paiute Indians. The treaties were never ratified by Congress.
- 1863 - Idaho Territory is created on March 4, 1863. The United States Army establishes military Fort Boise as a major cavalry post to protect wagon trains and gold miners. This led to the
- 1862 - Miners discover gold near Idaho City.
- 1856 - Hudson’s Bay Company abandons its southern Idaho fur trade posts.
- 1843 - The first large party of emigrants travel the Oregon Trail, taking wagons past Fort Hall to the Williamette Valley in Oregon.
- 1833 - Captain Benjamin L.E. Bonneville visits this promontory point with a fur trapping expedition.
- 1821 - North West Company merges with Hudson’s Bay Company.
- 1819 - Donald Mackenzie, working for North West Company, negotiates peace with Indians to open up the fur trade in southwestern Idaho.
- 1813 - John Reid establishes a fur trading post at the mouth of the Boise River.
- 1811 - Wilson Price Hunt’s expedition, working for John Jacob Astor, explores southern Idaho and reaches the Boise River Valley. Expedition member Donald Mackenzie continues north to explore the Seven Devils region and Lewiston Valley.
- 1804-06 - Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery explore the Northwest and central Idaho.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Exploration.
Location. 43° 29.513′ N, 116° 2.434′ W. Marker is near Boise, Idaho, in Ada County. Marker can be reached from S. Upper Blacks Creek Road 1.3 Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Boise ID 83716, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bonneville Point (here, next to this marker); The Fur Trade and the Tide of Emigration (here, next to this marker); The Hunt Expedition (a few steps from this marker); The Shoshone and Northern Paiute (a few steps from this marker); Site 10 ★ Blacks Creek Road Crossing (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Foote Legacy in Idaho (approx. 2.6 miles away); Basque Country (approx. 3.4 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boise.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2018. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 730 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 17, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. 3. submitted on November 1, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. 4. submitted on February 17, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.