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Boise beginnings: Boise Post Office opens on March 26, 1890.

HistoryLink.org Essay 509 : Printer-Friendly Format

On March 26, 1890, Boise Post Office opens. John P. Jones is the first postmaster. The post office is located 34 miles southeast of Seattle two miles southwest of Enumclaw near the King-Pierce County boundary along the Northern Pacific Railroad line. Boise sits on the north bank of the White River at the mouth of Boise Creek.

In 1889, Boise Creek was the name of the flag station on the Cascade Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad. (A flag station is one at which a train stops if a flag is out, but not otherwise.) The town was platted (1888) as Boise Creek (later Boise). Boise had a hotel, two general stores, a saw mill, a flour mill, a shingle mill, and a saloon. It was situated in a hop growing area: The main shipments were lumber, shingles, and hops. (Hops are the main ingredient of beer.)

All land in the Western United States, including King County, Washington, was surveyed into a rectangular grid system in accordance with the U. S. Land Ordinance of 1785. The grid system, used to identify the legal boundaries of real estate, divides land into sections and townships. A section is one square mile (640 acres) and a township is 36 sections (36 square miles). Boise is located at the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter Section 35 Township 20 N Range 6 E.

Sources:
Guy Reed Ramsey, "Postmarked Washington, 1850-1960," Microfilm (Olympia: Washington State Library, February, 1966), 629-630; R. L. Polk & Co., Orgegon Washington and Idaho Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1889-90 Vol. 4, (Portland, OR: Published by R. L. Polk, 1889), 573.


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