Fort Boise has stood as an important part of the area’s history, from its earliest days when French explorers were coming through the area in the early 1800′s. The Hudson Bay Company was an early entity that had business interests in the area of the Boise River, specifically in reference to the fur trade and other prospects that the area held. In 1834, they set up a fur trading outpost here, right near the river’s mouth. The oupost, by 1836, has gained the name of Fort Boise. Francois Payette, who the present town of Payette is named after, managed the outpost up to 1844.
The fort remained an important post in this area, even after the fur trade dropped off. It was a friendly and comfortable place for visitors in the area to stop, as it was the last one on the route for many years. The first structure that was erected was taken out by a flood in 1853, which was prone to water damage from being constructed of adobe. The fort was closed for a period after an attack in 1854 led to the slaughter of 21 immigrants that had come into the area by Snake River Indians. The Hudson Bay Comapany closed it then.
The fort was renewed in 1863 by the Oregon Cavalry, which built a new post to house soldiers being sent west to provide protection for miners and settlers that were coming into the region. The new location was set up at Moore’s Creek and was commanded by Major Pinkney Lugenbeel. Throughout its long history, the fort served as a wayside rest point for early settlers and later as a haven of protection in the wild west. It housed the soldiers necessary to patrol the wild regions and protect settlers and miners from tribes native to the area. It was also a place of constant war, as troops battled tribes as the west began to close.