Between 1860 and 1875, the Chinese population in Idaho dramatically increased. In fact, at its height, the Chinese accounted for over 30 percent of the state’s population—the highest per capita amount in the entire nation. Following the alluring…

Born in Northern China, Polly Bemis came to the United States as a young woman. The details surrounding her arrival are unclear, but it appears as if Polly’s impoverished family sold her to bandits. These bandits shipped her to the United States and…

Many Chinese immigrants to the United States in the 19th century came to work as laborers and miners. They faced considerable discrimination and challenging working conditions in the American West. Usually reworking claims that American miners had…

Similar to the rest of Idaho, Boise was home to many Chinese immigrants in the mid to late 1800s. Integral to Boise’s history, Boise’s first Chinatown was first located in the middle of downtown Boise, on Idaho Street. Attracted to the Boise Basin…

While only a small, white wooden frame church is all that remains of the St. Peter’s Mission today, when it was first built, the Mission was an arresting stone structure bustling with students, nuns, and priests. Constructed under the direction of…