In 1820, Joseph Shissler and John Siers purchased the first one hundred and sixty acres of what was to become the 21 Ranch. Originally a squatter’s claim on the land of the Nez Perce Tribe, or Nimi'ipuu, the property now borders the reservation’s…

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…

Wallace, Idaho has a history of indulging in vices and lasciviousness. Since its establishment members of the local government engaged in the illegal prostitution and gambling activities produced as an outlet for miners in the community. This led to…