Drawing from the Well: The Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga House Public Archaeology Project
Thursday, April 18 | 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM | Water CenterTake a peek into the everyday life of a Basque family that helped settle Boise. In 2012, an archaeological excavation recovered approximately 10,000 artifacts primarily related to the Jacobs family occupation.
After its establishment in 1863, the small military and mining-based settlement of Boise rapidly transformed into a populous and burgeoning city. Cyrus Jacobs, a merchant from Walla Walla, moved his family to Boise in 1864 and was involved with organizing the city's layout. The Jacobs family was influential in economics, politics, and social events, and was considered one of the most prominent early families of Boise.
Today, the Grove Street house, which eventually became a Basque boarding house, is a museum and stands as a marker of Boise's early history and Basque heritage. The majority of artifacts came from a previously unknown well, which was no longer used for water after the 1890s and likely became a convenient place to throw trash. Preliminary analyses of the artifacts, coupled with archival research, will illuminate aspects of early life in Boise, issues of class and gender, and how the family experienced life in the urban frontier.
About the PresenterJessica Goodwin, Graduate Student, University of Idaho
Jessica Goodwin grew up in Reno, Nevada and received her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2012. Since childhood she spent a lot of time in Virginia City, Nevada, an historic mining town, and became interested in history and archaeology. After working in Virginia City and various other sites in Nevada, she decided to pursue her love of historic archaeology of the West by going to graduate school. She began graduate studies at the University of Idaho in the fall of 2012, and her thesis will concern the recent excavations at the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga house in Boise.