Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery

1101 Mountain Cove Rd

Online Search for Fort Boise Military Cemetery Records

History:

Originally located a half mile south at the old Boise Barracks, the cemetery was moved to this location in 1906 after a flash flood roared down Cottonwood Creek causing major damage and erosion to the graves. The officer in charge of the move described the new location, about a half mile north, as somewhat "desirable" and somewhat "level." A total of 166 graves were moved, including those of enlisted men, officers, some officers families, and civilians.MilitaryReservecemeteryMemorialDay2011_1.JPG

A short time later, additional graves were discovered at the original site by soldiers using the old cemetery as a target range. Military activity was halted until these graves were disinterred and moved to the new cemetery location. Additional burials took place -- along with disinterments -- through the spring of 1913 when the Boise Barracks were closed.

Shortly after World War II, the Department of Veterans Affairs decided to close many of their small cemeteries due to funding. However, the historic Fort Boise Military Cemetery was left undisturbed by the request of the U.S. Department of the Army. In 1947 the cemetery was deeded to the city of Boise with the understanding that the cemetery would be maintained as an historic site and kept in its natural state, similar to how it looked at the turn of the century.

Three more unknown people were given solders' burials at the cemetery in 1998. The military ceremony conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs took place on Memorial Day, 1998. The three, presumed to be Civil War veterans, were unearthed during flood control excavation in the vicinity of the original cemetery. Today a total 247 enlisted men, officers, officers' family members, and civilians are laid to rest at the Fort Boise Miliary Cemetery.

Care & Maintenance:

The care and maintenance of the cemetery fell upon the city park caretakers, now Boise Parks and Recreation. In the early years, the major challenge was to prevent and restore amenities caused by vandalism. The site was somewhat isolated in the late 1940s through the early 70s. Graves were sometimes used as targets, markers were stolen, fencing and gates painted, and the flag pole was disabled.

In 1978, the 420-acre parcel surrounding the cemetery was named a reserve by the Park Board of Commissioners in an attempt to retain the ecological, natural state of the area. Subsequently, trails were developed, road access road improved and more people enjoyed the recreation opportunities in the preserve. Increased use greatly reduced vandalism.

Erosion is another major maintenance issue. Although the officer who chose the site described it as somewhat level, the cemetery is actually located on a hillside. In order to curb erosion, native vegetation has been left undisturbed. The area has also been sown with crested wheat and fescue grasses to further establish a strong foothold. Over the years, volunteers have donated and planted bulbs, wildflowers, primrose, and other plants which too have reduced the possibility of erosion. However, poor soil and the lack of a water source make it difficult for plants to survive.

At the site, maintenance is performed to trim weeds around stones, gates, fences and walkways. Markers are righted and repaired, fencing and gates painted as needed, and during weekly visits, debris is picked up and the site is inspected.

Some visitors may get the sense that the cemetery has been abandoned, a solitary resting place of the forgotten. However the goal of the Parks & Recreation is to retain the integrity of the site, respect the land, prevent alienation to the cemetery and most of all, honor the memory of those who rest there.

You may contact our office if you have questions.

The Cemetery Main Office is located at the Parks & Recreation Administration Office
1104 Royal Blvd, Boise, Idaho 83706
Hours: M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
208-608-7598 E-mail: cemeteryinfo@cityofboise.org

Amenities & Details

Adopt-A-Park

The Adopt-A-Park program gives churches, civic organizations, local businesses, and other community groups the opportunity to adopt their neighborhood park. Adopting groups will commit to maintaining their park for a renewable one-year term, helping with things such as eradicating graffiti, picking up litter, filling mutt-mitt dispensers, painting site amenities, raking leaves, and mulching trees and planting beds. In exchange, the Department recognizes the group as the adopting agency via our website and signage at the park.

Interested in adopting a park? Visit here to apply and learn more about our Adopt-A-Park program.

Operating Hours

Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

Smoking Prohibition

Boise Smokefree Park SignSmoking is prohibited in all public parks, including within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt, except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks and city-owned golf courses.

NOTE: E-cigarettes are not prohibited under the ordinances.

Towing

Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner's risk and expense. Boise Valley Towing at (208) 389-9707.