Boise is Idaho’s capital, but at times it might as well be in Iowa. Or Io.
There’s that much distance between Kootenai County and Boise in mindset, if not mileage.
But like it or not, our state-aided preservation hall must reside in the capital city, so that’s where the Idaho State Historical Society put down stakes 110 years ago.
Technically, that first facility resided in the basement of the Capitol, but by the 1950s it had its own home. In half a year or so, it’s going to have a much bigger and better presence, as we noted on Saturday’s front page.
This is an exciting development for all kinds of reasons. You don’t need to be a history buff to get caught up in the amazing life and times of pioneer filmmaker Nell Shipman or want to absorb every snap, crackle and pop of 1910’s Big Burn (from a safe distance). The show our historical society is putting on, the stories it will tell in so many ways, will make astute state historians of us all.
That for Idaho will be a huge win. The historical society will deliver a blow to ignorance by opening a chapter of Idaho civics that never before has been so accessible.
Thanks to technological advances and superb planning and execution, the historical society’s new museum will be interactive both on the floor and in the field. While a physical visit would be incomparable, virtual tours and other avenues of entry via the internet will bring many of the state’s most important people, events and accomplishments into classrooms and living rooms even way up here.
An American weakness that has not spared this great state is that too many of us don’t understand our places’ past. That, as poets and pundits have long portended, dooms us to a mistake-riddled future. This newspaper has long cried for much greater emphasis of civics lessons in various forms, and coming in the summer of 2018, the Idaho State Historical Society is offering up some powerful civics medicine.
You can go to Boise and soak it in, but with a proper internet connection, you could also check it out from Iowa.
The moons of Jupiter might be a stretch.