Tom and Julia Davis Home Ca. 1900

To my dear husband Dave
You made this park renovation a reality
Love and thanks, Diane Davis Mykelgard

When is it time for a bigger house? For Tom and Julia Davis, it was two years after the birth of Hazel, their sixth and last child, in 1888. This was Tom's third dwelling. His (and Boise's) first had gone up in February 1863, a rough cabin of cottonwood logs and a door with a stout wooden bar for protection.

That bachelor outfit became obsolete as the Davis brothers each found brides. Tom married Julia Crum in April 1871 and brought her to the house he had built in his commercial apple orchard, not far from the fruit-dryer outbuilding.

We know little of that house except that the kitchen saw a lot of action. Tom wrote to Julia, who was visiting her mother in Canada, that he had that day rendered 10 cans of lard, baked warm bread for every meal, made up forty 40 pounds of sausage meat, and scoured the wood floor "clean as a new pin."

By 1891, Idaho had become the nation’s 43rd State. Boise and Tom's family both had grown. He hired a contractor to build a new house at the end of their lane, which was the south extension of 7th Street, later Capitol Boulevard. (Hampton Inn & Suites occupies that site today.)

The wood-frame house had two and a half stories, modern conveniences, a hot air furnace and nine principal rooms. The moon-gate entry in front opened onto the wraparound porch. In 1901, daughter Etta's in-house wedding featured her descent down the lavishly decorated stairway from the second floor. Electric globes lit every room, and guests had ample space in the dining room and library for dinner, followed by games and dancing until 3 a.m.

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