Boise Depot celebrates 91st birthday

Posted at 5:54 PM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 19:54:04-04

Sunny skies on Sunday served as the perfect backdrop to view the iconic Boise Depot.

Dozens of people stopped by to help celebrate its 91st birthday.

Stepping inside the once fully-operational railroad station brings back memories for many longtime residents.

The landscape around it may have changed but some argue that even today it remains to be the heart of the city.

The historic Spanish-style structure, that was designed by New York architects, came to life.

The tours drew a big crowd on a day meant to celebrate the City of Trees past.

"April 16, 1925 was the very first train to this depot. It was a grand opening celebration," said Eric Garsvo, the tour guide. "Thousands of Boise residents turned out on that day. There was not a spot to be had on the back platform. And today, we're celebrating 91 years later... the first train arriving here at this depot."

The former Union Pacific Railroad station is now operated by those with the Boise Parks & Recreation Department. They love having visitors.

Garsvo, a local railroad expert, serves as the tour guide once each month and for special occasions. He says that, at some point in time, the queen of England was on a passenger train that traveled through Boise.

While she never got off the train, residents were excited to hear the news.

"People lined up to look at the car," Garsvo said. "Unfortunately, they did not see her poke her head out the window but she did make a stop in Boise on the Union Pacific."

The Southern Idaho Garden Railway Society set up their model train exhibits, which caught the eyes of youngsters in attendance.

Dressed in 1920's garb, group members of Style N' Time were there to help people get a feel for what it was like at the depot so many decades ago.

"You kind of feel like you're walking in the shoes of people who went before you and you try to get as close to costumes and the way they looked," Kathy Stuppy with the group explained. "And, this is kind of how an everyday lady in the 1920's would look."

Tours are offered there at noon and 1:30 p.m. the first Sunday of each month.

Coming up in June and July, there will be two special celebrations at the depot.

You can learn more about the tours and sign up through the Boise Parks & Recreation website: