Fort Boise Military Cemetery

Boise, Ada, Idaho, United States

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Cemetery Information

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Number of Images

258

Number of Headstone Records

249

Description

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." Graves included those of enlisted men, officers, some officers’ families, and civilians. 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 252 enlisted men, officers, officers' family members, and civilians are laid to rest at the Fort Boise Military Reserve Cemetery. Care and Maintenance: The care and maintenance of the cemetery fell upon the city park caretakers, now known as 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 1970s. 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 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. 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 and Recreation Department 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. All official cemetery transactions shall be handled at the Boise Parks and Recreation Administration Office. Business hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays. The cemetery shall be open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Maintenance and Care: Boise City will provide maintenance care for all lots. This services consists of maintaining neat and attractive grounds; watering and mowing lawns; trimming around headstones; pruning trees and shrubs planted by Boise City; cleanup and removal of trash, leaves, withered flowers, etc.; and preservation of grade at burial site(s). This care does not include the planting or care of flowers around monuments and markers, nor the cleaning or repair of monuments and markers erected on burial site(s). Ornamentation and Beautification: Planter boxes, toys, flags, pinwheels, balloons, wire figurines, breakable objects, and/or decorations, which are placed on or around graves and deemed hazardous or create a maintenance problem, will be removed and disposed of by cemetery staff. Glass or breakable objects of any kind are not permitted in the cemeteries. No artificial flowers or decorations will be allowed during the mowing season (April 1 through October 31) except on Memorial Day. Flower Policy: Cut flowers may be placed upon graves in a non-breakable container any time of the year. Cut flowers in glass or other breakable containers will be removed from the container and placed directly on the grave. Containers will not be retained. Cut flowers, including burial service flowers, will be removed when they become unsightly, discolored or wilted. Holiday flowers and grave decorations may be placed one week prior to the observed holiday and will be removed one week after the holiday. Perennial plantings (bushes, bulbs, roses, etc.) are not allowed. Planting of annuals is only allowed in the upright monument sections. You may plant within 9 inches in front (east side) of a monument in the infant sections and 18 inches in front (east side) of the monument in all other monument sections (Section Q north/south graves plant on south side of marker, Chinese section plant on the west side of marker). No Borders of any type are allowed. Planting is not allowed in sections which require flat gravestones. The planting of any vegetation other than defined in the flower policy is strictly prohibited without obtaining written permission from the Cemetery Manager. A small fee is assessed when staff places flowers. Markers: All markers are required to have a minimum 4-inch concrete mow strip surrounding the marker.The width of a marker is limited to the width of the lot(s). All markers are limited to a depth (length) of 24 inches which includes the 4-inch mow strip. Upright markers that exceed a height of 5 feet and does not meet specifications listed above, will require Department approval. The installation of upright markers is not permitted in Morris Hill Cemetery’s “flat marker only” sections. There are no “flat marker only” sections in Pioneer Cemetery. Flat markers, at the head of a lot in a flat marker area, may contain vases as long as these vases are capable of being placed back in the marker and level to the ground. Flat markers may be placed at the head of the burial lot as an alternative to an upright marker in the cemeteries’ monument sections. Each burial lot allows for the placement of two markers, one at the head and the other at the kidney position on a lot. Some sections have exceptions for these placements and can be placed at the foot position of a lot. All markers placed at the kidney and foot locations must be flat, set to turf grade, and absent of vases. Should any marker become unsightly or a hazard to visitors, the cemetery shall have the right to either correct the condition or remove it at the expense of the owner of the marker. Markers are owned by the purchaser, not the City, and can be purchased through an approved monument company and can only be set with prior approval and confirmation of exact plot location and requirements by cemetery personnel. Maintenance and care of the marker is the responsibility of the purchaser. Cemetery staff endeavors to maintain orderly, well-kept grounds, and encourage families to become involved and participate in the care of the markers of deceased friends and family members. Over time, there will be normal aging and upkeep required for all of the markers in the cemeteries. Repairs and maintenance can be obtained from local monument companies. Cemetery staff reserves the right to move a marker to facilitate grave digging. Interments: A notice of ten (10) working hours will be required for the opening of a graves for the purpose of a burial. It is not required that a funeral director be onsite to witness the interment of the body; it is however a requirement that a funeral director be onsite to witness a disinterment. Disinterments shall be arranged through a funeral director and require a notice of at least one week. All graves shall be dug by City employees. Interments will only be allowed to occur in full sized lots. The cemetery allows one full size, casket burial in one lot and up to three cremations on the same lot, or four cremations in one full sized lot. All interments require the use of a burial vault/box. The use of a coffin is not required. Only human remains may be interred, animal remains are prohibited. Lots: In the cemeteries owned by the City, customers do not purchase or own the actual ground space of the lot. The customer is actually purchasing a “Certificate of License to Inter” for a specific lot of their choice. This license reserves the lot for the use of the purchaser or other designated individuals. Additional burials in the same lot will require additional licenses to inter, titled Extended Use Fee. Customers may purchase licenses on a pre-need basis or at time of burial. An unused license may be transferred to a family member or repurchased by the City. If the owner of the Certificate of License to Inter wishes to transfer the lot to another person, that transaction will require the owner of the license to sign a quit claim deed and pay a transfer charge upon application for the transfer. More information can be obtained by contacting the Parks and Recreation Administration Office. Conduct: Visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that accords due respect to the deceased. Alcoholic beverages, smoking, illegal drugs, and boisterous activity are prohibited. Automobiles and other vehicles shall not be driven in excess of 15 miles per hour while on the cemetery roadways. Advertising, selling, or soliciting will not be permitted, nor will any active forms of recreation. Children, under the age of 15, must be accompanied by parents or guardians who will be responsible for their behavior. With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted on the cemetery grounds or in any buildings. All persons in Boise City cemeteries are prohibited from: gathering flowers (wild, cultivated or artificial), breaking or harming trees, shrubs, or disturbing the birds and wildlife. NOTE: In 2022, comparisons were made between this cemetery on Billion Graves, and the same cemetery on Find A Grave, and birth/death dates were added to Billion Graves when available.
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Fort Boise Military Cemetery, Created by BillionGraves, Boise, Ada, Idaho, United States