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Boise (boiˈsē, –zē) [key], city (1990 pop. 125,738), state capital and seat of Ada co., SW Idaho, on the Boise River; inc. 1864. The largest city in Idaho, Boise is an important trade and transportation center. Food processing and the manufacture of paper and wood products, computer hardware and software, semiconductors, and electronics are the major industries. Many state and federal government offices are there, as are Boise State Univ. and the Idaho State Historical Musuem. A gold rush in the Boise valley and the establishment of a military post in 1863 led to the founding of Boise City, which grew as a distribution center for miners and became the capital of Idaho Territory in 1864. Later, particularly with the building of Arrow Rock Dam (1911–15), the region was developed for farming, and Boise drew wealth from orchards and fields rather than mines. Increased irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control projects associated with the Boise River have increased the area's agricultural yield.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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