Built in 1908, 1409 N. Harrison Boulevard is an elegant Queen Anne style home nestled in Boise’s historic North End. The exterior of the home immediately attracts the eye with its classical red trim against the forest green siding. The large entry way is centered nicely between a turret and wrap-around porch, creating a graceful and welcoming feel. The cleanly landscaped lawn leads nicely to the wide porch and its original large glass front door. The woodwork and Ionic columns add some attractive detail to the exterior, along with the Boise sandstone that sits below the living room windows and makes up the chimney. The roof also adds excitement and detail with a sloping frame, and ornate roof caps. The turret is a fun addition to this house, and it fully captures the essence of the Queen Anne style.
The original owners, the Wymans, built the house in 1908. At this time, the home cost $30,000 to build. This was a huge amount of money to spend on a home during this era, especially considering that a larger house down the street cost only $11,000 to build at the exact same time. Tourtelotte and Hummel were the architects who designed the home. These same architects also designed the Boise Capitol, St. John’s Cathedral, and many other historic Boise structures. Mr. Wyman, the owner of an electric business in Boise, designed the house to have both gas and electrical lighting. It was the first house in Boise with both these accommodations.
Almost every window in the house has stained or leaded windows. The floors, ceiling, staircase, and library are all made of dark oak. Everything in the dining room, from the window molding to the door has an intricate pattern. The room right next to it, the piano room, has a different pattern on everything. The door connecting them has the dining room pattern on one side and the key pattern on the other. The library’s floor is made of the same oak as the rest of the house. The library has what the owners believe is a Tiffany window with a butterfly pattern; they can’t prove that it is though because it was installed upside down. The library also has a very unique fireplace. It depicts two medieval knights with a background of trees and mountains. It was made by a pottery company in Wisconsin and is one of a kind. There is one more fireplace from the some company in an upstairs room. Another unique feature of the house is the bedrooms. Mr. Wyman, the first owner, had sinks installed in every one of them. This house was the first house in Idaho to have gas and electric.
Mrs. Wyman, the original owner, was very fond of Indian artifacts. She kept the room right above the stairs specifically for her Indian collection. The windows in that room have a brown arrowhead pattern to reflect her artifacts. She also had embossed leather on the wall the same arrowhead pattern.
The architects of the house, John E Tourtellotte and Charles Hummel, were prominent western architects. Tourtellotte was known for combining motifs of different styles from different eras. In 1903 he formed a partnership with German immigrant Charles Hummel.
The original owner of the house was Harry Wyman. He was the owner of what would become Idaho Power, as well as a prominent Idaho political figure. His wife, Anne, was known for having a fiery temper. Mr. Wyman was a very persnickety man, and required the builders to ask his permission before continuing on to a new part of the house. If it wasn’t up to his standards, he demanded it be torn down and rebuilt. The dining room and library were torn down many times before he approved them. His pickiness caused the house to take much longer to build and cost much more than was originally thought.
Mr. Wyman was a prominent Boise figure, and very involved in politics. He gave his support to William Borah in 1906 for a Senate position. He donated large sums to Borah’s campaign, and in return Borah offered him a government job. However, Borah ignored him and did not give him a job. Months later Borah showed up unannounced to one of the Wyman’s lavish parties. Mrs. Wyman was furious Borah came and threw him off the front step of the house. Mr. Wyman died in the house in 1934.