This year, Ellis Avenue is celebrating its 100th year as part of Boise, Idaho. The Ellis Addition was officially introduced to the North End in 1912, replacing the former Boise Avenue. Mr. Albert Eugene Troyer and his family had lived on Boise Avenue during the addition and later bought two lots on Ellis Avenue for $650. In 1915, the Troyer house was built on these lots at the address of 2302 Ellis Avenue.
After graduating from Boise High School in 1911, Vida Troyer, Albert Troyer’s daughter, threw many small parties and socials at the Troyer house and appeared in the Idaho Statesman several times. However, Vida was not the only newsworthy family member. Albert Troyer, who was the manager of the Hawkeye Lumber Corporation, appeared various times in the newspaper as a host for events involving The Pilgrim Brotherhood and state elections. Mrs. Troyer also became apparent in the news as the hostess of Women’s clubs’ meetings including The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and The Women’s Missionary Society of First Congregational Church.
Mr. Albert Troyer passed away on January 9th, 1934 at the age of 76. By then, Victor Griep had moved into the Troyer house. Griep lived in the house for about nine years until he sold it to Fred H. Chase in 1939. Chase was the first occupant of the old farmhouse to own a telephone line and, from then on, all other occupants owned a phone. In 1950, Roland S. Nelson moved in and lived in the home until 1955 when it became vacant.
Like today, selling a house in the 1950’s was evidently a great difficulty, and this lead to many more vacant homes around this house. Two years later, Mintford F. Park bought the house and turned the garage and hayloft into a workshop for his business. He owned Rusty’s Floor Coverings with the landline number of 3-8548. In his workshop, red lines and numbers were painted on the floor for carpet measurements and are still visible today in the garage. The Troyer House was inhabited by Park through the 1960’s and 1970’s, but became vacant once again in 1980. Soon after, the Smalljohns family bought the old farmhouse.
The next occupant was Doug S. Estep for at least ten years. In 2006, the Hovey family moved in and is currently living in the Troyer house. The family is working hard to preserve the 97-year-old farmhouse, stripping the paint off the original wood and pulling up the several layers of carpet placed on the ancient hardwood floors. In the doorways where paint is being chipped away, various layers of colors can be seen. Looking at the paint layers is like taking a trip back in time through all of the years and styles the house has been through. For example, the teal lead paint and shag carpet are both remains of the 1970’s.
Going down in the basement, one can transport back in time as they examine the old cellar in which coal was likely once stored. The old furnace is also in the basement but hasn’t been used in years since the house was updated to have heating and air conditioning. Another noticeable aspect of the basement are the two sides of a knocked down wall that once stood blocking the coal cellar and furnace. The stairway down to the basement is narrow and steep suggesting that it was once a hidden staircase used by servants or housemaids.
Originally, before an addition to the house, a person could only reach the stairs from the outside. The garage in the back has also been updated to make the second floor, which use to be a hayloft, a recreational room. While inside the garage, one may notice the slim long shape of the area in which automobiles may be parked. This is because the garage was design in the time era that horse and buggies were used, thus the garage was created to fit a buggy or carriage.
The house at 2302 Ellis Avenue was built as a bungalow style house. This is evident in the few ionic columns present on the front porch and the bungalow styled, small set of front stairs leading up to the porch. Located in one of the front columns is an old letter drop that has been plastered over. A barely visible word reads “letters” where the old letter drop was located. The letters were dropped into the slot marked “letters” and picked up by the homeowner through a small slot in the back on the column. The front door and window were even placed in a particular way. The front door is positioned to the left while a large window is to the right as a person stands facing the front of the house. Another notable aspect of a bungalow house is its roof. This bungalow styled roof is slanted down the sides but is not seen in the front of the house. In other words, the front of the house is solely the vertical wood wall and does not have a part of the roof hanging over it, except for an extra bit of roof covering the front porch. A few windows are present on the second floor of the house. Usually a bungalow house has only one story, but a few have either 1.5 stories or two stories.
The windows that look out from the second floor consist of a larger window in the middle of two smaller ones. These smaller, vertically long, rectangular windows are found around the house. This style of window is often found on bungalow styled houses. This house also contains a French provincial window that stands out from the side of the house. The glass of this window is also nearly 100 years old and has warped over the years, clearly showing the numerous decades it has survived. The window has the original pulley system, similar to the springs in the windows nowadays, that assist the movement of the window. This pulley system consists of a rope attached to the window on one end, strung over a pulley, and attached to a weight of the other end.
Last but not least, the 2302 Ellis Ave house has the original fireplace located behind a small wood stove that has been converted to a gas stove. Another renovation to the house was opening an arched walkway from the family room to the dinning room. It was originally a small archway but the previous homeowners increased the radius of the arch. Other bungalow-like curves on the interior of the house can be found from the ceiling to the walls. Rather than a right angle, the ceiling is curved down as it connects with the walls. Not every ceiling-to-wall connection is curved, though, some areas of each room contains right angles where the ceiling and wall meet.