Harrison Boulevard still had plenty of lots available in 1923 when Harry and Mabel Bigham purchased two of them for $3,000.00. shortly after they bought the land they hired Boise contractor Wilbert J. Berber to construct their house. At a cost of $5,000, it was comparable to other homes of similar size constructed at the time.
Barber was a local Boise contractor who built numerous commercial buildings and residences around Boise including his own home on O’Farrell Street. For the Bighams, Barber built a one-and-a-half story house, with a clipped gable roof and two gabled dormers. He used features of the Colonial Revival style which surged in popularity after World War I. Elements of the style are illustrated by the striking entryway with a front door accessed under an arched triangular pediment supported by square columns. Sidelights flank the front door and allow light to spread throughout the living room. the 1,200 square foot house may be considered small compared to new construction today, but the open floor plan and flow of the rooms makes the six room house feel spacious.
Harry Bigham was born in Minnesota in 1881 and Mabel in Michigan in 1886. Harry moved west by 1900 and started work as a salesman. It’s not known how Harry and Mabel met, but in 1910 they were married in Michigan and moved to Baker City, Oregon. After moving to Boise in 1918, Harry worked as a department manager for C.C. Anderson’s Golden Rule Store. In 1929 Harry and W.E. Graham purchased the Cash Bazaar, “Boise’s Friendly Store”. Mabel Bigham was active in Boise social circles and in 1924, the Boise Beautiful committee, part of the Boise Chamber of Commerce, honored her with an award for Best Garden. Harry died in 1945. Mabel lived in the house until 1965 when she sold it to Elmer and Martha Soniville. Their son, Tom, grew up in the House and after a thirty-year absence from Boise returned in 2002 and purchased the house keeping it in the Soniville family.
*This home was featured on the 2014 Heritage Homes tour by Preservation Idaho. To learn more, click here.