In 1896, Almon and Mary Spaulding homesteaded a 100 acre lot on the West Bench, known at the time as Pride Places. They first built a Victorian style house, that consisted of 4 bedrooms and various areas to entertain guests. Later, in 1910, they built a barn, also known as the farmstead. Both structures still stand today. Mary Spaulding was the first female surgeon in Boise, Idaho, and Mr. Spalding worked on the interurban, which was the train that used to run between the natatorium and Caldwell.
The ranch was eventually divided up into smaller parts. 20 acres of land were given to the Spalding’s daughter and smaller parcels of land were sold to other buyers. The remaining property was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Caron. They were the fourth owners of the property and ended up donating 10 acres of that land to Capital High School. The Carons owned the property for 66 years, from 1941-2006.
The ranch as a whole was very upbeat during this time as the Carons were very lively people. They were always entertaining people such as politicians, church groups, celebrities, distinguished friends etc. The landscape of the lawn was even designed with the idea of entertaining in mind as it is vast, wide and open.
Today, the ranch is the H.K. Farm (Harvey and Katherine) and is the only legal working farm in Boise. Partially for this reason, the remaining 20 acres of the original lot has been put on the National Register of Historic Districts. Because of this listing, the property is safe from being developed for the sake of building homes.
Even though the barn is 104 years old, the craftsmanship can still be appreciated. The Spauldings built the barn out of large pine timbers. This greatly contributed to the rarity of the barn. It has a Gambrel style roof and a silo on the side. The silo was used to store grains and various other food products. (At present day the inside wall of the silo is filled with bees. They produce fantastically, delicious honey.)
The barn was also used to milk cows and store hay. On the side of the silo there is a little room where milk was stored until the milkman could come pick it up. The room acted as a cool refrigerator.
When examined from the inside, the barn’s structure is surprisingly intact. It consists of the original place where cows were kept as well as the original loft where the hay was stored. It has many other unique features. There is a belt on the ceiling with a big hayfork attached to it. The contraption could lift about four bundles of hay into the loft for storage at a time. There is also a “hay shoot” on the side of the loft. This is where the hay could be thrown down and broken up for the cows to eat. Overall the size of the barn is what makes this structure such a rare architectural beauty. It is one of the biggest and oldest barns around