The Surgeons Quarters (sometimes referred to as Building 4) was one of the first buildings to be built after the creation of Fort Boise in 1863. It remains one of the oldest buildings in the State of Idaho.
Completed in 1864, Building 4’s original structure was a two roomed sandstone building created for the Fort’s Surgeon. The two rooms would serve as office and living quarters. Not long after, a porches were built on the north and south facades.
In 1871, Building 4 was listed as the Q.M. Building on the Plan of Post, and in 1879 the Fort itself was renamed the Boise Barracks.
In the 1880s a 2 story brick addition was attached to the north face of the building. This addition made room for a sitting room, dining room, two baths, kitchen, central hall, and five bedrooms. Building 4 was now equipped to house a larger group of individuals. In 1904 it was used as officer’s quarters, and in 1907 it was changed to single officer’s quarters.
In 1912 the Boise Barracks closed and remained inactive until 1919 when the Public Health Hospital (later to become the VA) opened. The building was once again used as a Surgeon’s Quarters, and in 1935 it was occupied by Dr. Leslie Bane Crumrine.
Between 1935 and 1950 a fire destroyed most of the brick addition, but the structure was rebuilt, this time to feature a single gable roof structure. The front porch was also rebuilt and extended so that it came in front of the brick portion of the building.
Dr. Helferty, with his wife Iryne and son Scott occupied the building in 1954, followed by the VA’s Physical Therapist Jim Julius, his wife Peggy, and daughter Candy from 1955 until 1972. In 1973 Dr. James Hammarsten and his family lived in the space. Dr. Raymond Bungard and his family moved into the space in 1985 until 1987, a year after which the building became used for office and storage space until it was vacated in 1992, as it remains today.
For the 150th Anniversary of Fort Boise, Preservation Idaho, in conjunction with VAMC, began working to restore the exterior and rehabilitate the fireplace room to an 1870s period aesthetic. Within this space, interpretive exhibits will be displayed, and the interior is set to be completed in 2015. The project is currently (2014) ongoing; Preservation Idaho had raised $30,000 for the project, including labor, but there is a long way to go before the goal of $85,000 is reached.
Resources can be found at:
Source: Scott Helferty