Photos of spectacular fires, historic firefighting equipment, and Boise city streetscapes collected by Doc Roach from 1904 to 1965.
The Doc Roach Collection (MSS 71) consists mostly of photographs that reflect his long career with the Boise Fire Department. Doc was one of the few firemen who worked from the days of horse-drawn fire engines, witnessed the introduction of motorized equipment in 1912, and also used gasoline pump trucks. Doc collected photographs which document the fire fighters, equipment, major fires, and fire prevention education in Boise from 1911-1965. These photographs also document the growth of Boise from a small town to a city in the first half of the 20th century, including shots taken of the greater downtown area, capturing changes in transportation and buildings. Many of the photographs in the Doc Roach collection were used in a book on the history of fire departments in Boise by Arthur Hart (Fighting Fire on the Frontier, 1976).
Most of the photographs and objects featured in this digital collection were selected and scanned by Matthew Sebby, an undergraduate intern in the Special Collections department. Photograph descriptions came directly from the back of photographs or through research. Other narrative and scholarly content related to this collection was provided by Erin Passehl, Special Collections staff.
Homepage thumbnail: Boise Fire Station Automobile, 1912, MSS 71 014.
Landing Page image: Boise Central Fire Station, 1904, MSS 71 504.