Boise woman works to protect Castle Rock Reserve and burial ground site

Boise, Idaho (AP) 9-09

A Boise woman has achieved her goal of having protected a sacred American Indian site in Boise and erecting a stone tribute marking the area.

Betty Foster is now attempting to have trails in the Castle Rock Reserve named for tribes that once occupied the region and used the area as a healing site and burial ground.

The city bought some land and asked the East End Neighborhood Association to raise $75,000 to buy remaining parcels for the reserve.

The association succeeded, and about 50 acres adjacent to the Quarry View Park on Old Penitentiary Road have been set aside in perpetuity.


“We have part of Boise’s history, Native American history, in our own back yard,” Foster told the Idaho Statesman. “People walk here, and they don’t know it’s sacred land.”

The Shoshone, Bannock and Paiute knew the area as Eagle Rock.

Foster helped raise $900 and last spring the city erected the tribute stone that’s etched with an image of two feathers.

Most of the money for the stone came from Foster’s family. She set up an account with the city’s Heritage Trust program, and since 2006 gifts from family members have come in the form of donations to the fund.

“Foster represents the best of what volunteering is about,” said Lynette Gould with the Heritage Trust. “Her intentions were really pure.”

Foster cried when the stone was installed because many of her friends who also worked to preserve the area have died, including Merle Wells; Benson Gibson and Joe Prior from the Duck Valley Reservation; and Christina Broncho from the Fort Hall Reservation.

Foster has lived in the east side of Boise with her family for five decades, and thinks the reserve could be the reason she ended up there.

“Maybe this is it,” she said.