Thomas Jefferson Davis gifted the City of Boise 43 acres of land in 1907 to create a park in honor of his late wife, Julia. It’s the city’s first park – and still one of the largest. Julia Davis is sandwiched between bustling downtown Boise and the busy Boise State campus.
It’s packed with features. The Julia Davis Rotary Plaza, Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor Plaza, Childhood Cancer Pavilion, Idaho Black History Museum, Abraham Lincoln Statue, Gen Harris Bandshell and Rose Garden are some of the elements that make this park so beloved.
The park’s central location in the city and its amenities make it a hotspot for outdoor recreation, including fishing, Boise River Greenbelt access, open play areas, a playground, and more.
Mr. Davis is known to be one of Boise’s founding fathers. Originally from Ohio, he traveled west to Idaho for mining. In 1863, he acquired 163 acres of government land, planting onion, potato, and cabbage. In 1871, Thomas and Julia married, giving birth to seven children. Julia died in September 1907, just after the gift of the park was completed. The next year, Thomas died too.
Many of the Davis’ descendants are still active in park decisions and raising funds for improvements and features. More than a century later, the park continues to evolve along with the city it calls home.