Local news. Locally owned.

Up in smoke: Downtown Boise’s oldest store (with a haunted reputation) closes up shop

Boise Regional Realtors

In 1908, the corner of 11th St. and Main St. looked much different than it does today.

Dirt streets. Horses wandering around. A streetcar.

The historic Owyhee? Didn’t exist yet. Ditto the Boise Depot, Idaho Statehouse, Julia Davis Park… and the list goes on.

But that year, a cigar store moved into its brand new custom-built building at 11th and Main.

But now, after 111 years, Hannifin’s Cigar Store in Downtown Boise — appears closed for good.

- Story continues below ads -
Regence Blue Shield of Idaho
ICCU Idaho

A small going out of business sign hangs in the window of the dilapidated building. The store’s voicemail box is full. Several stops by Monday morning and afternoon showed nothing but a mostly-empty store.

Hannifin’s is the longest-running retail business in a single location in Boise. Idaho Candy Company started a few years earlier but didn’t move to its current location until 1909 – just a year after Hannifin’s set up shop on Main.

The land and building show a value of $810,600 according to the Ada County Assessor. A California trust controlled by Jarred Sumner of Lafayette, CA owns the property. The trust acquired the property in 2005. Attempts to reach Sumner were not successful.

[Two bodegas set for Downtown Boise]

We also tried to track down current Hannifin’s owner Stan Minder without success.

The going out of business sign hanging in the window signs off:

Thank you ❤️ Stan.

A haunted history?

“Hannifans (sic) Cigar Shop is a beautiful example of some of Boise’s finest architecture,” Preservation Idaho notes on its website. “Hannifans (sic) Cigar is a small cigar shop… in one of the most (historic) blocks in Boise. It was originally constructed in 1905, making Hannifans (sic) one of the oldest structures in downtown Boise.”

Hannifin's Boise mural
Hannifin’s Cigar Store mural. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

One of the building’s better-known features is a large mural along the 11th St. facade. A group of sign painters known as the International Letterheads came to Boise in 2000 and painted three murals. In addition to the Hannifin’s sign, the group painted the large Stearns Motorcar mural on the side of the Adelman Building at Capitol Blvd. and Main St. (The group also painted a mural near the Basque Block, which crews removed and replaced with a replica). The mural is showing signs of wear – with graffiti tags and uneven panels.

The building carries tales of ghost stories. Tara Morgan wrote about them for the Boise Weekly in 2008:

“One night I heard it,” (former owner Robert) Guerrero remembers. “I was in the back, in my office, and I heard the noise. The hair stood up on my body and I was like, ‘What was that?'” Many attribute the footsteps to the ghost of Raymond Allen Snowden. He was hanged at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary on October 17, 1957, for the brutal murder of Cora Dean. The night of the murder, Snowden was seen by store employee entering the Hannifin’s bathroom. In the days that followed, police searched Hannifin’s for clues and found the murder weapon in the gutter in front of the store. “With that evidence, they were able to convict the man of murder,” Guerrero says. “So we think maybe he comes back to revisit the fateful night that he visited Hannifin’s and left behind the evidence that, in the end, convicted him of murder.

(Thanks, Colby, for the tip).

Love our stories? Get them delivered straight to your inbox each afternoon. Plus, support BoiseDev's independent journalism.


Micron continues large-scale revamp of Boise campus with latest project

Boise-based Micron Technology continues its large-scale revamp of the Boise campus. A newly-issued building permit shows the tech. giant...

Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...


New tenant set to move into historic Hannifin’s building

For 111 years, the small building at 1024 W. Main St. hosted a cigar shop. Now, after a few...
Holland and Hart


Report: Boise tech firm Clearwater Analytics considers sale or other options

Clearwater Analytics, a Boise-based firm that helps companies with financial software solutions, could soon find new owners. Reuters reports...

Project would tuck condos onto site of single-family home

A proposal to add 16 condos on the site of a single-family home will go through the City of Boise's planning process...

Boise, McLean name building award winners: affordable housing, Boise State, Ronald McDonald House & more

The City of Boise announced the 2020 Building Excellence Award winners. They allocate the awards to people, businesses and organizations who helped...

Country, news, public radio got listeners’ attention during spring radio ratings

The twice-yearly ratings for Boise's radio stations hit the streets late last month. For the second ratings period in a row, they...

Mother-daughter owned Meridian business stays afloat with live social media sales

By Karen Lehr / Idaho News 6 The coronavirus pandemic is forcing many...

Housing and health: Saint Al’s partners with LEAP to help create more affordable housing in Boise

Saint Alphonsus Health System and LEAP Housing Solutions have partnered up to create a land trust. LEAP, an...