The Jacobs family home began being used as a Basque boardinghouse in 1910 and functioned in that capacity until 1969. First rented by the Galdos, Bicandi, and Uberuaga families, it was finally purchased by the Uberuagas in 1928 for the sum of $2,000. Jose and Hermenegilda Uberuaga had three children: Joe P., Serafina, and Julia. As a boardinghouse, it was a home away from home for people emigrating from the Basque Country to job opportunities in Idaho and served as a social center that preserved many elements of Basque culture including food, music, dance, games, and most importantly, their language, Euskera. Dr. Jeronima Echeverria stated in her book entitled, Home Away From Home: A History of Basque Boarding houses, that “they hosted a complex set of social functions that provided Basques with an environment to maintain their ethnicity, and they made Basque transition to and adaptation in the New World possible.” “For young Basque immigrants a long way from home, the boarding houses became the village church, the town tavern, the bank and health dispensary,” noted John & Mark Bieter in An Enduring Legacy: the Story of Basques in Idaho.
New Virtual Tour of the Cyrus Jacobs/Uberuaga House and the Basque Block will be coming very soon! Check back!