IDAHO GIVES – What can you give to preserve Idaho’s heritage? April 29th – May 6th

Just Homestead

1887 Just Homestead
Firth, Bingham County

  • Grant: 2013 (1887 General Land Office Map), 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Location: 993 Reid Road, Firth, ID 83236

In 1862, Emma Thompson was a 14 year old witness to the murder of James Morris, prophet and leader of the Morrisites.   After being relocated to Idaho Territory, marrying and divorcing a soldier, she met and married Nels Just in Fort Hall.   They lived in an earth-sheltered home, raised a family, and tried different things to make ends meet. In 1887 Nels and Emma Just built a solid house of fired brick using clay from the Blackfoot River.  Still feeling the pride of a newly minted citizen, Nels hung this map of the United States in the hallway of their new home. For 126 years and 3 generations, the map has continued to hang in the same location.

The Presto Preservation Association now owns the brick home and artifacts, a non-profit organization formed to preserve the history of Nels and Emma Just.

The map is to be restored by an antique map conservator in New York.  Once complete, the association plans to make the map available on short-term loan to Historical Societies and Museums. The home is open to the public by appointment.

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