Boise, the State Capital, is also the county seat of Ada County
. The city is situated on the Boise River
on I-84, in the southwestern part of the state.
The wood-lined river was a welcome sight for French-Canadian trappers who were grateful to reach a forest again, after trudging across the territory's treeless plain. They named the area Boise, meaning "wooded." The "City of Trees" was founded in 1863, a year after a gold rush reached the Boise Basin. That year the first sessions of the territorial government were held in Lewiston, then moved to Boise in 1864. The new territorial capital was the commercial and cultural magnet for miners and traders from nearby boom towns.
Today Boise, population 185,787, is Idaho's largest metropolitan area. Much of southern Idaho and parts of eastern Oregon derive commercial, financial and medical services from the city. Boise's economy is supplemented by state and federal government, including the National Interagency Fire Center.