You've likely passed the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga boarding house on your way to procure a piping-hot basket of croquetas from Gernika or sip on an ice-cold cocktail at Bardenay. And maybe you wondered to yourself, "Why is there an old brick house with a lawn sitting smack in the middle of the Basque Block?" Well, besides the fact that the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga boarding house is the oldest surviving brick structure in the city of Boise, it is also one of a handful of remaining Basque boarding houses in the Western United States. According to Basque scholars John and Mark Bieter in An Enduring Legacy: the Story of Basques in Idaho, Basque boarding houses played an instrumental role in the preservation and continuation of Basque culture in the United States:
"For young Basque immigrants a long way from home, the boardinghouses became the village church, the town tavern, the bank and health dispensary."
If you've never been inside the Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga boarding house, head over to the Basque Block on First Thursday, Dec. 2, for a free tour during the Basque Museum and Cultural Center's Holiday Bazaar. The holiday fundraiser will offer 10 percent off gifts from the Basque Country--20 percent for museum members--along with free tapas, hot cider and wine by the glass for purchase.