The Hat Restoration

Timeline for the Hat


Constructed by the Boise Traction Company as College Heights Station (soon nicknamed “The Hat.”). Completion of the Boise Valley Loop. Structure is originally enclosed.

c. 1918

Enclosure removed for security reason.


Roof restored as a memorial by College of Idaho graduating class. Brick pillars replace wood originals.

1928 (May 17)

Trolley service ends. Dismantling of Boise Valley Loop begins. The Hat becomes a landmark and bus stop.


The Hat collapses owing to collision with bus. Rebuilt by C of I a safe distance from the curb.


The Hat is described as a “Pergola Entrance” with an appraised value of $450.00 by the General Appraisal Company, Portland.


Last known repair and modification. Concrete benches added.


Last documented paint job.


Caldwell Historic Preservation Commission launches The Hat Restoration Project to replace disintegrating shakes. Job bid at $3K, budget set at $4K. Application for 1:1 matching grant of $2K approved by Idaho Heritage Trust.


College of Idaho alumni donate $600 toward IHT match. IHT approves extension to completion of project.


Trolley, Boise Valley’s Electric Road 1891-1928, a history of the Boise Valley Loop, published by Black Canyon Communications, Boise.

2006 (November)

Caldwell Board of Realtors donates $2K to complete match of IHT grant.

2007 (January)

Professional consultant evaluates project, discovering problems with both lead paint and concrete bench subsidence. Budget estimate increased to +$20K.

The Idaho Heritage Trust provides technical support to determine the restoration strategy.

2007 (February)

CHPC applies to IHT for additional funds. CofI confirms that The Hat’s location is in accordance with both city and highway easements.

2007 (March)

ACI President Bob Hoover suggests obtaining an engineering structural evaluation. Bid for such services received in the amount of $2.1K.

2007 (April)

IHT offers no-cost technical assistance services for structural engineering report, architectural drawings, and materials list.

Caldwell Community Building League donates $5K to help fund project. Total funding to date: $11.6K.

2007 (April)

IHT approves CHPC application for additional funds in the amount of $2K (total IHT funds available: $4K).

2007 (April)

Caldwell Community Civic League donates $5K to help fund project. Total funding to date: $11.6K.

2007 (June 18)

AHJ Engineers, Boise, submits written structural evaluation with drawing and list of recommended restoration steps. Conclusion: structure is basically sound but restoration should not be delayed.

2007 (June)

The College begins negotiating for donations of both labor and materials.

2007 (July 1)

CHPC applies to the Idaho Community Foundation for a maximum amount of $5K to help fund the project.

2007 (November)

Joe Mack Construction, Boise, renovates the structure; replacement  shakes are donated and installed by Roman Roofs, Inc., Boise.

2008 (March)

The College of Idaho funds the design, production, and installation of signage, based on the configuration as shown in a 1924 photograph made by College founder and first president, Dr. William Judson Boone (1860-1936). New signs are made by Sue Parmelee Cooke of Boise, C of I Class of 1973.

2009 (April)

Concrete benches are removed, and damaged sidewalks are replaced by Concrete Placing Company, Caldwell, and Idaho Concrete Company, Caldwell.

2009 (June)

Brickwork is renovated by Darrell Dice Construction, Nampa.

2010 (October)

Interpretive Signage is added, research, design, and production by the TAG Group, Boise. The restoration is completed.