The Hillcrest Neighborhood is comprised largely of one-story single-family residences and includes 2 elementary schools, 2 city parks, 2 churches, and the historic Hillcrest Country Club. Orchard Street is an important "gateway" for the upper bench that community visitors enter as they drive North on Orchard Street from Interstate 84 to the central area of the city.
Nearly 150 years of transportation, settlement, irrigation, subdivision of lands, and recreation help define the history of the Hillcrest Neighborhood. Stage roads and trolley lines served as transportation routes for people, goods, and services throughout the valley and beyond. Irrigation water supplied from the New York Canal through its numerous laterals made settlement on what was an arid desert above the Boise River Valley possible. Large tracts of the Hillcrest Neighborhood were homesteaded by would-be farmers as well as persons of some notoriety in Boise history only to be subdivided into smaller parcels during the depression.
The earliest settler in this section was Arthur De Witt Foote who purchased 160 acres from the federal Government in January of 1892 in the northeast corner of Section 20. Today this area includes the majority of Hillcrest Country Club, Hillcrest Elementary School, and part of Hillcrest Drive. Foote lived at this location with his wife Mary Hallock Foote, noted author and illustrator. Mary penned the books "Edith Bonham" and "Chosen Valley" at their house at this location. When the Foote's sold their property to Andrew Hervey Eagleson around the turn of the century their house and outbuildings were torn down.
Source: Hillcrest Neighborhood Association, Hillcrest Neighborhood Plan, 2007.