Frank Eld waves goodbye to the Central Addition neighborhood, just prior to the Jones House being rolled away to its new location on Reserve Street.
It's not every day, or night for that matter, that you see a house rolling down the wrong way of Boise's Front Street. But it's also every day that you see a man in a vest, tie, top hat and cane lead the way.
At a few minutes past midnight July 1st, the nattily-atired Frank Eld hopped aboard the massive flatbed where his house stood for one last look at the Central Addition neighborhood, where the home had stood since 1894, before it began inching away down Fifth Street and then turning right on Front Street, left on Broadway Avenue until it reached its new location at 403 East Reserve Street, near Fort Street just before dawn Wednesday morning.
“We have a full moon and it’s cooled down,” Frank Eld, the owner of the house. “We’ve ordered it all.”
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For the better part of the past year, Eld, an iconic Valley County historian and preservationist who is equally familiar to those who have watched him play Santa Claus, has been preparing the Jones House for the big move which took nearly five hours.
“He is quite a character,” Norm Zachary, a life-long friend of Eld's “He’s also a historian and preservationist extraordinaire.”
Although the Jones House now sits at its new home on Reserve Street, not far from St. Luke's Hospital, there is much work to be done. As his house rolled by in the nearly-empty streets of Boise early Wednesday, Eld told Boise Weekly that the first order of business would be to pour and set a new foundation, which should take approximately two weeks. Electricity and plumbing were expected to be connected within a month. After that, Eld said there will still be about eighteen months of wok left for restoration.
“My wife Kathy doesn’t want to move in before the kitchen and bathroom are done,” Eld said. “We’re going to try to move in as soon as we can.”
Boise Police are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious vehicles or activity in the area during the night of Oct. 25 or the early morning of Oct. 26 to call Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS, or use the P3 Tips app.