The History of the Basques in the West by Samuel “Sol” Silen


Similar to millions of other European immigrants during this period of time who experienced difficulties, Basques wished to build better lives. America offered opportunity and hope, so they began to migrate to the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

« La Historia de los Vascongados en el Oeste is a valuable resource for those researching Basques in the American West at the turn of the 20th century. The book’s pages are filled with the histories and biographies of Basque communities and families in Boise, Idaho; Mountain Home, Idaho; Shoshone, Idaho; Jordan Valley, Oregon; Elko, Nevada; Winnemucca, Nevada; and McDermitt, Nevada.

La Historia de los Vascongados en el Oeste was published in 1917 by the newspaper group, Las Novedadas, Inc. of New York, and in 1918, by Mountain States Publishing Company of Boise, Idaho.  »

« The author, Samuel “Sol” Silen, himself deserves his own profile. It’s fascinating that this Jew, most likely of Russian origin, wrote such an amazing collection of stories of Basques in the western US. He never married a Basque, as is the case of Pat Bieter, the “German Catholic from Milwaukee” who became a key figure in the Basque Community of Idaho (and of the whole Western US) after marrying Eloisa Garmendia.

No one really knows why he decided to write this unlikely book, but in the introduction, when he discusses the Basque People and explains the work, he leaves behind a few clues. For example, he wrote it after no fewer than 14 years observing the Basques in that part of the world. »

The Mission of the Basque Museum & Cultural Center is to preserve, promote, and perpetuate Basque history and culture.

To know more about the Basque Museum & Cultural Center History in Boise (Nevada)

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