German Heritage 1864-1920
Phillip Schick left his home in New York as a very young man, seeking his fortune in the West in the wake of the 1849 Gold Rush. After several years of living and working in the frontier towns of California and Oregon, news reached him of the discovery of gold in wild Idaho. Schick signed on with an ox-drawn freight wagon train headed to delivery desperately needed supplies to the miners and others who had been drawn to the empty territory. According to family lore, while chasing some wayward oxen who had strayed from camp along the Boise River, in late 1862 Schick discovered the Dry Creek Valley, and decided to settle there.
The first homesteader in the Valley, Schick built a ranch and farm whose produce was a boon to the first settlers of Boise City and the mining towns in the Boise Basin. in 1870 he wed Mary Yaryan, oldest daughter of a family of homesteaders from Indiana who had a place near the Boise River. Two years later their daughter Clara–who would turn out to be their only child–was born. Fast forward to 1879: Schick had been in Dry Creek for 15 years, and the whole valley (as well as much of the nearby hilly country) had been homesteaded as well. Schick had acquired more property, and his sprawling ranch now covered some 500-600 acres. Yet as Clara reached the age to begin school, there was no school in the Valley for her or the many other children of the new community. Schick, who had added horse breeding and training to his businesses, built a school just outside the boundaries of his property. Formally known as the Dry Creek School, all his neighbors called it the Schick School.
Phillip, Mary, and Clara and their cozy ranch were well known to the citizens of Boise who would come out to the Valley to picnic or fish on day trips; and they would often take trips into Boise in their wagon to purchase supplies, or visit friends. On one such trip in 1902 Phillip suffered injuries that would lead to his death a few days later. His widow Mary continued to run the ranch, with the help of her daughter Clara and Clara’s husband Forrest See, as well as occasional hired help; but by 1920 she was in her 70s and not up to the rigors of ranch life, so she sold the property to a Boise banker named Frank Parsons and retired to Boise, where she lived with Clara and Forrest until her death in 1926.
Phillip Schick and Mary Yaryan Wedding, September 18, 1870
Clara and Mary (Yaryan) Schick, c. 1880
Sarah Yaryan, Harriet Yaryan, Mary Schick
Original Schick Farmhouse, c. 1870
Schick Family, c. 1895
Schick Family c. 1895
Basque Caretakers 1927 - 2005
Costan Ostolasa and Lucia (Lucy) Amias Wedding, June 18, 1917
Idaho boasts the second largest Basque population in the United State, second only to California.
After buying the Schick Ranch and adding it to his investment properties, “gentleman rancher” Frank Parsons needed someone to live on and manage the ranch for him. He knew that his friend, sheep rancher Colin McLeod, had a number of hard-working and talented Basque families helping him on his ranch a few miles to the north, so they arranged to have Costan Ostolasa and his family move into the Farmhouse on Dry Creek in 1927.
Costan was born in Spain and arrived in the U.S. in 1907 at the age of 17. He married Lucia Amias in 1917. They had four children: Anastasio (Andy), Aurora, Felisa, and Valentine. Costan died in a tractor accident at the ranch in 1956. Lucia passed away in 1979.
Andy Ostolasa began working the ranch with his father at age 15. After serving in World War II, he married Connie Smith of Eugene OR and brought her to the Dry Creek ranch where he and his father worked for the new owners, the Dechambeau brothers. The newlyweds moved into Mr. Parsons’ old summer house on the property where they lived until 1964, when a new house was built for them. Aurora and Valentine, who never married, continued to live in the Farmhouse; Felisa married into the Iriondo family.
At the ranch, the Ostolasas raised sheep, cattle, horses, swine, turkeys, chickens, and a variety of feed crops. An orchard grew nearby. Seasonal haying crews stayed in a bunkhouse (where the Hidden Springs Community Barn is now), with their meals prepared by Lucia and her daughters.
Ostolasa family members lived in the old Schick Farmhouse until 2005, at which point the Dry Creek Historical Society took on the job of repairing and restoring the property. You can often see Robert Ostolasa at the DCHS events. He is happy to give you the history of the property!
Costan Ostolasa c. 1940s
Andy & John Bastida, Felisa & Aurora Ostolasa, c. 1940s
The Schick Schoolhouse (Dry Creek School) was built at the edge of the Glenn homestead by Phillip L. Schick in 1879. John Glenn evidently donated the property to the school district on the condition that no dances be held at the school. Decades later, in 1902, when the school district wanted to improve the school they were told by the Glenn family that the district had forfeited the property due to years of holding dances for young people there. The issues were apparently resolved because the school continued in use into the 1950s. After the school closed, the building was incorporated into the home of a local rancher.
Schick Schoolhouse c. 1930s
Jess, Veteran and Gris Baker
Fred and Olive Garrit
Daisy and Marie McGinnis
Roxie, Hallie, Jean, Theo and Fonsi
Mable and Ethel Glenn
Viola, Wesley, Emery, Lizzie and Freda Roberts
Lillie and Sybil Sanderson
Legrand and Alonzo Harris
Edith and Helen Bryan
Taxes for School in 1896