Established in 1893, Meridian was incorporated as a village in 1903 with a population of approximately 200 and a bustling business center. A creamery was built in 1897, and other dairy-related businesses followed, as Meridian established itself as a dairy center for the southwestern corner of the state.

Historically a small community centered on agriculture, the city’s proximity to Boise has propelled it into the fastest growing city in Idaho since 1994, with the population tripling between 1990 and 2000, and more than doubling between 2000 and 2007. Since formation in 1986, the Meridian Historical Society has focused attention on the city’s architectural and agrarian past.

First created by the historical society for the town’s centennial in 1993, the Meridian Historic Walking Tour has been completely revamped and modernized for the digital era. A partnership between the City of Meridian and its historic preservation commission and the Meridian Development Corporation, the revised tour allows the public to access brochures at various locations throughout downtown. QR codes link each site on the tour to a digital platform which contains additional information not included in the brochure, and kiosks allow the public to orient themselves to their location within the tour. This public-private partnership has also enlisted the help of local elementary school students who provided their own content to the website. The success of the 2014 project has inspired a new phase of the tour that was unveiled this month. For the conceptualization, creation, and implementation of the Meridian Historic Walking Tour, Preservation Idaho is proud to recognize Meridian with an Orchid Award for Cultural Heritage Preservation.