Zubizareta, Fermin

Daniel Chertudi
Interview Location: 
Boise, ID
Interview Date: 

Fermin was born in the Star Hotel in Nampa, Idaho on 10 April 1917 to Domingo Zubizareta and Brigida Aspiri Plaza.  Soon after he was born, Fermin and his family moved onto a farm.  Having spoken only Basque with his family, Fermin describes what it was like start school in Owyhee, Oregon, where he was the only Basque student in his class.  His older brothers helped him adjust to school and the English language.

After living in Owyhee and Parma, Idaho, Fermin and his family moved to Boise, where he finished the eighth grade at Garfield School.  At 15, following his ambition to herd sheep, Fermin traveled to Crane, Oregon to work for a French-Basque sheep company on Steens Mountain.  Five years later, he joined his brothers on a farm in Owyhee, where he worked until enlisting in the US Army to fight in World War II.  He was assigned to the Signal Corps and served in Washington and Panama.

After the war, Fermin settled in Boise, where he became a member of the Basque Center and joined his brothers in a partnership to run the Food King franchise of grocery stores.  He married Miren Eiguren in 1947.  Fermin shares his observations of Basque communities in Idaho and Oregon, especially Boise, which he saw become ever more organized and active in preserving its heritage.

Audio Recording: 
Basque Center
Starting school
Other Images: