BOISE -- There aren't a lot of businesses around that go back 100 years. The Burns Studio in Boise is one of those businesses, dating back to 1919. Now, the owners have an offer on their building and thought it was a good time to retire.
Up until about 1995, the who's who of Boise went through the Burns Studio. Now, they're selling everything from the cameras - to the frames - to the building.
Inside the studio there are pictures from another time, a time long before we lived in a digital world.
In 1919 Grover Burns opened the Burns Studio; it would turn out to be a family-run business that would survive nearly 100 years.
"The history is the important part, mainly because of the Burns family, it's part of the history of Boise," said Kelly Bickle.
Kelly Bickle and his wife Marilyn are the current owners of the studio. Marilyn is granddaughter of the original owner, Grover Burns.
"I've been here 32 years. I grew up here," said Marilyn. "I spent many hot afternoons as a young child in this very room, watching Password.”
Kelly ended up as an apprentice for Marilyn’s father. Marilyn says both she and her father fell in love with him.
Standing in the original dark room there remains a faint smell of old chemicals. Kelly told us how generations of families came through the Burns Studio.
"We used to say that everybody in Boise came through the Burns Studio one way or another," said Kelly.
We even found a negative on the ground of Kelly. "That was back when I started here. I wore a tie," said Kelly.
Corporate giants like Simplot and Albertson all came through Burns. Other companies like Boise Cascade, Morrison-Knudsen and Ore-Ida also had employee pictures taken at Burns.
With so much history and so many memories, both Kelly and Marilyn were emotional about closing down.
"Yeah, really emotional, because people have shared their lives with us," said Marilyn. "It's very difficult to think about closing the doors.”
"Well, it's part of history," said Kelly.
Even though they're selling all their equipment and frames, they will still keep the studio name. Over the years, they took and kept upwards of 100,000 negatives.
"I used to always say it should be in a museum, and we're going to donate it, probably to the city, eventually," said Kelly.
In the mean time, they'll focus on their website BoiseByBurns.com, giving people access to their pictures from another time, because we now live in a digital world.
"We're going to kind of take a look to the past and concentrate on making our past work available," said Marilyn. "Our future lies in the past.”
They're selling the studio because they got an offer on their building and just decided it was time to retire. Neither of their sons wanted to get into photography.
From Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, they will sell all their equipment. You can drop by the studio on the corner of 13th and State streets from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
In what Marilyn says is a fitting end to their run, the Burns Studio will be a part of the Boise 150 Celebration. It won a grant and will be the featured display in the Sesqui Shop for the month of July. The studio will showcase 30 prints that show Boise's history.