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Welcome to Latah County!

According to the Idaho Almanac of 1977, settlers began taking up the rich land of the Palouse country over one hundred years earlier. Prospectors roamed the hills and breaks north of the Clearwater and Snake rivers. Farmers and homesteaders relished the rich Palouse soil and ridge country. By 1872 a mail route was established between Moscow and Lewiston. The Northern Pacific Railroad reached Moscow in 1885. The thick whitepine forests supplied the resources for the small lumber mills and a logging industry that culminated with the Weyerhauser company building a lumber mill and company town at Potlatch in the early 1900s. Yet another town, Bovill, was founded on the natural resources of clays found in the area.

Latah County is the only county in Idaho created by an act of the US Congress. In order to establish a land grant college, Congress created Latah County from Nez Pierce County in May 1888. Moscow was established as the county seat and the land grant University of Idaho came into being in 1889.

Latah is derived from two Nez Pierce words: "Lah" meaning the place of pine trees "Toh" the sestle or stones used to pulverize the camas roots. The meadows of the Palouse were a cool refreshing place in the summer for the Nez Pierce Indians gather camas roots, sit in the shade and work.

What is new in Latah County?


The Latah County Historical Society is requesting help to document the solar eclipse at it occurred on August 21, 2017. Photographs, narratives, and other items that tell the story of the solar eclipse in Latah County would be appreciated. Each donation should include a brief written history regarding the viewer's experience of the eclipse in Latah County to provide context to go along with the materials submitted. Materials in physical and digital format will be accepted for inclusion in this collection. Submissions from viewers will ensure that this once-in-a-lifetime experience is fully documented locally!

For more information, email LCHS Curator Zach Wnek at zwnek@latah.id.us, or call 208-882-1004.

About the County Coordinators

David & Karen Purtee are the County Coordinators and live in Latah County just outside of Moscow. They are avid genealogists and are looking forward to building a site with genealogical and historical information of the area. They are adding additional volunteers to be available to help you with your questions and inquiries about Latah County. At this time, please direct questions, suggestions, or complains to

About Latah County and the Neighboring Counties

Latah County is located in the panhandle of Idaho along the Washington border. Cities include: Bovill, Deary, Genesee, Juliaetta, Kendrick, Moscow, Onaway, Potlatch, Troy and other unincorporated communities. The County Seat is Moscow.

Benewah county is located north side of Latah county.

Shoshone and Clearwater counties are located on the east side.

Nez Perce county is located on the south side.

On the west side is the state of Washington with Asotin, Garfield, and Whitman counties at the border.

Here's a resourceful information about Latah County at Idaho State University (ISU) website: Latah County Map & Info

Latah County Links

Forgotten Towns
History Index
Latah County Archives
Latah County Bibiography
Lookup Volunteers
Mailing List

Old Obituaries
Old Queries
Photos & Postcards
Resources - Local
Resources - On-Line
Self Guided Community Tours

Search Latah County, Idaho By FreeFind.

About the GenWeb Projects

The IDGenWeb ProjectOne of the newer states, Idaho has a short but interesting history that includes mountain men, many American Indian tribes, mining, cattlemen and sheepherders, outlaws and law abiding pioneers, and a broad spectrum of immigrants from all over the world. Idaho, also, has about the most diverse topography of all the states, including high mountain ranges, forests, probably more running water than any other state, lakes, lava fields, deserts, and lush farmlands.

It was originally a part of the Oregon Territory. Idaho became a territory in 1863 (which included at the time most of Montana and Wyoming) and then became a state in 1890. There are currently 44 counties, in which it includes portions of four different Indian reservations.

Each county have a volunteer coordinator or host or hostess, with an associated website. We would love to hear from you if you find our resources useful, if you would like to volunteer to become a county coordinator, if you have problems to report or suggestions to make, and especially if you have some information you would like to contribute to our effort.

The USGenWeb ProjectThe USGenWeb Project, a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone. To learn more about the GenWeb Project

The WorldGenWeb ProjectThe WorldGenWeb Project was created in an effort to answer the growing needs of genealogists world-wide who were trying to research their ancestors online. Their goal is to have every country in the world represented by an online website.

Last Updated:  Wednesday, 4 October 2017
Created & Designed by David & Karen Purtee ©
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