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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.
The Latah County Historical Society will hold an opening reception for its newest exhibit,
The exhibit is the first in a series of learning opportunities the Society will present in the next 18 months in tandem with the American centennial of WWI involvement.
The reception is free and open to the public from 5-7 p.m.
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.
Latah County Links
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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 April 2017 Created & Designed by David & Karen Purtee ©
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