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WORLD WAR I: Latah County Stories

The Latah County Historical Society held an opening reception for its newest exhibit, World War I: Latah County Stories at the McConnell Mansion, on April 27, 2017. 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.


The people in Latah County are in for a treat on Saturday, April 8, 2017 when they learn about the history of the Spokane and Palouse Railroad, part of the North Pacific Railroad Company. The first train arrived in Genesee from Spokane in 1888. The talk will include the immediate impact the railroad had on the Genesee community and other local towns.

The presentation will be given by Earl Bennett at the Genesee Senior Center at 7:00 PM. in Genesse, Idaho. Earl H. Bennett is on the Board of Trustees of the Idaho State Historical Society and the City Historian for the Genesee.

Lite refreshments will be available at this FREE event

Latah County Historical Society Seeks County Wide Meeting

Latah County Historical Society, Executive Director Dulce L. Kersting, has called for a Stakeholder meeting of representatives of local history groups. The gathering will be on 23rd March at 9:30am at the Troy Historical Society building at 421 Main Street, Troy, Idaho. It will be informal with coffee and pastries provided by the Latah County Historical Society.

Ms Kersting has indicated that many of our communities have historic preservation groups, and there are other agencies like hers, which are tasked with celebrating all of the countys history. Each group does important work, but I dont think that we always know about the successes of our peer organizations. That is why I am proposing a general meeting of representatives from each of our countys heritage groups (formally organized or not).

The goal of this meeting would be to meet one and other, hear about past and present projects, discuss common challenges, and potentially even find partners for future projects.
Dulce L. Kersting
Executive Director
Latah County Historical Society

At noon, Saturday, September 24, 2016 some 60 friends of Troy gathered for a couple of hours to picnic and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Duthie Park. Duthie Park Day was a bring your own picnic, chairs, and spend time sharing with old friends afternoon. The park is hidden in a secluded spot on the north slope of the town. The air was warm and the sheltered park was a delightful place to relax and visit without wind, traffic or more than an occasional cloud drifting by.

The City Council member in charge of parks and recreation, Commissioner Jim Corr, representing the Mayor of Troy, read the proclamation. Latah County Commissioner, Dave McGraw, and Caroline Nilsson Troy, State District Representative, were in attendance. The Troy Historical Society sponsored the event.

The event celebrated the establishment of Duthie Park in 1916 as deeded to the city by William M. Duthie, a prominent businessman in Troys early history. A monument sits in a grove of trees noting Duthie Park, 1916, a gift to the City of Troy. He lived in Troy with his home and a dairy above the ravine where the park is located. After raising his children in Troy, he moved on to Lewiston where he was successful in other business ventures. He died there in 1928.

It was truly a community event: the Troy/Deary Community Band, lead by Emily Raasch, opened with the National Anthem followed by several patriotic and cheerful tunes. After proclaiming Duthie Park Day, and comments by David Purtee, President of the Troy Historical Society, the band played another group of musical numbers. Other participants included the Troy Volunteer Fire Department with Paul Groseclose, providing rides on their antique fire truck for the young and old. The local branch of the Umpqua Bank provided ice cream and the Latah Credit Union donated bottled water as refreshments.

In August 25, 2016, the Latah County Historical Preservation Committee meeting was called to order by the clang of the old time red bell. This summer the bell tower was rebuilt on the building that dates back to the 1890s. The one room schoolhouse is being refurbished by the Elwood School Historical Association, a cheerful group of area residents that are working a miracle.

When Latah County was settled in the late 1880s, the school bells signaled the end of harvest around the one room school houses on the ridges. This year the melodious clang of the Elwood School bell on Texas Ridge welcomed a group of students of the past - although they were not elementary school children.

The Elwood Community is near Deary on the northern end of Texas Ridge, a ridge that runs north from Moscow Mountain south to Kendrick. It is open with views of Tamarack Butte to the east and blue sky all the way to Moscow.

It is recorded that in 1920 there were 44 students, aged 6 to 21, crowded into the single room eager to learn from a single teacher. That number slowly melted away until the school was closed in 1946. And the Elwood School was not the only one on Texas Ridge. Within three miles were two other schools.

The Association acquired the building in the Spring of 2013 and began refurbishing work. By the fall of that year, once boarded up windows were replaced and new doors were hung. By 2015, a new roof adorned a sparkling white freshly painted building. The only difference from pictures taken when the building was the center of the farm community, was the absence of the bell tower and the children.

The joy of the sound of the bell was only exceeded by the Elwood School Historical Association members pride who pull the rope. Their smiles were contagious and we all applauded their work and dedication.

On July 7, 2016, the members of the Latah County Historical Society (LCHS) and the public honored the Talbott family with a reception at the McConnell Mansion. The Talbotts were awarded the ESTO PERPETUS AWARD from the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) earlier.

The award, takes its name from the state motto, 'Let it be perpetual' and recognizes people and organizations who have preserved and promoted Idaho history through professional accomplishments, public service or volunteerism, and philanthropy. Over the past sixteen years, ISHS has recognized the inspiring local preservation efforts of more than 100 individuals and organizations from throughout the state of Idaho.

The Talbott family have been involved with LCHS in many different roles, from that of generous donors, to volunteer work with the collections, to years of service on the Board of Trustees. Jeanette and her late husband John became members in the early days of the organization. Their children Steve and Chris served as Museum Curator and Administrative Assistant in past years.

On May 21, 2016, a group of family and friends gathered at the Ellis and Dorothy Anderson Farm on Burnt ridge northeast of Troy, to celebrate the 100 year old farm and to present Dorothy Anderson and her family with a plaque and certificate as an Idaho Century Farm. The award was for recognition of their family farming on this land for over 100 years. The award and congratulations was presented from the Idaho State Historical Society, the Idaho Department of Agriculture and the Idaho Governors office.

The Anderson Family Farm is one of over 400 farms recognized in Idaho as Century Farms and one of only 40 farms in Latah County.

Last Updated:  Wednesday, 30 August 2017
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