“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Nez Perce County, Idaho

Clickable Map of Nez Perce County, Idaho and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Nez Perce County, ID (54) Clearwater County, ID (37) Idaho County, ID (87) Latah County, ID (6) Lewis County, ID (12) Wallowa County, OR (20) Asotin County, WA (10) Whitman County, WA (2)  NezPerceCounty(54) Nez Perce County (54)  ClearwaterCounty(37) Clearwater County (37)  IdahoCounty(87) Idaho County (87)  LatahCounty(6) Latah County (6)  LewisCounty(12) Lewis County (12)  WallowaCountyOregon(20) Wallowa County (20)  AsotinCountyWashington(10) Asotin County (10)  WhitmanCounty(2) Whitman County (2)
Lewiston is the county seat for Nez Perce County
Adjacent to Nez Perce County, Idaho
      Clearwater County (37)  
      Idaho County (87)  
      Latah County (6)  
      Lewis County (12)  
      Wallowa County, Oregon (20)  
      Asotin County, Washington (10)  
      Whitman County, Washington (2)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Culdesac — Culdesac
In 1863 this area was a “Shebeen” (outlaw headquarters) and murder and robbery of travelers were common place. This valley was on the main and original Nez Perce Trail leading into Montana through Elk City. Homesteaders moved into the . . . Map (db m121589) HM
2 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Culdesac — 349 — St. Joseph's MissionWhen he came to Lewiston in 1867, Father J.M. Cataldo developed a Jesuit Nez Perce mission — that continued long after he founded Gonzaga University in Spokane —
A chapel was built a mile up Mission Creek in 1868, but a permanent location was not established until construction of Saint Joseph’s Mission was completed at a more secluded site in 1874. It now is open to visitors as a part of Nez Perce . . . Map (db m109654) HM
3 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Ant & Yellowjackettámsoy ka・?alatálo
The basalt arch on the hillside across the road depicts támsoy ka・?alatálo, insects Ant and Yellowjacket, locked in combat. Many features in this river valley relate to nimi・pu・ (Nez Perce) traditional stories. . . . Map (db m121414) HM
4 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — 264 — Ant & Yellowjacket
According to a Nez Perce Indian legend the stone arch up the hill was once two fighting insects. Ant and Yellowjacket had an argument and came to blows over who had the right to eat dried salmon here. Fighting fiercely, they failed to notice . . . Map (db m121412) HM
5 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Bredell Family Cemetery
Here the resting place for three generations of Bredells overlooks the river terrace where they lived from 1861 to 1927. The cemetery’s location next to a parking lot may appear unusual, but the Bredell family was part of a thriving Nez Perce . . . Map (db m121639) HM
6 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Clearwater Riverkú・s kayxkáyx
For thousands of years the river scene at this village site hardly changed. The stream was full of fish, served as a trade route for neighboring tribes, and attracted wildlife to this green corridor. While the river fostered a life of bounty and . . . Map (db m121715) HM
7 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Coming of the Railroad
This small train stop linked the Nez Perce with the cities of Lewiston, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington. Running directly through the reservation, the rails also opened this area to a wave of farmers and loggers who made striking changes to Nez Perce . . . Map (db m121736) HM
8 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Craig Donation Claim
Located Sept. 15, 1846 by William Craig mountain man and his Indian wife Isabel. First permanent white settler in Idaho, 1840, first Nez Perce Indian Agent, 1848; interpreter at Walla Walla Flathead and Blackfoot Councils, 1855 Lieutenant . . . Map (db m121603) HM
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9 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Indian Agency Cabin
Built in 1862 this cabin was part of a thriving complex of agency buildings in this area of the Nez Perce reservation. The cabin was probably the residence of an agency employee. In period photographs, agency buildings stood in the midst of Nez . . . Map (db m121708) HM
10 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Indian Agent's Residence
The Indian Agent, representing the United States Government, lived here side by side with the Nez Perce. By law the agent and the government were responsible for upholding the terms of treaties. Duties included building schools, distributing food, . . . Map (db m121735) HM
11 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — 112 — Lapwai Mission
Henry Harmon Spalding established Idaho’s earliest mission near here, Nov. 29, 1836, at a site chosen by the Nez Perce Indians. Ever since they met Lewis and Clark in 1805-6, the Nez Perce had wanted to find out more about the white mans . . . Map (db m121638) HM
12 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Lapwai Mission Cemetery
Generations of Nez Perce people are buried here, as well as Henry and Eliza Spalding and other missionaries and agents. To the Nez Perce this is sacred ground -- part of their connection to a traditional homeland. This is still an active . . . Map (db m121641) HM
13 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Nez Perce Village Site?iye∙wéwi
The river terrace below had the ingredients for a thriving village site: fresh water, a river full of fish, and a stream corridor filled with wildlife. For thousands of years the Nez Perce lived a life of bounty here. Then within a 50-year span . . . Map (db m121640) HM
14 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding
In Memoriam Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding 1803 - 1874 and his wife Eliza Hart Spalding 1808 - 1851 Pioneers, Missionaries, Founders of Industry Education Religion and Christian Citizenship among the Nez . . . Map (db m121645) HM
15 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Site of the Lapwai Mission1836
The First Home, The First School and the First Church in Idaho. Established by Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding and Eliza Hart Spalding Map (db m121643) HM
16 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Spalding Home Site1836
and original fireplaces of Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding and Elisa Hart SpaldingMap (db m121712) HM
17 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Spalding Mission
Yesterday reached this desirable spot, where we expect to dwell the remnant of our earthly pilgrimage. As yet our dwelling is an Indian lodge ... for there is no preparation for building yet. -- Diary of Eliza Hart Spalding Spalding . . . Map (db m121710) HM
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18 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Spalding’s Gristmill Canals
Father had a small grist mill near the house -- a great improvement over their (the Nez Perce) mortars and pestles. --- Eliza Spalding Warren To power the gristmill that stood at this site, Henry Spalding directed some Nez Perce to dig . . . Map (db m121719) HM
19 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — 241 — Spalding’s Presbyterian ChurchAmerican Presbyterian and Reformed Historical Site
Inspired by Henry and Eliza Spalding’s missionary zeal, this church held its first service in 1876. A number of Nez Perce embraced Spalding’s religion. Soon there were Nez Perce ministers, hymns in the Nez Perce language, and Indian blankets and . . . Map (db m121763) HM
20 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — Watson's Store
Watson’s store was typical of country stores that served small communities on the Nez Perce reservation in the early 1900s. The inventory included groceries and hardware, yet Watson’s also had stocks of beads for decorative work and canvas for tipis . . . Map (db m121738) HM
21 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lapwai — 308 — William Craig
“A bluff jolly good fellow.” He joined the rocky mountain fur trade in 1829, married a Nez Perce in 1838, and settled with the Lapwai Band in 1840. In 1850 the Oregon Donation Land Act gave free farms to pioneers who had come to . . . Map (db m121592) HM
22 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lenore — Nimiipuu Daily Life
Household and family groups were the heart of Nimiipuu, or Nez Perce society. Families lived and worked together, forming social alliances with others. Each Nez Perce – man, woman, child – uniquely contributed to the common . . . Map (db m110701) HM
23 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 501 — 18th St. Bridge
Lewiston's first bridge across the Clearwater River was constructed in 1913 and replaced in 1951. Early efforts for a bridge were opposed by ferryboat owners, but other business leaders recognized the need for a link to northern . . . Map (db m109711) HM
24 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — A Confluence of Rivers & Steam
Piloted by Ephraim W. Baughman, the Colonel Wright was the first sternwheeler to ascend the Snake River to its junction with the Clearwater. After the strong current snapped the boat’s tow line at Big Eddy (present-day Lenore), the Oregon . . . Map (db m110588) HM
25 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — A Man and His Island Dream
The Corps of Discovery reached the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers on October 10, 1805. In his map of the site, William Clark included a small island he observed “at the point of union” of the channels. The island . . . Map (db m110632) HM
26 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Bert Zimmerly1909-1949
Noted pilot and founder of Idaho's first airline. His skillful flying, zest for adventure, pioneer spirit and mercy missions left an aviation legend. He was a man of remarkable energy, resolution and result -- yet, withal a modest and respected . . . Map (db m122020) HM
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27 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 262 — Coyote's FishnetA Nez Perce Indian legend tells how Coyote and Black Bear had a falling out — while fishing here long ago —
Coyote, the all-powerful animal spirit, was having a good time until Black Bear, the busybody, began to tease him. Finally losing his temper, Coyote tossed his huge fishnet onto the hills across the river. To teach Black Bear a lesson, Coyote . . . Map (db m109727) HM
28 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Dwellings by the River
No Tents? By the time members of the Lewis & Clark Expedition reached the Snake River, their night-time shelter consisted of buffalo robes and other skins. They left St. Louis with tents of oiled canvas, but by the summer of 1805, those . . . Map (db m110578) HM
29 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Exploring on the River
Seasonal Migrations The Nimi’ipuu migrated throughout the region of the Snake River and its tributaries. They traveled seasonally to take advantage of the food sources: camas bulbs, berries, deer, elk, bear, and salmon. Their mobility . . . Map (db m110541) HM
30 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Firsts in Lewiston
In this vicinity was the first deeded land in Lewiston 1861 First homes, post office, courthouse, jail, mill, Masonic Hall, opera house: and first classes in State Normal School. 1896. Map (db m121915) HM
31 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Fishing in the River
”This river is remarkably clear and crowded with salmon in maney places… Salmon may be seen at the depth of 15 or 20 feet… The number… Is remarkable to say.” ~Captain Wm. Clark The Nimi’ipuu relied upon . . . Map (db m110687) HM
32 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Idaho's First CapitolOn March 4, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Idaho Organic Act creating Idaho Territory
The original territory encompassed an area of 324,000 square miles – an area larger than Texas – and included all of present day Montana, virtually all of Wyoming, including western strips of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. . . . Map (db m96492) HM
33 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 502 — John Silcott
Pioneer businessman and politician, he owned and operated ferries in the Lewiston and Spokane areas. Early in the 1860’s, John Silcott ran a ferryboat across the Snake River at Lewiston. He soon put in a ferry across the Clearwater River . . . Map (db m109713) HM
34 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Kettenbach Building
H.C. Kettenbach, Lewiston businessman, built this block in about 1907, probably to replace an earlier Kettenbach building which had housed a pioneer Lewiston newspaper, the Lewiston Teller. Lewiston City Officies occupied the building in its earlier . . . Map (db m121916) HM
35 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark camped on the North Bank of Lewis's or Snake River October 10, 1805 Erected October 1955 by Alice Whitman Chapter D.A.R.Map (db m23267) HM
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36 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Lewis and ClarkTraveled This Way In 1805;
The first white men to cross this country and reach the Pacific Ocean via Lolo Pass and present site of Lewiston. They came and returned the way that leads you are now on the Lewis and Clark Highway along the Clearwater River - the . . . Map (db m121815) HM
37 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 314 — Lewis Clark State College
Lewis Clark State College was created by the legislature in 1893 as a two year normal school to train teachers. After more than half a century of growth, Lewiston State Normal School expanded into a four-year college in 1947. An area . . . Map (db m109721) HM
38 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 417 — Lewiston Hill
When automobile traffic made steep old wagon roads obsolete, a remarkable new highway grade was built down this hill in 1917.  With a series of sharp curves that let cars go 20 or 30 miles an hour -- a good speed for that time -- a gradual . . . Map (db m121917) HM
39 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 494 — Lewiston's Chinese Community
The discovery of gold in 1860 and the founding of Lewiston in 1861 attracted many Chinese to the area. By 1870 approximately 1500 Chinese lived here. They worked as merchants, laborers, laundrymen and vegetable farmers. Exhausted gold fields, . . . Map (db m121808) HM
40 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 176 — Mackenzie's PostEarly in September 1812, Donald Mackenzie set up a fur trade post near here — for John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company —
Disappointed to find that beaver were unavailable in this area, he built only a store and two houses out of driftwood. Then the War of 1812 and Indian trouble tangled his plans; in May 1813 he abandoned this site, since Astor’s venture had failed . . . Map (db m109724) HM
41 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Means Building
At the turn of the century, Mark A. Means, who had arrived by horseback in 1881, and stayed to amass a fortune, hired Lewiston architect J.H. Nave to build a structure to house the various enterprises Means had in mind. Built of white pressed . . . Map (db m121812) HM
42 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 332 — Nez Perce VillageThis important archaeological site - occupied for 10,000 years or more — has at least 10 pit houses as much as 5000 years old —
Two styles of houses were used. Some were fairly square with interior benches dug out for use by a family or two. Others were round – 20 to 30 feet wide and two to three feet deep – but lacked benches. This village reached its height . . . Map (db m109725) HM
43 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Northwest Passage Scenic Byway
This scenic route commemorates the Lewis and Clark expedition’s quest for a watercourse through the Rocky Mountains connecting the Missouri and Columbia rivers. The byway parallels the explorers' journey through the ancestral Nez Perce homeland in . . . Map (db m109726) HM
44 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Old City Hall
The south section, which for many years housed City Hall, was built in 1909. The north section, once the city fire station, was built between 1918 and 1928. This simple commercial style is suggestive of Renaissance Revival. Many of its original . . . Map (db m121910) HM
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45 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Pacific Northwest Bell Building (Historic Name)
A two-story commercial building built of concrete with massive timber framing with orange and buff brick veneer. In its classical entryway and its use of classical symmetry and balance the building is suggestive of Renaissance Revival style. . . . Map (db m121911) HM
46 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Relic of Rustic Past
Said to date from the late 1860s, this historic log cabin is Lewiston's oldest surviving residence and once sat on 19th Street between Main and G Streets. The first documented owner was Samuel C. Thompson (1820-1898), who came to Lewiston in 1862 . . . Map (db m121909) HM
47 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Site of Luna HouseEstablished 1861
Lewiston's leading hotel in the 1860's. Way station on the road to the Idaho gold fields. Hill Beachey, famed apprehender of the Magruder murderers, was it's first proprietor (1861-1864). Focal point for much of Lewiston's history during the . . . Map (db m121816) HM
48 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 111 — Spalding's MissionMarcus Whitman and Henry Harmon Spalding — led Presbyterian Missionaries West in 1836 to answer a Nez Perce call for teachers —
Spalding began his mission and school nearby, but moved here in 1838. Believing in secular as well as religious teaching, he taught the Indians irrigated farming, brought in the Northwest’s first printing press, and built saw and flower mills. But . . . Map (db m109729) HM
49 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 418 — Steamboats
Started May 13, 1861, as a steamboat landing, Lewiston immediately became a primary commercial center for Idaho miners during their hectic gold rush to Pierce that spring. Steamboats continued to dock there until 1940, mainly after Columbia . . . Map (db m121918) HM
50 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — The Early Years in Nez Perce County
The discovery of gold in September 1860 flooded the region with thousands of treasure seekers, who were a civil and criminal law unto themselves. On December 20, 1861, the Washington Territorial Legislature responded, creating Nez Perce County . . . Map (db m109908) HM
51 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 167 — The First CapitalThe organization of Idaho Territory was proclaimed in Lewiston July 10, 1863 — and the first two legislatures met here —
When Lewiston served as the capital, Idaho Territory included modern Montana and practically all of Wyoming – an area much larger than Texas. Then in 1864, after Montana was established as a separate territory and most of Wyoming was attached . . . Map (db m109720) HM
52 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Traveling on the River
“…one canoe in which Sergt. Gass was Stearing And was nearle turning over, she Sprung A leak or Split open on one side and Bottom filled with water & Sunk on the rapid…” ~Captain Wm. Clark, October 8, . . . Map (db m110634) HM
53 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — 495 — Tsceminicum"Meeting of the Waters"
When the Nez Perce named this site, they viewed a desolate yet beautiful landscape. Near a large island at the confluence, crystal waters from the Clearwater joined the murky flow of the Snake.  Scattered willows grew along the broad river . . . Map (db m121810) HM
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54 Idaho, Nez Perce County, Lewiston — Writings on the River
Petroglyphs The earliest ‘writings’ along the Snake River were petroglyphs carved into the rocks. At the Buffalo Eddy and Captain John sites, located 20 miles upriver from here, some of the petroglyphs are four to six thousand years . . . Map (db m110688) HM
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May. 29, 2023