“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 Lewiston, 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
Lewiston is in Nez Perce County
      Nez Perce County (54)  
      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, 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
2 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
3 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
4 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
5 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
6 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
7 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
8 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
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9 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
10 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
11 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
12 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
13 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
14 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
15 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
16 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
17 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
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18 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
19 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
20 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
21 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
22 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
23 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
24 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
25 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
26 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
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27 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
28 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
29 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
30 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
31 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
32 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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Feb. 25, 2024