Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lewiston served briefly as Idaho's first capital

Idaho's first capital building located at
12th and Main in old Lewiston
This one is for trivia buffs: what was the first capital of Idaho?

Lewiston, a city at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, was picked as the first capital of the newly created Idaho Territory, with the legislature meeting here for the first time in 1863.

Its tenure was short-lived, however, as the legislature voted to move the capital to Boise on December 7, 1864. It wasn’t until 1866, however, that the move became official, since some challenged the legislature’s decision since it was not made in a regular session. Boise has been Idaho’s capital ever since.
Today, Idaho’s ninth largest city is the capital of Nez Perce County.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Missionaries to Nez Perce buried on reservation

Visitor center mural
A must-stop for tourists traveling U.S. Highway 95 between Grangeville and Lewiston, Idaho, is the Spalding Visitor Center a few miles from Lewiston.

The Spalding Visitor Center is located in a serene setting alongside the Clearwater River. It is part of the four-state Nez Perce National Historical Park that is operated jointly by the National Park Service and the Nez Perce Indian Tribe. The park includes numerous sites in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon that have historical significance to the Nez Perce tribe.

The visitor center shows a 23-minute film about the Nez Perce and what the tribe is doing today to preserve its cultural heritage. It also has a small, but excellent, collection of tribal dress, implements and other items used by the tribe over the centuries.

Located on the Nez Perce reservation, this site takes in the mission established by Henry and Eliza Spalding who came here following the massacre at the Whitman Mission in Walla Walla, Washington.  The couple is buried at the Lapwai Mission Cemetery, which is still an active cemetery,

The tall headstone belongs to the Spaldings
There’s a picnic area across from the cemetery. Just before crossing a wooden bridge to get here stands the house used by the superintendent of the Indian Agency. A trail through the original town site starts here. Not too far away is the Watson’s General Store, which specialized in merchandise, such as beads and canvas for tepees, the Indians needed, but also carried general merchandise.

The site also offers several easy walking trails throughout this section of the park.  It’s also a good place to go bird watching, where great blue herons, osprey and kingfisher, among other bird species, can be seen.

Park celebrates 50th anniversary

Nez Perce cultural day
Nez Perce National Historic Park celebrated its 50 anniversary May 16, 2015. Part of the day's activities included a cultural day hosted by the Nez Perce tribe at the Spalding visitor center's picnic area. Tribal members in their native regalia rode horses around the main tent; they were accompanied by four men singing and beating a drum.  At another tent, a woman explained about the roots, berries and other plants that were used in traditional foods and healing.

You can view a short video of the opening ceremony on my Youtube channel.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Art adorns shoulders of Lewiston highways

Driving into or out of northeastern Lewiston, Idaho, offers an unexpected delight: metal sculptures on the highway shoulders.

The sculptures can be found at the junction of U.S.highways 12, which takes motorists east to Missoula, and 95, which heads north to Moscow and Coeur d'Alene.

The sculptures have a Western theme, as you can see in the ones I've  posted below.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lewiston. Idaho: pretty in pink

Pink dogwoods are in bloom in Lewiston
Lewiston, Idaho, a town on the Snake River, truly blossoms in the spring when dogwood trees begin to bloom. Pink blossoms are everywhere, with a few white dogwoods thrown in for good measure.

Dogwood trees are everywhere, in city parks, lining city streets and filling the yards of homes. Indeed, the largest trees can be found in the yards of older homes and seem to be Lewiston's version of the mighty oak.

Thi natural beauty does not go unnoticed, as Lewiston celebrates its dogwood festival every April. The celebration centers around arts and culture, with a fun run, quilt show and other activities.

Lewiston is named after the faed explorer, Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition. right across the river is Clarkston, named for his co-explorer, George Clark.