PNW History


The Arts and Architecture

Rag Town's - Architecture


Rag Towns were cities such as Lewiston Id whose structures were made from fabric stretched over poles. The term 'Rag Town' came about when the fabric whipped long enough in the wind to fray at the edges.

Opera and Theater - Arts


Idaho City, like many mining towns, grew quickly. They were known for having a fully functioning Opera House and Theatre within three years of becoming a town.

Fort George Wright - Architecture


This beautiful Fort was built in 1899 high on the bluffs above the Spokane River. The architecture was the striking Colonial Revival style.


Discovery of Gold in Pierce City ID - Economics


The economics of Idaho drastically changed when gold was discovered. Towns would boom almost in an instant then would go bust just as fast as they developed.

Married women received the right to own, sell and will property!


Oregon passed this law giving women the right to own sell and will property. This step was a precursor to the right to vote which
was just two years away. These moves encouraged economic growth and for womens' voices to be expressed in commerce.

Fur Trade - Buffalo Hides - Economics


There were over 200,000 buffalo killed in 1882. Their hides hauled off by rail car. The buffalo herds were very near extinction.

Science and Technology

Arrastre's - Technology


Arrastre's were a kind of grist mill that help minor's crush rock along side a stream to free the gold from the rock.

Transcontinental Railroad - Technology


With the railroads connecting both sides of the US commerce moved across the country much more easily, It also meant that such successful towns like Walla Walla (Which actually rivaled Seattle and Portland at one point) were sidelined when the railroad didn't stop in their town.

Thrashing Machine - Technology


The advent of the Thrashing machines made a tremendous difference in how wheat was harvested; the time it took; and what one farmer was able to produce, harvest and manage.


Walla Walla Treaty - Government


One of the earliest treaties negotiated by Washington Governor Isaac Stevens with the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. 45 thousand square miles of land were given to the government in exchange for fishing rights and a few other things plus three significantly smaller areas of land.

Caleb Lyon - Government


A rascally man who stirred the pot by declaring that the capital would move from Lewiston to Boise. He created quite a rift. He ended up leaving Lewiston under the guise of going 'duck hunting' fearing for his safety.

General Allotment Act - Government


This is a very strange act!!! The native american people had already been put on land. This act took more of their already diminished land and sold it to other settlers. What a display of disregard!


The Boise Basin - Environment


The Boise Basin yielded $20 million worth of gold by 1866. The environmental impact can still be seen today from pulling and dredging all that gold and tailings from the earth.

Oro Fino Burned - Environment


The Boom town of OroFino burned to the ground. Fire was a common for tragedy that occurred with regularity. There were very limited guards and precautions against fire in those days.

Lake Chatcolet - Environment


The State of Idaho bought the Lake Chatcolet area from the federal government and created the Pacific Northwest's first major state park


Narcissa Whitman - Religion


A Protestant Missionary who vowed to serve the native american people teaching them christianity and english. When her daughter dies in 1839, Narcissa seemed to have lost her will to serve.

Mission of the Sacred Heart at Cataldo- Religion


Catholic mission - the Mission of the Sacred Heart is the oldest standing building in Idaho. It functioned as an important stop for supplies and receive a bit of hospitality for minors, fur traders and other passers by.

Mormons migrate to Idaho - Religion


April 14, 1860 founded the first Mormon dominated town in Idaho named Franklin. It didn't take too many years for Mormons represented the largest single religious group in Idaho.