Friday, May 31, 2013

Latah County Poor Farm

Layout of the Latah County Poor Farm, circa 1938.
Circled numbers with arrows indicate vantage point from which accompanying photos were taken.
View of the wood shed, cellar & main building.

From top left: cow barn, shop, granary, chicken house
Before programs like Medicare, the county was responsible for supporting the indigent. Poor Farms were established to take care of the county’s indigents and the elderly. Above are the layout and photos of the Latah County Poor Farm, just north of Moscow.

 The Latah County Poor Farm eventually became the Latah Care Center through the efforts of Grace Wicks and other community members.

Excerpt from the Latah Legacy, Vol. 22, No.1, Spring 1993. “How Latah Care Center Became No. 1”, p 4-5.

“[The Latah County Poor Farm] was located north of Moscow near the site of what is now Radio Station KRPL.

The indigent and the aged who were indigent were housed in the big farmhouse. The farm itself provided an opportunity for those who were able to work doing various jobs to help pay their way and to enhance their self-esteem. […]

Besides the main farmhouse, the complex of buildings included: a woodshed and rooms used sometimes to house patients; a cellar for storage; a hospital; a smoke house; a granary; a machine shed; a blacksmith shop; a chicken house; a pest house (used in earlier years to house paitents with communicable diseases); a hog feed cookinghouse; a cow barn; a horse barn; a hog house; a pump house, and a root cellar. And of course there was an outhouse or two.”

Other sources include “Latah Health Services initially created to replace poor farms”, from the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, July 6 &7, 1996, p1A.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ione Adair and the 1910 Fires

Ione Adair, 1906

Ione Adair Journal, August 3rd through August 4th, 1910

Ione Adair Journal, August 4th continued, 1910

Born Ione Adair, Pinky was ten when her parents left Kansas for the frontier in search of a new life.  They settled in Moscow, Idaho where the community welcomed Dr. Adair and his clan. [The Adairs were the second family to live in McConnell Mansion.] The family took in boarders and enjoyed an active social life, including summers spent on a family homestead where Pinky was one of the first girls to ride “stride saddle.”

 In 1910 Pinky decided to establish a homestead of her own.

This was a daunting course of action, but one Pinky pursued unwaveringly. She taught school to make money both to claim the land and build a cabin. The journey into the timber by stage, train and packhorse (who fell off a snowy trail) getting supplies, staking a claim and building her home presented every imaginable obstacle. But Pinky and her fellow female homesteaders (The Maidens of 49 Meadows) established their own small colony.

But the Big Burn of 1910 had changed it all, for the homesteaders and what would become the New West.

Pinky could be seen through the smoke by her fiery hair and .38 revolver she always strapped to her waist.  As the blaze encroached, she was approached to cook for some of the thousands of recruits enlisted to fight the fire. It was a grueling assignment, but she persisted, making the most of sparse supplies (though later in life she had trouble even looking at a potato). No one in her family knew her fate, and after weeks feared for the worst. By August 20th, the fire was so bad their encampment erupted in anarchy.  Finally, Pinky snatched her blanket and headed for the nearby river with, among others, five dozen prisoners from Missoula. Alone, Pinky crawled out of the river and declared she wouldn’t die in the creek.  They declared HER crazy and she scoffed she had no intention of dying there and would WALK to Avery, some thirty miles away.

--From Annie Fujii, great-niece of Ione Adair.

Following is a transcript of the journal entries pictured above, chronicling two days of Ione Adair's experience as a camp cook during the 1910 fires.

Journal transcript:

Aug.  3.   Wednesday.  How time does fly. We have but little time. we took time to wash and bath our feet this  P.M. Such dirty greasy clothes you never saw in all your life. My eyes are nearly put out. I slept last night for the first time in a week. I could not sleep Tues night because the horses were  right behind our beds and stampeded three or four times trying to get to the trail.
Aug. 4,  All went well till five thirty. Nine extras came in for supper. There was some pretty tall hustling to make a dinner for eight do for nineteen. The cooks waited. Mc Peak brought the packs in also the mail. got a letter from Evon[?] & Cad also a note from Papa. More horses for[?] nightmare only twelve head at our bid last evening.
Aug 5.

Come visit the Centennial Annex for more information on Ione Adair and her family.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Charles Houston Shattuck at the Bovill Hotel

Guest Register for the Bovill Hotel 

Charles Houston Shattuck

The 1910 through 1912 guest register for the Bovill Hotel is part of the 22nd accession of 1977, donated by Oren Bigham, as part of a larger collection of guest registers that record the hotel’s guests up through  1956.  These registers reside in the document collection of Latah County Historical Society, housed in our Centennial Annex facility.

It’s delightful, but no surprise, to find the great Charles Houston Shattuck registered at the Bovill Hotel on October 27, 1910.  Founder of the U of I Forestry program, one of the first in the nation, he had convinced officials of the Potlatch Lumber Company to allow him to use their mills and logging camps as teaching and research facilities.  Shattuck ultimately became the first dean of the college of letters and science.  The old arboretum on campus is named in his honor.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

USO Canteen to Benefit Inland Northwest Honor Flight

On Sunday, May 5th, the Hog Heaven Big Band teamed up with Dudley Loomis Post #6 of the American Legion to put on a USO canteen themed  dance to raise money for Inland Northwest Honor Flight.  Honor Flight recognizes veterans of WWII, taking them to Washington DC to view the new WWII memorial and tour the capital.  Wayne McProud of the Hog Heaven Big Band approached LCHS to see if we could share some WWII materials for the event.  As it happens, LCHS has a remarkable collection of WWII home front posters, and we took about fifty of them to the fairgrounds pavilion for the evening.  With the help of volunteers Rod Hedrick and Helen Almojera, we put on quite a show with the posters.  We’re still hearing nice comments about our role in an important event for a worthy cause.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CCC of Moscow

Photos courtesy of Mike Warren, from Boonville, IN. The Latah County Historical Society received 96 4”x6” photos, as well as six smaller photos from Mike. LaVerne Warren, Mike’s father, is identified in some of the photos.
The Civilian Conservation Corp was created for the preservation of natural resources during the Great Depression of the 1930s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as one way to put people to work. Their main function on the Palouse was to fight against erosion, mainly through planting trees, as well as working to change or improve water channels. The Moscow CCC was involved in the construction of Robinson Lake Park and tree planting, some of which still exists along Highway 95, between Moscow and Lewiston, among other things.

The Moscow CCC site was located at the corner of Palouse River Drive and Highway 95. The Chinese Village and the Plantation are former CCC buildings. An apartment building on the corner of D Street and Jefferson is a relocated CCC building.

Additional sites were located where the Moscow-Pullman Airport now sits, at the Big Meadow Campgrounds outside of Genesee, and at Elk Basin near Bovill.

Information courtesy of Latah County Historical Society archives, and "CCC: It started here 50 years ago", Moscow Magazine, Fall 1983, pg 21.