Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LCHS Ice Cream Social - Always a Good Time!

Our 38th Annual Ice Cream Social is just four days away, and we are getting ready for another terrific afternoon of family fun!  For nearly four decades we have been inviting the communities we serve (and any friends of Latah County) to join us on the McConnell Mansion lawn for free ice cream sundaes, which include a pineapple topping in honor of Mrs. McConnell and her affinity for the exotic treat.  We will be serving up ice cream and watermelon from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m., this Sunday, July 28th.

County Commissioners making sundaes in 2011
Serving up ice cream in 1979

Along with free ice cream, we invite guests to enjoy a variety of attractions and activities throughout the afternoon.

Old Time Fiddlers entertain guests in the early 1980s

Included in the family fun will be children’s activities (doing laundry with washboards, hand wringers and clotheslines and pins…hands on history for the little ones), dress ups, crafts and games.  Also there will be horse and wagon rides with Milt Moore from Potlatch, live music with Ardin Skoglund and Forgotten Freight, Hog Heaven Muzzle Loaders, weavers and spinners, lace makers, games and crafts on the lawn, cherry seed spit, water balloon toss, and much more! The Moscow Preservation Commission will present their 2013 Orchid Awards at 4:00 PM also.

The dress-up trunks are a favorite stop for kids and parents alike!
 We hope you will join us for an afternoon of free, family fun.  If you have any questions, please call (208.882.1004) or email (  

This year we are going GREEN with compostable spoons and bowls.  The City of Moscow will also be providing a water bottle filling station.  Please help us reduce our waste by bring your reusable bottle or cup with you. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

From the LCHS Vaults (or Guess that Object!)

First, can you guess what this object is?  It was a recent donation to the museum collection, and one of our collections volunteer knew exactly what it was because her father grew up with them in his home.

If you guessed that this is an acetylene gas lamp fixture, you were right!  When mounted, the fixture would be adorned with a glass hood. 

This particular model was made by the J.B. Colt Company, which manufactured acetylene generators and companion lighting systems for residential and industrial customers.  According to the "Sweet's" Indexed Catalogue of Building Construction (1906), "the practicability of 'Colt' Acetylene is best attested by its thousands of users." 

Acetylene could be produced by exposing calcium carbide pellets to water.  A large container would be buried in a home's yard and connected to a network of pipes that fed the house with acetylene gas.  Within the containers a steady drip of water ran over the pellets, thus generating the flammable gas.  The light produced by burning acetylene was exceptionally bright, but consumers were of course at risk for explosions caused by gas leaks.

Diagrams of a Colt acetylene generator and delivery system.  Photos taken from a terrific webpage ( that explains gas lighting in greater detail.

During the first half of the twentieth century carbide fed acetylene lighting was popular in rural homes where electrification was unavailable. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Three Ways to Celebrate Latah County History this Weekend

There will be a flurry of activity across the county this weekend as three communities celebrate their heritage and welcome residents and visitors to learn about the past.

Troy Old Timers' Day
You may have seen the wonderful article in today's Lewiston Tribune about Dorothy Anderson, a long time LCHS member and a true booster of the Troy community.  She has been in to the visit us multiple times over the last couple of weeks to gather photos for an exhibit on the downtown blocks of Troy.  That exhibit is a featured attraction of this year's Old Timers' Day, which begins bright and early Saturday morning with a 6am breakfast, followed by a parade and numerous family activities.

Old Timers' Day Parade, 1960s (LCHS 15-08-015)

Potlatch Days
Just this morning Dan and Dulce took the traveling WI&M exhibit out to the Potlatch WI&M Depot, and the folks there are gearing up for two days of excitement.  Along with a parade, lawn mower races, and logging events, there will be a chance for members of the public to take a ride in speeder cars.  Be sure to show up early though, because tickets for those rides go fast!

Potlatch Days when A. A. McDonald was manager - Crowds came for free lunch in early 1900s  (LCHS 12-03-096)

Potlatch Days Logging Event, 1954   (LCHS 12-08-004)

White Spring Ranch Museum Ice Cream Social
 White Spring Ranch is located in Genesee, and consists of a historic log cabin, farmhouse, and a curio museum cabin.  The dedicated team at White Spring Ranch Museum have invested countless hours and resources to gaining National Register and Century Farm designation for their sites.  The public is invited to enjoy the beauty of the ranch, along with ice cream, games, and music on Saturday from 1 to 4pm. 

Below is a list of links where you can find additional information about all of these wonderful events. 

Finally, we invite everyone to stop by our office (the Annex) next Wednesday, July 17th, from 1 to 4pm to meet our new curator, Dulce Kersting.  Dulce is looking forward to meeting LCHS members and people from the community, so please drop by for light refreshments and to greet the newest addition to our team.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Fourth of July Past

Putting up flags for the Fourth, circa 1970. Mayor Handel on the left.
Horse Cart Co. going north at corner of 6th & Main, July 4, 1911.
Wagon in left background is carrying blocks of ice.

Girl's Race, July 4, 1911.
Identified on back of photo: Annette McCallie, Margaret McCallie Moore, Julia Moore
Fat Men Race, July 4, 1911.
Several fat men and Casper Tylden in the dark vest and pants entered the race.
Someone said put a rider on the big Swede he is not a fat man, however
he weighed the minimum. The other fat men who started the race ha dropped out when
the picture was taken. Tylden was just gaining his speed at this point and won
the race by quite a margin. His comment after the race was "If we had to
have gone further I would have beat him badly". Number one in the picture is John Ott
and number two is Clifford M. Ott, 14 years old. Tylden was our neighbor.

Captions are from notes accompanying the photos. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend from the Latah County Historical Society!