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A Sweet Summer Tradition

The Latah County Historical Society marks 40 years carrying on a local tradition whose origins date back over a century when it hosts its annual ice cream social this Sunday, July 26th, at the McConnell Mansion in Moscow. The event, held from 1:00-4:30 P.M. at 110 South Adams Street, is expected to attract several hundred guests to the Historical Society’s primary public venue. The Historical Society hosts several such community events every year– including a harvest dinner, a Victorian Christmas party, and an annual potluck– in addition to its ongoing work collecting, preserving, and cataloging local historic pictures, documents, and artifacts.

William J. McConnell, Idaho’s first two-term governor, built the McConnell Mansion in 1886, and his wife, Louisa, became well-known for the ice cream socials she held there around the turn of the 20th century. The Historical Society’s ice cream socials still honor Louisa’s memory with features such as the esoteric inclusion of fresh pineapple as an ice cream topping– something she always insisted on when hosting her own parties. 

This year’s event will involve street closures in the area of 2nd and Adams to make room for a variety of activities, including live music, a water balloon toss, a seed-spitting contest, lace-making, and horse-and-wagon rides. Representatives of the Moscow fire department and the historical reenactment group Hog Heaven Muzzleloaders will be in attendance to make presentations for guests.

Attendance is free of charge, though donations are encouraged. All ice cream is graciously provided by the DeWitt family of Moscow.

This article was written by Cody Wendt.

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