Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Independence Day has always been cause for celebration in Latah County; these have taken many different forms, however most of the early Independence Day celebrations were either parades or parties. In this post I would like to take you on a journey through time and space as we discover some of Latah County’s Independence Day celebrations in the early 20th Century.
To begin our journey we will travel to Kendrick in 1904, only 14 years after it had been incorporated (1890) and 15 years after the city was founded (1889). At this stop there are pictures of the Independence Day parade in Kendrick. As you look at these photos notice Lady Liberty on the float underneath the American flag. In the lower photo see if you can count the number of American flags on display. Keep in mind that these photos were taken in 1904 before the Kendrick fire of the same year.
Now travel north to the city of Potlatch, where the Independence Day celebration was a crowded affair on July 4th, 1914. By this time the Potlatch Lumber Company was well established and their workforce was enjoying a hard-earned day off. Luckily for Potlatch, Independence Day happened to be on a Saturday in 1914, so the loss of labor was probably minimal.
Moving from the city of Potlatch southeast across the Palouse to Troy. We enter Troy on Saturday July 4th, 1925. The photograph below shows an Independence Day parade down Main St. in Troy. A close inspection of the first photo offers a view of the Pocket Billiards store and, if you look closely you can see the Lutheran Church at the end of Main St. Take a moment to examine the interesting mix of transportation available, vehicles, horses and pedestrians appear to be harmoniously sharing the street.
Jumping ahead three years to 1928, the Independence Day parade in Troy looks a bit different. In this image is Troy’s Main Street again, however the buildings appear to be made out of brick instead of wood. Transportation in Troy has changed in three short years, with no horses in sight.
Now, it is time to leave Troy in order to travel back in time approximately 30 years to Lenville, Idaho. In 1889 Lenville built a school, which operated until 1946. For independence Day in 1889 or 1900 the school threw a party. The teacher “Uncle Charlie,” stands near the doorway holding a small bell. The students and their families came to the school for a fantastic photograph.
I am exhausted by all of this traveling through time and space. Thank you for coming on this journey with me and we at the historical society wish you a very happy and safe Independence Day this year.
– Zachary Wnek
Latah County Historical Society
Boone, Lalia Phipps, From A to Z in Latah County, Idaho: A Place Name Directory, (Lalia Phipps Boone, 1983), 57-58.
Latah County Historical Society Photograph Collection.
Otness, Lillian W., A Great Good Country: A guide to Historic Moscow and Latah County, Idaho. (Moscow: Latah County Historic Society, 1983), 115, 128-129, 149-150.