Updated: Apr 2, 2020
On September 20th you have the opportunity to join Idaho’s State Historian Keith Petersen for an exciting and educational day of travel through eastern Washington and north Idaho. Petersen’s most recent book, John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Road Builder, is the first comprehensive biography written about the man who surveyed one of the most important routes in the American West. In fact, much of Interstate 90 in this part of the country still follows the route designed by Mullan nearly 200 years ago. The upcoming bus tour will traverse parts of Mullan’s road and will make stops at other locations of significance in the early Euro-American settlement of our region.
So come along and learn about…
ISAAC STEVENS: Did you know that we have a monument to the first governor of Washington right here in Latah County? The survey work done by Stevens in the 1850s is integral to John Mullan’s story, and we will begin our journey at this little known marker.
BATTLE AT STEPTOE: On May 17, 1858 Lieutenant Colonel Edward Steptoe’s forces clashed with a group of American Indians from the Palouse, Spokane, and Coeur d’Alene tribes outside of present-day Rosalia, Washington. As Keith Petersen will explain, this escalation in hostilities between whites and American Indians required Mullan to adjust his surveying plans and ultimately affected where the road was constructed.
PLANTE’S FERRY PARK: This Spokane park is located on the spot where French-Canadian trapper Antoine Plante settled and operated the first ferry in the area. Mullan passed through this exact location because Plante’s ferry was the only way to cross the Spokane River in the early 1850s.
This is just a sampling of the stops to be made on our one-of-a-kind tour. Don’t miss your opportunity to learn more about the early history of the Washington Territory from an expert. Lunch, libations, and a good time will be included!
With just three weeks left until our fall bus tour heads out on the road, now is the time to get your tickets! Call 208.882.1004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to reserve your spot. Tickets for LCHS or Whitman County Historical Society are $75, all others are $85.