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Preserving Latah County's history, One Map at a Time

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

By Grayson Houston, LCHS Intern, University of Idaho History student

Working as an Intern for the Latah County Historical Society has been a great opportunity and has taught me a lot about working in an archive. The employees are dedicated to the preservation of history in Latah County. While working here I was tasked with accessioning collections of items for archive storage. This job mainly consisted of me inspecting donations for any signs of damage. Many of the collections I was given were maps or architectural plans for places around Latah County. These had been donations from individuals in town. It was very interesting to see the types of donations LCHS receives. People have turned in maps, records, furniture, clothing, and more. My first ever accessioned item was a blueprint to the St. Augustine's Catholic Center, a local church in Moscow, Idaho.

Blueprints for St Augustine's Catholic Center. LCHS Object ID: M 01-09.01-26

It was fascinating to see the original designs created for buildings I interact with daily. Seeing all the careful planning that went into its construction gives the building its own story. For my entire four years at the University of Idaho, I have walked past this building almost every day.

What was particularly interesting was the similarities between buildings I began to notice around town, specifically when it came to certain design styles. One example of this that I found in the St. Augustine Catholic Center was its conical roof. I found that other churches in Moscow and neighboring towns used a similar style, such as the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on A Street.

The Centennial Annex at the Latah County Historical Society.

While my time at the Latah County Historical Society was short, my work has given me a greater appreciation for the work that they do here. It also gives me significant respect for the people who provide these items. Without the help of our neighbors and friends, this archive would not be as big as it is now.

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