Idaho is known for its potatoes, but it wasn't until the 1930s that potatoes became a major crop in the state. Before that, wheat was the primary crop grown in Idaho.
Nez Perce County, located in western Idaho, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was home to Native American tribes, particularly the Nez Perce people, who have lived in the region for centuries. The Nez Perce were skilled hunters and gatherers, known for their connection with the land and their use of horses.

In the early 19th century, European American settlers began to arrive in the area. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through Nez Perce County in 1805 and the American Fur Company established a trading post in the region around 1835. Conflict between the settlers and the Nez Perce people escalated over the following decades, as the land was increasingly encroached upon.

In the late 19th century, the discovery of gold in the area brought a wave of prospectors seeking their fortunes. Towns like Lewiston sprang up as a result, becoming important hubs of commerce and transportation. The completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883 further spurred growth and development in the county.

Nez Perce County played a significant role in the settlement of the American West. It witnessed the clash between Native Americans and European Americans, the gold rush era, and the expansion of railways. Today, it continues to thrive as a vibrant and diverse community, preserving its past while adapting to the challenges and opportunities of the modern era.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Nez Perce County, Idaho.

  • 1805: The Lewis and Clark Expedition passes through the area.
  • 1863: The Idaho Territory is established, and Nez Perce County is created as one of the original counties.
  • 1867: Nez Perce County becomes the location of a reservation for the Nez Perce Tribe.
  • 1875: The town of Lewiston is established as the county seat.
  • 1884: The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company constructs a railroad line to Lewiston, connecting it to the national railroad network.
  • 1911: The Lewiston-Clarkston Bridge, a major landmark connecting Idaho and Washington, is completed.
  • 1957: The Dworshak Dam is completed on the Clearwater River, providing flood control and hydroelectric power.
  • 1975: The Nez Perce National Historical Park is established to preserve and interpret the history and culture of the Nez Perce Tribe.
  • 1993: The Heart of the Monster, a significant spiritual site for the Nez Perce Tribe, is designated as a National Historic Landmark.