Before the influx of Europeans, the territory of Latah County was where the Nez Perce and Palouse Tribes came in spring and summer to dig kous and camas roots, fish, hunt and pick huckleberries. The Greater Nez Perce Trail crossed the area from south to north, eventually reaching the Spokane Falls, at that time a major meeting and trading center for many of the tribes in the northwest.
There were white trappers in the area, representatives of the Northwest Company, between 1810 and 1830. They were followed by a few missionaries and traders. The miners didn't really start until the early 1860's, looking for gold in the Hoodoo Mountains and along the Palouse River.
Permanent settlers began to arrive in the Moscow region after the American Civil War. They came to homestead and farm. The Moscow area was full of native camas bulbs, a favorite pig fodder. In the beginning, the newcomers named the area "Hog Heaven." When the first Post Office opened in 1872, the town was called Paradise Valley. In 1875, the name was changed to Moscow.
By 1875, Moscow was a commercial center for the region and had a defined business district. In 1890, the town's population reached 2,000, boosted by the presence of rail lines from the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific Railroads.
The Idaho Territorial Legislature chartered a land grant university in January 1889 and placed the University of Idaho in Moscow, at that time the second largest city in the territory. The first students entered the new university in October 1892. The territory of Washington placed their land grant university in the neighboring city of Pullman. That institution opened its doors in January 1892 and eventually grew to become Washington State University. The Carnegie Library in Moscow was finished in March 1906 and was expanded in 1931 and again in 1983.
As the electorate in Idaho goes, Moscow tends to be less conservative than the rest of the state, although the conservatives in the rest of Latah County tend to outvote the liberals in Moscow.
Downtown Moscow on a rainy day
The University of Idaho campus
|Fast Facts about Moscow, Idaho|
Moscow, Latah County, ID 83843, 83844
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 88.8%
Native American: 0.4%
Two or More Races: 3.5%
High School or Higher: 94.3%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 53.9%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 24.5%
Median Resident Age: 24.4 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $27,200
Estimated Median Home Value: $217,000
Population Density: 3,956 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Moscow: 90.3
Educational Services, Lodging & Food Services, Health Care, Professional Services, Social Services, Construction, Government, Retail Services, Agriculture
Unemployed (March 2011): 8.7%
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|Photos of Moscow, Idaho courtesy of Robbie Giles, CCA ShareAlike 3.0 License.|
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