In 1863 a traveler could go from the Black Hills of the Dakotas to Lake Pend Oreille – a long and dangerous journey to be sure – and for most of the trip they would be in the Idaho Territory.
The territory, encompassing what are now the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, was formed during the American Civil War with the blessings of Abraham Lincoln. By 1868 the Idaho Territory would be reduced to the current size of the state. Statehood itself would not come until 1890.
A lecture series marking the 150th anniversary of the Idaho Territory, “The Road to Statehood,” begins Thursday, April 25, in the Community Room at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. The series includes six lectures and will continue through June 27.
The series is offered in conjunction with the featured exhibit at the Museum of North Idaho, 115 Northwest Blvd., “Shaping the Handle: Idaho Territory 1863-1890.” The museum is open through Oct. 31.
All of the free library programs in this series begin at 7 p.m. and include:
► Thursday, April 25: “Native Peoples and the Missions,”Quannah Matheson, Coeur d’Alene Tribe, and Kathleen Durfee, Park Manager, Old Missions State Park.► Wednesday, May 1: “Building Toward Statehood: Idaho’s Territorial Architecture,” Tricia Canaday, Idaho Historical Society, This programs is also presented in observance of Idaho Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month.
► Thursday, May 9: “Trails to Train Tracks, Transportation on the Road to Statehood,” Regional Historian Robert Singletary, Museum of North Idaho and History Unlimited.
► Thursday, May 23: “Lincoln and Idaho,” David Leroy, Chairman of the Idaho Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
► Wednesday, June 12: “Mining in Idaho, Today and Yesterday,” Tom Blanchard, College of Southern Idaho history instructor.► Thursday, June 27: “Idaho Migration and Settlement,” Dr. Ron Hatzenbuehler, Idaho State University.
The series is funded through a grant from the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. The participation of scholars Leroy, Blanchard, and Hatzenbuehler is made possible by funding from the Idaho Humanities Council, the state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Canaday program is co-sponsored by the library and the Idaho Historical Society.