Lewiston was the Territorial Capitol for only a short time. The Capitol Building consisted of a one-story wooden structure built prior to 1862, in which the Legislature is thought by many to have met only twice. In 1864, the Legislature acted to move the State Capital to Boise.
In the early 1900s, several efforts were made to preserve the building but disagreement ensued among city pioneers, some insisting the building represented here was the capitol where the legislature met and others contending it was the governor’s office. A simple log school and assay office that stood at the southwest corner of Third and Capitol Street was the other building referred to in county records as being where the legislature met.
In 2013, a replica of one of Lewiston’s earliest buildings was chosen to be built to commemorate Idaho's sesquicentennial: the 150-year celebration of Idaho’s Territorial status in 1863. The replica was named Idaho's First Territorial Capitol and is located within 200 feet of the two original sites of where both contenders originally stood many years ago.
Garry Bush, Brad Cannon and Dennis Ohrtman
The Historic Preservation Commission would like to recognize and thank Steven Branting and the Nez Perce County Historical Society and Museum for the access to and contributions from their extensive archives for this project. Special thanks go to Commissioner Leah Boots for her countless hours of work to make this project a reality.
This project is supported in part by the Idaho State Historical Society.