MOSCOW — Today it’s known as Moscow, but when settlers first arrived they adoringly called it Paradise Valley. As they shaped the community the faces of those who left a mark on the city’s path emerged.
The attack never happened but the name, Fort Russell, stuck to the neighborhood that is now known for its fine Victorian architecture.
The new book “Legendary Locals of Moscow,” released by the Latah County Historical Society, features photos with detailed captions on more than 100 people who have had a hand in Moscow’s story. A party at 6 tonight in the Great Room of the 1912 Center will feature guests of honor from the book.
The book shows the faces behind many city streets and buildings, like that of homesteader Almon Asbury Lieuallen whose name covers a large part of town. It also includes lesser-known figures like “Wild Davey,” a subject of 19th century gossip who dressed in buckskins and lived with a pack of dogs near Moscow Mountain. It’s speculated that he was most likely a transient named David C. Coventry but some believe he was Capt. William F. Drannan, who led explorers like Kit Carson across the West and later published semi-fictionalized accounts of his journeys.
Among many people from the 20th century are John Talbott, a conservationist who grew up in Moscow during the 1920s and ‘30s, who created space-saving cabinets and other inventions and Norma Dobler who served in the state Legislature for 14 years. During her first days in Boise Dobler did not feel like she was taken seriously and later recalled being patted on the head by then-legislator now governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, who remarked that she reminded him of his grandmother.
An array of modern day individuals are also included such as musician Josh Ritter, former BookPeople owner Bob Greene, Moscow Yoga Center’s Jeri Hudak; NRS founder Bill Parks, Corner Club founder Eugene Goetz, and self-proclaimed “farm girl” MaryJane Butters.
Refreshments will be provided at the reception and a no-host bar will be available. The book is printed by Arcadia Publishing and costs $21.99. A portion of each sale will benefit the historical society. The center is at 412 E. Third St.
— Jennifer K. Bauer