Sad, funny, surprising and true stories that have never been told in their entirety can now be found in “Hidden History of Lewiston, Idaho,” the latest book by Lewiston historian Steven Branting.In a series of easy to read vignettes, the book details tales of lesser-known people that played small but interesting roles in the city’s history since its founding in 1861.
“A lot of things are hidden from the modern reader because we have no link to it. The families are gone,” says Branting.
Among the stories:
— Drownings in Lewiston were common in the unpredictable rivers before the arrival of slack water. Among the victims were the two young sons of Lewiston educator Henry Talkington, who were buried together in a double white casket on Normal Hill.
— James Nave was one of Lewiston’s most prolific early designers. The work of his hand can still be seen today in buildings like the St. Stanislaus Church, the Breier Building, the Blanchard Heights neighborhood and the Nave Building, a Swiss chalet-style apartment on Eighth Street.
— The Salk vaccine saved thousands but in 1955 it nearly killed 7-year-old Bonnie Pound after she was vaccinated at Whitman Elementary. In 1962, her family was awarded $70,000, the largest settlement in the Pacific Northwest for a child affected by the vaccine.
— Gladys Camille Soray was born in Lewiston in 1913 and went on to star in Hollywood movies including “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby, and “Beat the Devil” starring Humphrey Bogart. She returned to Lewiston in 1944 as the Roundup Queen.
Branting, 66, has lived in Lewiston since 1952. He is a retired teacher who specialized in working with gifted children. “Hidden History of Lewiston, Idaho” is the second book in a planned trilogy. The first book was 2013’s “Historic Firsts of Lewiston, Idaho: Unintended Greatness.” The third book will be called “Lost Lewiston” and will feature elegies to bygone places and people, he says.
Branting will sign copies of his books from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at And Books Too, 918 Sixth St., Clarkston. Other signings include:
BookPeople of Moscow
11am – Noon
1 pm – 3 pm
1 pm – 3 pm
2 pm – 4 pm
“Hidden History of Lewiston, Idaho,” The History Press, 144 pgs., $19.99