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County guide - Lewis

James Wheeler, Sr., of Kamiah plays a flute he hand carved. He made his first flute when he was 12. He taught himself to both play and make the instruments. “I taught myself with some help,” he smiled, pointing skyward. Wheeler played the flute pictured here as well as his first flute.

Photo by Lorie Palmer
James Wheeler, Sr., of Kamiah plays a flute he hand carved. He made his first flute when he was 12. He taught himself to both play and make the instruments. “I taught myself with some help,” he smiled, pointing skyward. Wheeler played the flute pictured here as well as his first flute.



Lewis County, established in 1911, was named for explorer Meriwether Lewis and includes 480 square miles with Nez Perce as its county seat and Kamiah as its largest city. Its population is 3,821 (2010 Census).

Most of Lewis County is within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation though American Indians make up only about 6 percent of the county’s population.

Incorporated cities within Lewis County include Craigmont, Kamiah, Nezperce, Reubens and Winchester.

Craigmont

Originally two communities named Ilo and Vollmer, the area was bypassed by the Camas Prairie Railroad in 1904. After a 10-year-feud and the consolidation of school districts, the communities merged in 1920 to become Craigmont.

Craigmont is an agricultural town with crops being winter and spring wheat, winter and spring barley, peas, lentils, canola and flaxes. There are also several hay and cattle operations in the area.

Activities include:

-May 7: City-wide yard sale day

-May Memorial Day services, 11 a.m., at the cemetery.

-Craigmont June Picnic, June 24-26

-Thursdays in July, Jammin’ in the Park concerts, every Thursday evening starting July 7; 924-5432.

-Nov. 5: American Legion November breakfast, noon.

-Breakfast with Santa at city hall 9 a.m. Dec. 19

www.craigmontareachamber.com

photo

Clearwater River near Kamiah

Kamiah

Kamiah is the largest city in Lewis County and extends a short distance into Idaho County. The Nezperce Appaloosa was first bred in this area. Explorers Lewis and Clark camped in the Kamiah area in 1806.

Activities include:

-Long Camp Saturday Farmers’ Market, 9 am. To 1 p.m., April through September/October

-Community yard sale, May 7

-Glenwood-Caribel Volunteer Fire Department Pancake Breakfast, TBA

-ISBA Spring Jam Bluegrass Festival, May 19-22

-May’Alyma Root Festival and Powwow, May 21

-Youth Fishing Derby May/June

-KCPC Youthfest, Riverfront Park, June 4

-Long Camp Classics on the Clearwater, June 4

-CVRA Parade, June 18

-CVRA Rodeo, June 18 and 19

-Clearwater Valley- Kamiah Fly – In, July 30

-Kamiah Free Barbecue Days, Sept. 2-4

-Riverfront Park pumpkin carving, Oct. 23

-KCPC Youth Zone, Sept. 3

-Christmas Light Parade, Dec. 2

www.kamiahchamber.com; 1-800-847-4843

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Chief Lookingglass Powwow in Kamiah

*Nezperce is the Lewis County seat. Named for the Nez Perce Tribe, the name is derived from the French (pronounced neigh-percey), literally meaning “pierced nose.”

Activities include:

-Citywide yard sale day, May 14

-Nez Perce Prairie Days, July 8-9

-Lewis County Fair, Sept. 22-25

-Combine Derby, September

www.co.nezperce.id.us; www.cityofnezperce.com

Reubens

The city had a population of just 71 people in the 2010 Census, although it once boasted more than 1,500 residents. The railroad on stilts movies “Breakheart Pass” and “Wild Wild West” were filmed near Reubens.

Activities include:

-Reubens Community Church 52nd Annual Reubens Sausage Feed each spring

Winchester

Winchester was named in 1900 after the rifle. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1964 which began at the local mill operated by Boise Cascade. Winchester State Park is located one-half mile outside of town and is a popular recreation area in the summer fishing, boating and camping months. Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and ice skating are just a few of the winter activities.

Activities include:

-Citywide yard sale, June 2-4

-Memorial-Labor days, visitor center is open Friday and Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Museum of Winchester History opens Fridays and Saturdays, 12:30-3 p.m. Summer programs start at Winchester Lake and the Wolf Education Resource Center.

-Winchester Days, July 2

-Christmas in the Pines at Winchester Community Center, Nov. 5

-Christmas Tree lighting at the Gateway in Winchester, 6 p.m., Dec. 9



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