Latah County Historical Society invites Idaho history buffs and beer enthusiasts alike to attend its upcoming “Suds with a Scholar” fundraising event on Wednesday, August 11th at the Latah County Fairgrounds. Idaho’s retired State Historian Keith Petersen will be the evening’s featured scholar, presenting “Straight Lines and Squiggles: How Idaho Got Its Weird Shape.”
The West is mostly a land of rectangular states. And then we have Idaho. What happened here? Drunken surveyors? Corrupt politicians? The story of Idaho’s borders begins with international intrigue in the early days of America. It continues through the Civil War, when politicians who had never seen Idaho sealed its fate as a land of perplexing contours. It lingered into the 20th century as northern Idahoans contemplated seceding. And it affects every Idahoan today, living with the consequences of an odd configuration complicating connections between north and south. Want to know why the University of Idaho is located in the small northern Idaho town of Moscow? That is the result of decisions made about Idaho’s boundaries between 1819 and 1868 in such faraway places as Madrid, London, and Washington, D.C.
Former Idaho State Historian Keith Petersen will unravel the story of how Idaho became one of the most peculiarly shaped states in the nation—a curious tale of diplomacy, politics, shenanigans, luck, and a congressional obsession with straight-line boundaries.
This is planned as an outdoor event, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Gates for this event will open at 5:30pm, and the program begins at 6:00pm. Entry is $10 for LCHS members and $12 for the general public. The ticket price includes a guest’s first beer, with additional pours available for purchase. A dinner option will also be for sale. Attendees are encouraged to bring cash or check, but cards will be accepted. In the event of excessive heat or smoke, the event will be moved inside to the Event Center.
Major support and beverage service is being provided by Hunga Dunga Brewing Company, one of Moscow’s hometown breweries.
Visit the LCHS website (www.latahcountyhistoricalsociety.org) or Facebook event page for additional details.