Moscow is the county seat of Latah County in northern Idaho, along the Washington/Idaho border. The city is the home of the University of Idaho, the land grant institution and primary research university for the state. Seven miles to the west is Pullman, Washington and Washington State University. While the University of Idaho is the dominant employer in Moscow, the city also serves as an agricultural and commercial hub for the Palouse region. The population was 21,291 at the 2000 census, with a 2007 estimate of 23,223. Moscow is the birthplace of Carol Ryrie Brink and singer Josh Ritter. Along with the rest of northern Idaho, Moscow resides in the Pacific Time Zone.
The city of Moscow lies on the eastern edge of the Palouse region of North Central Idaho in the Columbia River Plateau. To the east of the city is a valley between the mountains of the Palouse Range to the northeast, whose highest point is Moscow Mountain at 4983 feet (1519 m) above sea level. The less prominent Paradise Ridge at 3702 feet (1128 m) and Tomer Butte at 3474 feet (1059 m) lie to the southeast of the town. Paradise Creek, with headwaters on Moscow Mountain north of the city, flows through the city of Moscow. It then crosses the state border and joins the south fork of the Palouse River near Pullman.
The geology in and around Moscow represents varied formations: very old intrusive granite structures of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Idaho Batholith, fertile fields atop rolling hills of deep Pleistocene loess of the Palouse Formation deposited after the last ice age by westerly winds, and flood-worn channels of the Columbia River Basalt Group.
The precise origin of the name Moscow has been disputed, but there is no proof that it was named by a Russian or for the Russian city. It is reported by early settlers that five men in the area met to choose a proper name for the town, but could not come to consensus on a name. The postmaster Samuel Neff then completed the official papers for the town and selected the name Moscow. Interestingly, Neff was born in Moscow, Pennsylvania and later moved to Moscow, Iowa.
The business district was established by 1875 and the town was a center of commerce for the region. By 1890, the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's rail line (later the Union Pacific) and the Northern Pacific railroad line helped to boost the town's population to 2000.
The capital of the Idaho Territory was relocated from Lewiston to Boise in December 1864. In the late 1880s, statehood for the Washington Territory was nearing. Because its commercial and transportation interests looked west, rather than south, the citizens of the Idaho Panhandle passionately lobbied for their region to join Washington, or to form an entirely separate state, rather than remain connected with the less accessible southern Idaho. To appease the residents of the north, the territorial legislature of Idaho in Boise placed the new land grant university in Moscow, which at the time was the largest city other than Boise in the state. The University of Idaho was chartered in January 1889, and first opened its doors to students in October 1892.
In March 1890 Moscow's neighboring city, Pullman, was selected as the home of Washington's land grant institution. The college which would eventually become Washington State University, opened its doors in January 1892. Washington entered the union as the 42nd state in November 1889. Idaho entered next, eight months later, in July 1890.
“We are fortunate enough to be able to walk a few blocks down to the public library and check out whatever we want. Libraries are valuable and available to everyone, regardless of wealth. Anyone can and everyone should get a library card. I am very grateful that we have a public library in Latah County.” Elizabeth Nielsen (2006)The library serves as resource for all the residents of Moscow, or as one essayist (Ellis Clark) in the 2006 contest states “When time, money, or circumstances bind you to one locale, the Library is your passport for travel.”
The Latah Trail extends from the eastern edge of the Moscow bike path system, while the Bill Chipman Trail in Whitman County, Washington joins the western edge of the path. Eventually the project will provide a 22 mile linear park system from Troy, Idaho to Pullman, Washington.
|A.B. McDonald||Public||Elementary||Moscow ISD|
|Atlas Boy's School||Private Christian||Elementary||Christ Church (Moscow, Idaho)||Classical Education (Christian)|
|Emmanuel Preschool||Private Religious||Pre-K||Emmanuel Lutheran Church (ELCA)||Christian|
|Head Start Preschool||Public||Pre-K||Head Start Dept. of Health & Human Svcs|
|Lena Whitmore||Public||Elementary (K-6)||Moscow ISD|
|Logos School||Private Christian||K-12||Association of Classical and Christian Schools||Classical Education (Christian)|
|Montrose Academy||Private||K-12||Design an education plan based on the student's ability, rather than their age|
|Moscow Charter School||Public Charter||Elementary (K-6)||Moscow ISD||Focuses on Arts and Technology with low Student-teacher ratios|
|Moscow Day School||Private Non-Profit||Pre-K||Non-profit private school||NAEYC accredited|
|Moscow High School||Public||High School (10-12 grades)||Moscow ISD|
|Moscow Junior High School||Public||Junior High (7-9 grades)||Moscow ISD|
|Moscow School of Massage||Vocational school||Post secondary||Commercial||Massage therapy|
|Mr. Leon’s School Of Hair Design||Vocational school 2-year||Post secondary||Commercial||Cosmetology|
|New Saint Andrews College||Private Christian||College||Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools|
|Palouse Hills Seventh-day Adventist School||Private||Pre-K to 8||Seventh-day Adventist Church|
|Palouse Prairie School||Public Charter||Elementary (K-6)||Independent LEA||Opening Aug 2009, using the Expeditionary Learning model|
|Paradise Creek Regional High School||Public||High School (9-12 grades)||Moscow ISD||Alternative high school serving students in Latah County; with a goal of earning a high school diploma|
|Russell||Public||Elementary (4-6)||Moscow ISD||First school in Moscow; established in 1884|
|Saint Mary's and Saint Rose’s||Catholic Parochial School||Elementary (Pre-K-6)||National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)||Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise|
|University of Idaho||Public||University (Undergraduate and Graduate)||State of Idaho||Land-grant university|
|University of Idaho College of Law||Public||University (Graduate)||State of Idaho||Law School|
|West Park||Public||Elementary (K-3)||Moscow ISD|
This list does not include private daycare facilities unless they are listed with the State of Idaho as schools.
There were 7,724 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.9% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 16.1% under the age of 18, 35.8% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 14.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 109.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 110.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $26,884, and the median income for a family was $46,331. Males had a median income of $35,494 versus $24,560 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,930. About 9.5% of families and 22.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.
As a college town, Moscow tends to be less conservative than the rest of Idaho. In the 2004 Presidential Election, John Kerry outpolled George W. Bush in Moscow 54%-46%. Latah County was 51%-49% for Bush; the entire state went 69%-31% for Bush.