Potlatch, Idaho

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Potlatch is a city in Latah County, Idaho, United States. The population was 791 at the 2000 census.



Potlatch was founded in 1905 as a company town by the Potlach Corporation.[1] The townsite was chosen because of proximity to Potlatch Corporation's large holdings of western white pine on the Palouse river. Potlatch was chosen as the mill site. When the mill was built, it was one of the largest sawmills in the US and was the largest white pine sawmill in the world. The Potlatch Corporation built 250 buildings in the town for the workers and their families, including a department store, opera house, apartment buildings, train station and depot.[1] Many of the houses were designed and built by the Potlatch Corporation, then later sold as kit homes with assembly instructions.

Potlatch also was once the hub for one of the largest private lumber rail networks built in the United States. Most of its rail stations or depots were named after the Ivy League schools, such as Harvard and Princeton.

In 1981 the mill was shut down, shortly after the town was sold to the residents.[1]


Potlatch is located at 46°55′20″N 116°53′52″W / 46.92222°N 116.89778°W / 46.92222; -116.89778 (46.922157, -116.897646).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 791 people, 332 households, and 222 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,355.7 people per square mile (898.3/km²). There were 357 housing units at an average density of 1,063.2/sq mi (405.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.59% White, 0.88% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 1.26% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.39% of the population.

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