Lewiston is the county seat of and largest city in Nez Perce County, Idaho. It is the second largest city in the Idaho Panhandle region behind Coeur d'Alene. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID-WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of both Nez Perce County in Idaho and Asotin County in Washington. As of the 2000 Census the population of Lewiston was 30,904 (2006 estimate: 31,293).
Founded shortly after gold was discovered in the nearby Clearwater River in 1860, Lewiston played an important role in the state's early history. The city became the capital of the newly-created Idaho Territory in 1863, but lost the distinction to Boise shortly thereafter in what proved to be an enormously unpopular decision in northern Idaho. To this day it is not unusual to hear locals lament losing the capital to Boise.
Like Pocatello, Lewiston has a strong working-class heritage. Industries related to timber and logging pursuits have long been key to the city's economy. Because the Columbia and later the Snake River are navigable by some ocean-going vessels all the way to Lewiston, the city has the distinction of being Idaho's only port city as well as the furthest inland port in the western United States. It's also easy for visitors to confuse Lewiston's two main rivers. The Clearwater River is on the north side, and runs straight into the Snake River. However, the Snake on the city's west side makes a left turn at this point, going into neighboring Clarkston, Washington.