Archeology allows scientists to peer into the past, drawing conclusions on the evidence that is uncovered from the deep past. Along the major river corridors, the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) established permanent village sites. In the approximate location of the Lenore rest area on Hwy 12 was a Nez Perce village site.
When archeologists explored Lenore in the 1960s, they found remains of pit houses. As the name suggests, these were large pits that were covered with a log superstructure and then covered with soil. This method of construction kept the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In some pit houses, there were areas to store food stuffs to sustain the occupants through the winter months.