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History of Sandpoint, Idaho

History of Sandpoint, Idaho

The visitor-friendly and artsy community of Sandpoint rests by one of America’s most exquisite lakes, in a land of unforgettable natural beauty.Sandpoint’s history dates to the 1880s when Robert Weeks opened a general store in Pend Oreille (pronounced Pon-da-ray), a small settlement founded on the shores of the lake to the east of what is now Sandpoint. Before establishment of the general store, the first white man known to travel to the area was the explorer David Thompson who, with his partner “Big Finan” McDonald, established the first trading post on Lake Pend Oreille in 1809.Pend Oreille is French for ear hanging or pendant, thus explaining why French trappers called the local Native Americans "Pend Oreilles" — they wore ear pendants.Lake Pend Oreille, a spectacular glaciated body of water that is 43 miles long with 111 miles of shoreline, is the fifth deepest in the United States at 1,158 feet. Prevailing winds from the southwest appeal to sailing enthusiasts and the lake hosts numerous regattas during the summer.The lake is so quiet and deep that the United States Navy has a submarine research facility located in the southern portion of the lake near the community of Bayview. The lake was first used as a military training facility during World War II.First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have noticed Lake Pend Oreille on a flight from Washington, D.C., to Seattle. Subsequently, Franklin D. Roosevelt made a secret trip to the area and in March 1942, selected the lake’s shoreline as the site for the nation's second-largest naval recruit training facility. It was named Farragut Naval Recruit Training Facility after Civil War Admiral David G. Farragut.The training facility was decommissioned in June 1946. In 1964, Farragut State Park was founded through an exchange of state and federal lands.Travelers heading to Sandpoint from the south on Highway 95 drive over the magical “Long Bridge," nearly two miles in length, that crosses the Pend Oreille River as it flows out of the lake. It is the fourth bridge to span the waters, completed in 1981, and it runs alongside the former span, which is now widely used as a walking and biking path.Locals say the bridge has a calming effect. At the turn of the 20th century, logging and milling were the area’s major industries.The little village of Sandpoint, blessed with a mild climate at an elevation of 2,086 feet, remained relatively unnoticed until the 1970s when the population of Bonner County grew 55 percent during the decade. In the 1990s, the population grew another 38 percent and has continued to grow since that time.Sandpoint's downtown business district is replete with art galleries and distinctive boutiques. The area’s strong entrepreneurial spirit is one of the many factors that have fostered economic growth.The history of Coldwater Creek is an example. Another popular consumer product calling Sandpoint home is Litehouse Salad Dressing and Sauces.The residents of Sandpoint enjoy amenities quite remarkable for a small town. The hospital has its own helicopter for emergency services, which cuts the response time at least in half compared to waiting for help to arrive from Spokane.


A Bit of Hope, Idaho History with Pictures & Info: Sandpoint Real Estate Blog

The area of Hope consists of between Clark Fork and Sandpoint, with the primary communities being East Hope, Hope, and the Hope Peninsula. The full-time population is approximately 500.

Some Hope History and Info

First and foremost, the attraction Hope creates with both visitors and inhabitants alike is the expansive view afforded by most home of Lake Pend Oreille. The views have drawn many, many notable and famous people for over 100 years. The Hope Peninsula is the home to the Sam Owen State Park, and the natural beauty of the island-like peninsula inspires and awes. There are three resorts there, and the wildlife is abundant and protected. However, while the deer, turkey, and other animals are sheltered, the surrounding area and mountains are rife with game, and hunters find some of the best sport in all of Idaho. Thus, with boating and fishing a favorite pastime, and hunting ample, the allure of Hope is strong. Add to this that the drive out to Hope is along the International Selkirk Loop, considered to be one of the ten most beautiful drives in the world.

Hope began to grow in 1882 when the Northern Pacific came through and in 1900 set its Rock Mountain division point in the hillside village. Incorporated in 1903, the village was named in honor of the veterinarian who tended the construction horses. A wise and kindly man, Dr. Hope was widely respected. Hope was the largest town in the area during the 1880s, achieving prominence as the Rocky Mountain division point on the Northern Pacific line. Engines turned around in the large roundhouse, and the railroad built shops, offices, and a "beanery" there.

The Hotel Jeannot was able to capitalize on this business with its location right above the depot, and with its tunnels providing easy access for passengers to the hotel. Many say that the tunnels were used to entertain these Chinese "coulees," who were normally not allowed in the establishments that served the locals and travelers.

When the division point moved to Sandpoint, Hope started to become the draw it is today. The hotel continued to attract people until the 1960's, partly because the picturesque setting of the town beside Lake Pend Oreille attracted many tourists. Some of them prominent, such as J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby.

The original Hotel Jeannot (now Hotel Hope) was a wooden structure which burned down in about 1886. It was then that Joseph M. Jeannot started on his fireproof commercial building, which he shared with his brother Louis. He constructed one section at a time, and added on over the years, finally completing the three-bay, two story hotel in 1898. J. M. Jeannot's hotel and saloon were not his only business interests. He was also involved in mining and had several claims across Lake Pend Oreille in the area of Green Monarch Mountain. Hope had a large Chinese population which had arrived with the railroad, and Jeannot supposedly took advantage of this source of cheap labor for his mines. According to one of Jeannot's friends, he allowed these men to use the meat cooler under the hotel as a clubhouse. They gained access to this room through the small tunnel which connected it to the railroad depot, thus bypassing the more obvious entrances. This vault in the hotel is one of the few sites left in Hope which may be connected with the large number of Chinese who used to live in the town.

Hope has such a large artist population it is considered North Idaho's first Artist Colony. Edward Keinholz was our first World-famous creator. Now the Artist Tour makes so many stops in Hope that it would be next to impossible to visit each studio in the area in just one or two days. Hope enjoys a wonderful summer season, and in addition to the boating are some famous digs such as the Floating Restaurant and Dock of the Bay, which are both seasonal and slated to reopen this summer. Icehouse Pizza regularly has open air concerts, and the Hope Market has always had some of the best Gourmet faire in North Idaho. It is under new ownership, and the new café is the Outskirts at the Hope Marketplace. In addition, Murphy's Tavern, which has been boarded up for years has now reopened, and where the old German restaurant was is Trish's Place. It would be nice to see the restaurant re-open in the Hotel Hope, and the Wily Widgeon Saloon, but that remains to be seen. There is now a great High-end Gourmet Restaurant in Clark Fork, and the easy access to picturesque Sandpoint makes Hope one of the most desired areas in Bonner County.

The only drawback to Hope is that many of the homes in recent years have often been out of the range of the normal buyer. Because the land is limited, or hard to build on, and since it has become a tony area, prices are high. It is the opinion of many that to realize a profit on a home bought in Hope, one has to think in terms of years. Certainly to buy waterfront there starts around $500,000. Still, for some people, there is no better place to live in the world.

Hope, Idaho - Pros and Cons

Hope is a very friendly area, with great neighbors that find themselves socializing with one and other, enjoying the very things that make Hope fantastic: beautiful scenery, history, hunting, and outdoor sports. Particularly, watersports are among the many things that Hope residents find in abundance. There are several marinas in the area, and a large portion of the homes in the Hope area have spectacular Lake Pend Oreille views. This is what draws many to Hope. It is also what has made many of the homes there a higher price than surrounding areas. By some accounts, homes have been so over-priced in Hope that the market took a couple of years to catch up. Still, homes there are selling, much because there aren't as many offerings. When the number of homes going on the market in desirable areas are few, prices tend to be higher. Historically, Clark Fork, right next door, had generously lower asking prices than Hope. However, as Sandpoint has expanded toward Hope, those areas appreciated well. Those areas are Oden Bay, Ponder Point and the Sunnyside Peninsula, and Hidden Lakes golf community, now Jack Nicklaus' Idaho Club. These areas have yielded some of the most exclusive homes in North Idaho, adding to the inflation of homes in and around Hope. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence indicates many home sellers in the traditionally low-priced Clark Fork believed that their proximity to high-valued Hope gave them an opportunity to sell at higher prices also. Sales in Clark Fork have slowed, and with the downturn in the Real Estate market, many homes that were overpriced in Hope and Clark Fork were languishing on the MLS. Prices have come down significantly and sales went up accordingly.

People moving out to Hope have one thing on their wish list: water front or water views. Sailiing and boating is king in Hope, with several islands off the coast. One famous island in Warren Island, with many millionaires having summer homes there. Another is the 13 acre Memaloose Island. This bare land was listed for $16,000,000, but is currently half that price.

As mentioned previously, artists flock to Hope. Other draws are the cool and quirky watering holes and eateries. While shopping is decidedly limited, there are several good restaurants. Some are open year-round, like the Hope Market Outskirts Café and the Hotel Hope restaurant and bar (wonder if they will open this season). Others are seasonal the Beyond Hope Resort is exceptional, and the Floating Restaurant is a must after a hard day of boating on the lake. Highway 200 is accessible even after the biggest snow storms, and in 20-30 minutes Wal-mart or Home Depot are right around the corner.

Bottom line is, if you can afford it, Hope is wonderful. There are still some good bargains there, but those are only available with diligence and perseverance. Still, Hope has an allure that few places can match.


Hope Marina with Schweitzer Mountain in the background


Old Icehouse Pizzeria in Hope, Idaho


Historic Hotel Hope


Hope Marketplace with the old school in the backgournd


Schweitzer Mountain from the Pack River flats


One of three marinas in Hope with the Hope Peninsula in the background


Highway 200 between Hope and Clark Fork, Idaho on the Clark Fork River


Piece of the Berlin Wall encased in plexiglass on the Hope Peninsula


One of Keinholz's most famous tableau: Meinkamp on the Hope Peninsula


Goat on Scotchman Peaks


Sunset over Lake Pend Oreille

Gary Lirette, featured in Where To Retiremagazine and host of the Tuesday noon local radio shows: North Idaho Business as well as North Idaho Arts.


History of Sandpoint, North Idaho, & Bonner County: Sandpoint Blog

To understand the history of Sandpoint, and Bonner County, North Idaho, one must first take into account our geography. While our area is dominated by mountains, the most prominent feature is Lake Pend Oreille, with an area of 148 square miles, and 111 miles of coastline. Only Flathead Lake in Montana and some man-made lakes are larger. It is 65 miles long, and 1,150 feet deep in some regions (5th in the US). Fed by Clark Fork River and drained by the Pend Oreille River. It is surrounded by national forests and many small towns, including Bayview, Hope, and Sandpoint. All but the southern tip of the lake is in Bonner County, the southern tip which is home to Farragut State Park, the original home of the Farragut Naval Training Station, and the home of the NAVSEA's Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division's Acoustic Research Detachment (ARD) is in Kootenai County.

The lake is home to many species of fish including: rainbow trout, lake trout, perch, crappie, bass, walleye, whitefish and kamloops. The forests are known to have various pines, such as ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, poplar and western larch. Whitetail deer, squirrels, black bears, coyotes, elk, cougar, and bobcats are known to reside in these forests. Bald Eagles, osprey, owls, hummingbirds, hawks, woodpeckers, ducks and the mountain bluebird are seen in the skies around the lake.

It is also believed that the eastern side of the lake was in the path of the ancient Missoula Flood. This is the great event that shaped much of the Inland Empire of the Pacific Northwest. The Missoula Flood is an Ice Age event that has been featured on NOVA, and refer to the catastrophic floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and down the Columbia River Gorge at the end of the last ice age. Farragut State Park is located where the Lake Missoula Floods broke out from the end of Lake Pend Oreille.

The floods were the result of the periodic sudden rupture of the ice dam on the Clark Fork River that created Glacial Lake Missoula. After each rupture of the ice dam, the waters of the lake would rush down the Clark Fork and the Columbia River, inundating much of eastern Washington and the Willamette Valley in western Oregon. After the rupture, the ice would reform, recreating Glacial Lake Missoula once again.

Geologists estimate that the cycle of flooding and reformation of the lake lasted on average of 55 years and that the floods occurred approximately 40 times over the 2,000 year period between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago.

The other great shaping feature was the area's glaciers. The rugged mountainous beauty of this area of North Idaho was formed by these two components. For thousands of years, these two forces of nature were actively moving the landscape of North Idaho. The glacial ice sheets moved land, mountain, and water over centuries. The floods occurred over relatively shorter periods. The areas of the Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River held a dam of ice that towered over two thousand feet today's lake level. When this dam failed many times over the millennia a deluge of water was released in unimaginable proportions at speeds of 60 miles per hour and hundreds of feet deep, creating forces great enough to shape the landscape we know today from here to Portland, Oregon.

The Kalispel tribe was the first to inhabit Sandpoint. With a moderate climate and bountiful game and food, they prospered from Montana to Eastern Washington.

White man reintroduced the horse to North America in the 16 th century and by the 1700s the Kalispel tribe began to utilize the horse, taking them east of the Rocky Mountains, bringing contact with Plains Indians. The Kalispel adopted some of the habits and culture of these tribes, including hide-covered tipis and buffalo meat.

Despite their growing dependence on buffalo, the Kalispel remained adept at utilizing local resources. They caught fish and hunted a wide variety of game and birds. Women dug camas bulbs, baking them in large underground pits to render them suitable for winter storage. They also picked berries and wild fruits, drying large quantities for use during the cold months.

Another group that lived on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille were the Flathead Indians and several Salish, Kootenai and Pend O'Reilles bands lived in western Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington in the early 1800s. The Flathead Indians of Montana built encampments on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille every summer, fished, made baskets of cedar, and collected huckleberries before returning to Montana in the fall. The encampments ended before 1930.

Traditionally Kalispel territory encompassed Lake Pend Oreille along the Pend Oreille River into eastern Washington, and east along the Clark Fork River into Montana. They established year-round settlements near present-day Laclede, on both sides of the river, and at the mouth of the Clark Fork River, where 300-400 Kalispel lived. There were additional permanent villages in eastern Washington, as well as numerous seasonal camps, including one near present-day Sandpoint.

Long before white explorers came to the Pend d'Oreille country, an old Indian trail from Spokane River ran through Rathdrum prairie and crossed the Pend d'Oreille at Sineacateen (a name which comes from the Kalispell or Pend d'Oreille word for crossing-of-the-waters), located close to the present site of Laclede. Then the trail continued northward across the Kootenai at Bonner's Ferry.

Idaho was the last state to be explored by European and American explorers. Lewis and Clark crossed into Idaho in August 1805 on their journey of exploration for the United States government. Their route took them far south of present-day Bonner County, over Lolo Pass and down the Clearwater River.

While many explorers gained great fame, including Lewis and Clark, our area was first exploited by David Thompson: the determined and intrepid Canadian trading expedition leader who led the first white men to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille in the fall of 1809. His contemporary, the great explorer Alexander Mackenzie, remarked that Thompson did more in ten months than he would have thought possible in two years.

Thompson served as explorer, map maker, and trader for the Canadian North West Company, a rival in the fur trade with Hudson's Bay Company. Although he was in Idaho for a total of only sixty-eight days over several years, Thompson's impact was tremendous. He not only expanded the fur trade into the Inland Northwest and established the first trading post on Lake Pend Oreille, Kullyspell House, but he also located all the practical routes of travel. Kullyspell House still stands on the Hope Peninsula, and longevity of the building is a testament to the fortitude of the man. Soon after Thompson set up Salish House in Montana later in 1810, a year after David Thompson established a North West Company fur trade post on Lake Pend d'Oreille, and some of his trappers came down this trail to found Spokane House west of Spokane Falls where the later city of Spokane was built. Thompson's Pend d'Oreille post (Kullyspell, or Kalispell House) proved to be an unfortunate location: on November 14, 1811, Thompson decided to abandon it because the Kalispell (or Pend d'Oreille) Indians did "not hunt, but only gamble & keep the men starving. . . ." So he sent his trappers back to Spokane House. But Finnan MacDonald (who had a Pend d'Oreille wife) continued to work with the Pend d'Oreille band, which often camped at Sineacateen. By the spring of 1813, rival Astorian fur traders were on hand at MacDonald's Pend d'Oreille camp at Sineacateen. In an effort to rush in a stock of tobacco for more effective competition for furs in the Pend d'Oreille camp, the Astorian gained a temporary advantage. But MacDonald, who regularly helped his Pend d'Oreille associates fight the Blackfeet, came out ahead in the long run. The North West Company emerged in control of the Spokane-Pend d'Oreille country, and MacDonald spent many years enjoying "the fascinating pleasures of the far-famed Spokane House." Whenever he took his wife to see their Pend d'Oreille relatives, he still traveled over the old Indian trail past Sineacateen.

Trappers and traders continued to sporadically make their way to the region throughout the first half of the century, along with many missionaries, mainly Jesuits, called "Kaniksu" (Black Robes in Indian). In the years after the fur trade, the Indians continued to camp on their travels at Sineacateen. The North West Company was not alone in trying to harvest furs in the Pacific Northwest. Hudson's Bay Company maintained a chain of posts throughout the region and absorbed its opponent in 1821. The fur trade continued into the 1840s, but its importance declined as the years went on.

As more Europeans and Americans arrived, they displaced the Indian tribes that originally lived in the region.

However, efforts to establish a reservation for the Kalispel failed, and tensions between the two cultures increased. Michael, leader of the upper Kalispel, signed a treaty with the government in Sandpoint in 1887, but Masselow, leader of the Lower Kalispel, refused to agree to its terms. As a result, Congress never ratified the treaty.

In 1914, the Kalispel finally received more than 4,500 acres of land for a reservation in eastern Washington. Members of the tribe continued to travel in and out of Bonner County into the 1930s, following some of their traditional seasonal activities.

Father DeSmet arrived in 1846. He marked a lake in the Selkirk Mountain range as "Roothan" honoring his superior in Italy. Captain John Mullan, builder of the Army's Mullan road, likewise saw the mountain gem and named it "Lake Kaniksu" on his map in 1865. This mountain-ringed body of water later became known as Priest Lake.

Two major survey projects introduced more newcomers to northern Idaho. Isaac Stevens directed a transcontinental railroad survey in the early 1850s, exploring several possible routes across Idaho. One along the northern shore of Lake Pend Oreille later became the route chosen by the Northern Pacific Railroad.

British and American surveyors camped in what is now Bonner County in 1860-1861 as they worked their way north to mark the international boundary. Survey crews established a supply depot at Sineacateen in 1860, and another one farther north at Chelemta, near present-day Bonners Ferry. From there crews moved north to the border, which they marked with a wide swath cut through the forest. Artist James Alden accompanied the American team, recording their activities much as a photographer would today.

The decade of the 1860s brought a flurry of activity to northern Idaho. Gold was discovered in 1863 on Wild Horse Creek in British Columbia and the next year near Helena, Montana. Thousands of miners swarmed through Idaho on their way to the new diggings. While those heading for Wild Horse followed the old Indian trail that David Thompson had used, miners going to Montana had the option of taking the recently completed Mullan military road (the route of Interstate 90) or the trail around Lake Pend Oreille. A steady stream of pack trains passed over both routes, taking supplies to the new camps.

The naming of Bonner County is a memorial to an outstanding pioneer of the north area - Edwin L. Bonner, who came here in 1863 and purchased the right to build and operate a ferry on the Kootenai river from old Chief Abraham of the Kootenai tribe at the ferry site less than 30 miles from Canada.

Idaho Legislature also granted ferry privileges to Charles H. Campfield and associates whose ferry was a part of the Wild Horse Trail to the booming mining country of the Kootenays in Canada, in 1863 and 1864. This led to the opening of pack train trails from Fort Walla Walla in Washington territory and in 1864, with the Kootenay gold rush, miners and supply trains came from Walla Walla up the old Indian trail past Sineacateen. A wagon road went as far as Sineacateen, where a ferry was installed to accommodate traffic. Miles Moore, later governor of Washington, had one of the trading posts there during the gold rush. From Sineacateen ferry, a pack trail (known thereafter as the Wild Horse Trail) followed the old Indian route to Bonner's Ferry (also established on the Kootenai in 1864) and on to the Wild Horse mines near later Fort Steele, British Columbia. By 1866, Sineacateen had two saloons, two stores, and a hotel. Traffic from the Pacific Northwest to the Montana mines at Helena came by Sineacateen in 1866, since the Mullan road (actually only a pack trail across Idaho) had fallen into poor condition.

Mail pouches traveled by pony express to government steamers at Steamboat Landing at the head of Lake Pend Oreille for delivery to waiting riders at Hope, for Fort Missoula.

Idaho Territory was still in its swaddling clothes when a visitor to Bonner county of today found "Pend d'Oreille City (now Sandpoint) a charming little place, where he enjoyed the society of the enterprising and hospitable gentlemen who have made it their home."

This visitor, Col. Cornelius O'Keefe, "late of the Irish Brigade," told of this visit in an article published in the August, 1867 issue of a monthly magazine.

O'Keefe was en route to Montana at the time, making the trip, according to his article "From New York to San Francisco, via Nicaragua - thence by sea to Portland, Oregon - thence up the Columbia to Walla Walla - thence on mule or horse back to Lake Pend d'Oreille, in the Territory of Idaho."

O'Keefe, who was to make the next leg of his trip aboard the Mary Moody, one of the early day steamers on Lake Pend Oreille, wrote in glowing terms of Pend d'Oreille City, its people, the scenery of the area and also of the Mary Moody.

"Pend d'Oreille City, standing on a picturesque slope - or running down it, to speak more correctly - consists of a large store comfortably stocked, with California and Oregon goods - dry, soft and liquid - a billiard saloon of grand dimensions - a modestly-proportioned hotel - and a half dozen private residences, evenly and compactly built of logs and snugly shingles," O'Keefe wrote.

"The store belongs to Captain Moody, who is also the principal owner of the little steamboat, which has been complimented with his daughter's name. The billiard saloon is the property of Mr. Blackstone, whose genial nature well deserves the soldierly and splendid frame through which it radiates."

The Pend Oreille route was plagued with mud problems which slowed, but did not stop, determined travelers. Launching of the steamboat Mary Moody in 1866 helped ease this situation. The Oregon Steam Navigation Company built the boat at Sineacateen in the winter of 1865-66. Following the launching in late April, the Mary Moody carried packers and their animals from Sineacateen to Kootenai Landing if they were headed north, or to Cabinet Landing if they were headed east. Later in 1866 the home port was changed from Sineacateen to Pend d'Oreille City at the south end of the lake.

The Mary Moody he termed the first of three boats to navigate the Clark's Fork of the Columbia to the mouth of the Jocko, 10 miles west of the main range of the Rocky Mountains . some 50 miles from Pend d'Oreille City. There, O'Keefe wrote, she stopped short at the landing at the foot of Cabinet Mountain, "the Rapids, immediately above the landing, being too violent to permit her pushing further up."

Above the Rapids, a second boat took travelers to Thompson's Falls, and above Thompson's Falls, the third boat completed the chain of navigation to the Jocko.

The distant mines stimulated the growth of the first two settlements in Bonner County. By 1867, Pend d'Oreille City had two grocery stores, a hotel, billiard hall, saloon, and stable and just about matched the booming metropolis of Sineacateen with its hotel, two stores, and two saloons. These towns did not last, however, fading as the mining boom dwindled at the end of the decade.

The impact of the mining boom on northern Idaho was temporary, but the coming of the railroad changed life here permanently. After the initial survey in 1853, the Northern Pacific conducted additional surveys in the 1870s to justify the big northerly sweep that the line took around Lake Pend Oreille.

Efforts at construction moved forward slowly, moving from west to east through this area. The tracks reached the south side of the Lake Pend Oreille outlet at the end of 1881. The next year 6,000 men - 4,000 of them Chinese - continued the construction through the Clark Fork division which ran from Sandpoint into Montana. This was the most expensive section to build on the entire Northern Pacific line.

Sineacateen still served as an important base when the Northern Pacific Railway was built nearby in 1881-1882. Surveyors who located the line camped there prior to construction, but the Northern Pacific came through a few miles away. New communities emerged with rail transportation, and Sineacateen no longer occupied a strategic site after transportation routes changed with new bridges and new lines of communication. Sandpoint on Lake Pend d'Oreille replaced Sineacateen as the major center for that part of the country.

Hope began to grow in 1882 when the Northern Pacific came through and in 1900 set its Rock Mountain division point in the hillside village. Incorporated in 1903, the village was named in honor of the veterinarian who tended the construction horses. A wise and kindly man, Dr. Hope was widely respected. Hope was the largest town in the area during the 1880s, achieving prominence as the Rocky Mountain division point on the Northern Pacific line. Engines turned around in the large roundhouse, and the railroad built shops, offices, and a "beanery" there.

The Hotel Jeannot was able to capitalize on this business with its location right above the depot, and with it's tunnels providing easy access for passengers to the hotel. Many say that the tunnels were used to entertain these Chinese "coolees," who were normally not allowed in the establishments that served the locals and travelers.

In contrast to Hope's early boom, Sandpoint grew slowly following completion of the railroad. An 1883 visitor found only 300 people in town, and nine years later another traveler reported that "Sandpoint is made up of between three and four dozen rude shacks and perhaps a dozen tents." The town experienced tremendous growth, however, following the turn of the century.

When the division point moved to Sandpoint, Hope began to decline. The hotel continued to draw people until the 1960's, partly because the picturesque setting of the town beside Lake Pend Oreille attracted many tourists. Some of them prominent, such as J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby.

The original Hotel Jeannot (now Hotel Hope) was a wooden structure which burned down in about 1886. It was then that Joseph M. Jeannot started on his fireproof commercial building, which he shared with his brother Louis. He constructed one section at a time, and added on over the years, finally completing the three-bay, two story hotel in 1898. The rectangular building has two full stories above two separate basement sections. The facade is divided into three approximately equal bays which vary in design and building materials indicating that the hotel was built in sections over a period of years. This theory collaborated by the analysis of the structure during restoration as well as through oral accounts. The first section to be built was the first story of the east bay with it's walls of rock-faced random-coursed granite ashlar with beaded joints. Next came the first story of the center bay with it's lower facade walls of poured concrete. Following this, or possibly built at the same time, was the red brick second story over the center and east bays. The west bay was the last to be built, either all at once or in two stages. The first floor is of poured concrete with the second floor of red brick.


Hotel Hope

Various business have occupied the building over the years including a saloon, a restaurant, a general store, a meat market, and even a post office. The vaulted meat cooler adjoining the west basement was probably built when Louis ran his general store, and meat market in the period from 1895 to 1897. Now called the Hotel Hope, it still stands as a testament to the times.

J. M. Jeannot's hotel and saloon were not his only business interests. He was also involved in mining and had several claims across Lake Pend Oreille in the area of Green Monarch Mountain. Hope had a large Chinese population which had arrived with the railroad, and Jeannot supposedly took advantage of this source of cheap labor for his mines. According to one of Jeannot's friends, he allowed these men to use the meat cooler under the hotel as a clubhouse. They gained access to this room through the small tunnel which connected it to the railroad depot, thus bypassing the more obvious entrances. This vault in the hotel is one of the few sites left in Hope which may be connected with the large number of Chinese who used to live in the town.

Jeannot's mining operations as well as his losses at gambling led to his unstable financial condition which may have been one reason the hotel took ten to twelve years to complete. According to one source, the construction was held up for more than a year when Jeannot lost all of his money in a bet on William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Uncertain finances continued to plague Jeannot and he mortgaged and remortgaged the hotel over the years between 1907 and 1918, eventually losing the building in 1918. A friend paid off the debt in 1920, and ran the hotel until her death in 1968.

Two other railroads contributed to the growth of Bonner County. The Great Northern Railroad came through in 1892, stimulating the development of Colburn, Laclede, and Priest River. In 1905, the Spokane International opened more of the countryside to development. Sawyer, Vay, and Clagstone grew up along this route.

The spring of 1894 is still remembered as "high water year." Streams throughout the entire panhandle were overflowing with a heavy snow pack melting rapidly under a sudden hot spell.

An old railroad map first designated the village of Sandpoint as "Pend Oreille." The first post office was at Venton across the lake, but when the Northern Pacific railroad completed its long trestle over the mouth of the lake, the post office was moved to Pend Oreille and Venton died out. In 1886, the second community became known officially as Sandpoint. So named for the nearby landmark . a long bar of silvery sand stretching into the lake. Sandpoint was platted as a town site in 1898 when the Great Northern Railroad telegrapher, L. D. Farmin, subdivided his family homestead along Sand Creek. The village was incorporated in 1900. He filed on the original town site and laid out Sandpoint ten feet above the lake's high water mark, near the sandy shore of Lake Pend Oreille.

While the railroads were the primary links connecting early communities, trails and rough roads were upgraded for general use. Much of this was done on a commission basis, with the county then granting the contractor the right to charge a set toll for using his road. Dr. Wilbur Hendryx held a franchise on the toll road running from Kootenai to Bonners Ferry, and the early county commissioners received many complaints from northern citizens about the unjust fares. The county gradually took over these roads, but maintenance was a continual problem. In October 1888, J. J. Noonan, Road Supervisor of District 3, reported that recent fires had destroyed all of the corduroy (log "ribbing" laid across a wet spot to provide stability) on the county road between Sandpoint and Kootenai Station. The commissioners appropriated $450 for necessary repairs.

Water inundated the Northern Pacific Railroad trestle at Sandpoint. Flat cars, loaded with rock for ballast were run out on the bridge to keep it from floating away. Later the railroad raised its tracks well above the high water level creating a problem for Sandpoint.

The village, strung along either side of the tracks, found itself divided by the railroad's 10-foot high fill and cut off from expanding. Left with but one recourse, the villagers moved west of the tracks and across Sand Creek into "the sticks" (logged over land).

The main settlements underwent their baptism of fire. Three times the Sandpoint business district was burned out with several lives lost.

Steamboats also served as an important link between towns and outlying areas. The heyday on Lake Pend Oreille ran from the 1880s into the 1930s. The boats burned many cords of wood on each trip to generate the necessary steam.

The surrounding countryside filled up with settlers who often homesteaded government land or purchased land from the railroad for as little as $2.60 an acre. Although land was cheap, life could be hard and frequently lonely. Elmina Markham arrived with her husband and seven children in November 1883, settling at Sineacateen where they operated a ferry for many years. Mrs. Markham later wrote, "I was here eight months without seeing a white woman. There was a man and his wife and two or three sons come here on a fishing trip. I went out and shook hands with her. I was so glad to see a white woman. She only stayed one day. My husband told me he thought she was afraid to stay longer for fear I would talk her to death."

As outlying areas grew, small communities developed. These were often served by a store, post office, and school. Schools functioned as community centers in most rural areas.

Along with people came industry. Mines prospered in many areas, including Priest Lake, Hope, Clark Fork, Lakeview, and Talache. Investors even backed a smelter at Ponderay to process local ore, but the venture did not last long.

At the turn of the century, lumber began to take over the local economy. Snowy slopes and the many rivers provided a great way to haul logs.

Timber continued for many years to be the areas biggest industry. Big Midwest companies began moving into the virgin forests of northern Idaho as their resources at home were depleted. Logging techniques changed over the years as the industry became mechanized. Early loggers knew how to use the difficult terrain of the region to their advantage. The steep mountain slopes had the grade needed for chutes and flumes. Heavy snows provided a good base for easy winter sleigh hauling. And swollen rivers in the spring provided transportation for logs to the mills.

The Humbird Lumber Company grew to be the largest in the area, turning out 200,000 board feet every twenty-four hours. With a large mill, a shingle mill, and a company store, Humbird employed 350 men and provided a stable economic base for Sandpoint into the late 1920s.

While timber has always been a great natural resource in the county, its demise was predicted long before the twentieth century. Great consternation reigned in the Priest Lake area when, on February 27, 1897, President Grover Cleveland issued a proclamation creating the Priest River Forest Reserve. With this 650,000 acre reserve closed to settlers, and the loggers' axes prophets of doom darkly declared "The economy of North Idaho is scuttled."

Many families converted cut-over land into farms, or "stump ranches." The primary agricultural crop was hay, suited to the short growing season of northern Idaho. Timber companies purchased large quantities of hay to feed the horses used in logging operations.

The impetus of logging activity brought sudden mushrooming of building and business to the county, bringing in many settlers and causing a period of growth that has not since been equaled. By 1902 North Idaho had more miles of railroad than any other part of the state.

Not until the Great Northern was built in 1891 did Priest River have official status. Charles Jackson platted the 87-acre town site in 1901.

Sandpoint was a city built on railroad and logging and had quite the reputation as a rough and tumble sort of town.

After receiving their pay, loggers and railroad men would flock to one of 23 saloons in the small town, spending money on liquor and prostitutes.

Life was difficult in those times and the weather caused great hardships as well as wonderful bonding relationships. People flooded into the area eager to start a new life and in 1894 LD Farmin opened the first school in the area. Bonner County was formed and in 1901, Sandpoint officially became a city and was named the county seat.

The community across the lake to the south, Sagle was also a growing community. Sagle in 1891, had a one-room log schoolhouse where the term was three months in summer. The Turnbull brothers-Oliver, Tom, Fred and Lou Summer were the first students to take eighth grade examinations in the county. Sagle residents would have to travel to Spokane for their town business and shopping. It was finally decided to literally bridge the gap between the two communities and The Long Bridge was built in 1910. It was the longest wooden bridge in the world at 2 miles long.

One of the most significant aspects of the county's history is the fact that the county was "formed" twice and "divided" once in political maneuvering.

As early as 1905 the turmoil began. Senator Herman H. Taylor introduced the Spaulding bill which created the counties of "Lewis" and "Clark" out of the original Kootenai county. After a legal hassle, the Supreme Court declared the new counties invalid because Kootenai County had lost its identity. Considerable competition generated within the illegal county of Clark to locate the new county seat at Bonners Ferry.

However, it was finally agreed in "behind the scenes" politicking that in return for support to change the name of Clark to Bonner, the northern town would lend its support to Sandpoint for the county seat. Quietly at the 1907 Legislature, Clark and Lewis Counties went out of the record in favor of Bonner and Kootenai.

So Bonner County is among the latest of the state's 44 counties, having been cut off from Kootenai County by an act of the Legislature on February 2, 1907. This is an important factor when deciding to look up records from before this time. In researching a home built in 1896, I had to go to Kootenai County. While our historical society and county records have abundant material for research, for many things before 1907, Kootenai County is where the records are.

The Panida Theater was built in 1927 as a place to provide entertainment such as silent movies, vaudeville and eventually sound movies. The town of Sandpoint grew and the economy flourished.

Soon thereafter, the depression hit hard in Sandpoint shuttering many businesses, lumber yards and banks. Many left town altogether but those that persevered, turned their efforts towards the arts, culture and recreation and other ways to make a living. Fishing became a prosperous endeavor with record sized fish being pulled from the waters of Lake Pend Oreille.

During World War II, the construction of the Farragut Naval Training Station in Bayview brought 300,000 seamen to the area for boot camp training. Many either stayed in the area, or came back after their tour of duty drawn by the beauty of the area and the great opportunity they saw.

Jim Brown founded The Pack River Lumber Company in 1940 and it soon became a dominant force in the local economy.

In the 1940s and 1950s as Sandpoint recovered from the depression, optimism pervaded the air as radio and the movies came to town. KSPT brought music to the region in the '50s and soon thereafter, the Motor Movie, a drive-in opened its gates.

In the summer, the area was booming with lake activities and movies and theater at the Panida.


Panida Theater

However, the town was dead quiet in the winter, until Jack Fowler stopped for gas in Hope on his way home from a ski trip to Big Mountain in Montana. He looked up and saw a snowy bowl in what is now called Schweitzer. He thought to himself that it looked like a great place to put a ski area and then he wouldn't have to drive so far for their ski vacations. He got a group of local and regional businessmen together, sold stocks to raise enough money, hired Sam Wormington from Canada to come and run the resort and Schweitzer Basin opened December 4, 1963, with $4 day passes for one rope tow and a mile long chair lift.

Suddenly, Sandpoint began to lose its anonymity as visitors flocked to the ski area from all over the Northwest as well as Chicago and Minneapolis. It was then that Sandpoint became a year round community offering a simple, quiet life for those who wanted it.

The 1970s brought hippies and environmentalism as well as arts and more theater to the area. This spelled the downfall of the lumber industry. Jim Brown, of the Pack River Lumber Company, wisely diversified his business and, as one of the original founders of Schweitzer Mountain, bought out the rest of the shareholders to make Schweitzer a privately owned venture. To this very day one can still see the occasional psychedelic bus or love bug traversing county roads. Now the hippies are augmented by the winter ski bum, and the warm weather off-road cyclists.

Schweitzer has since been purchased by the Harbor Mountain Company based in Seattle and continues to expand its facilities and ski terrain.

Around this time the Hope Peninsula became an art colony. Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz moved there from Los Angeles in 1973. The Peninsula also had a cluster of buildings owned by the Max Factor family, and the Kienholz's drew upon the beauty of the area as inspiration. A close friend and principal benefactor to Kienholz was Klaus Groenke, also a former resident of the Hope Peninsula. Groenke is one of the richest German real estate developers and is the managing director and part owner of Trigon Holding GmbH, a Berlin based international real estate company. He is also reported to be a leading share holder in Coca Cola Company, and a regional board member of the Deutsche Bank Berlin/Brandenberg. It is reported that the reason that the Hope Peninsula has a paved road it that he had it done so his guests would not have to drive on a dirt road out to his estate. Half his estate was sold in 2005, however, formerly Mr. Groenke's land boasted a series of triangulated satellite dishes, extensive antennae arrays, and curious metal "art." These giant sculptures dotted his property, many of which were originally purchased for millions of dollars, and some could be seen by Lake Pend Oreille boaters. A few were the "Tableaux" that Kienholz was famous for. One of the most famous features is the Plexiglas-encased full section of the Berlin Wall, graffiti and all, easily seen right in front of the front gate. The Hope Peninsula is also the home of the Ruen property: a 194 acre jewel that the family cannot agree on what to do with. It also has Sam Owen Park and is a nature preserve, with hundreds of friendly, tame deer that tourists love to interact with, and many other protected animals such as dozens and dozens of wild turkeys.

Local art gallery owner, Jim Quinn of the Timberstand writes in his blog: "Throughout the years art colonies have developed by region because they give skilled but lessor known artists the opportunity to work side by side with more accomplished painters. One of the earliest and better known colonies is The New Hope Colony. They were associated with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the concept of painting en plein air. Many members of this group, Daniel Garber, Fern Coppage, Walter Emerson and many others are very collectible in today's market especially since they followed in the footsteps of artist Edward Willis Redfield who influenced an entire generation. Some other well known colonies are - Woodstock, New York, The Hoosiers, Colonies of the South, Southern Women Artists, etc.

In today's world art colonies continue to develop in places like Jackson Hole, WY, Sun Valley, Idaho, Sandpoint, Idaho and many other places known for their natural beauty."

Today with the Artist Studio Tour, many galleries, and hundreds of artists, the county has become a true artist's haven.

The Pend Oreille Arts Council was formed in 1978 and with it, summer theater was born. The Panida Theater closed its doors until it was saved by a community fund-raiser and reopened in 1985. A bridge was constructed across Sand Creek and housed the public market. It is now home to Coldwater Creek's flagship store. The 1980s brought more local flair to the area as the Farmer's Market was founded and the Festival at Sandpoint began welcoming top name musicians to the area at its wonderful setting on the shores of the Pend Oreille River.

In the 1990s nearby Coeur d'Alene and Hayden Lake attracted nationwide publicity when white supremacist Neo-Nazi groups (most notably the Aryan Nations) set up headquarters in the area. Many Sandpoint residents reacted negatively to such groups some formed the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force in opposition. In 2001 the Aryan Nations lost a lawsuit filed against them. The lawsuit bankrupted the organization and forced them to give up their Hayden Lake property and disband.

Politically we are a mixed bag. After the Civil War many Southern Democrats moved to Idaho Territory. As a result the early territorial legislatures were solidly Democratic. In contrast most of the territorial governors were appointed by Republican Presidents and were Republicans themselves. This led to sometimes bitter clashes between the two parties. In the 1880s Republicans became more prominent in local politics.

Since statehood the Republican Party has usually been the dominant party in Idaho. In the 1890s and early 1900s the Populist Party enjoyed prominence while the Democratic Party maintained a brief dominance in the 1930s during the Great Depression. Since World War II most statewide elected officials have been Republicans, but Democrats have had at least one elected official in a statewide office at any given time. Curiously, Idaho has no political party registration. Fiercely individualistic, North Idaho's hippie past displays more as a group that often wants to be simply left alone. Many Californians, Oregonians, and Washingtonians have migrated to the area, many leaning towards environmental politics, as well as a NIMBY attitude. Surprisingly, while Southerners immigrated here in droves after the Civil War, in recent years they have again been one of the strongest groups to come to the area.

In recent years Sandpoint and Bonner County have seen tremendous increases in housing values, which then plummeted like the rest of the nation. The quality of life here, on beautiful Lake Pend Oreille and under Schweitzer Mountain has been reported in so many national publications that many are migrating here and sharing in that life. The National Press that Sandpoint, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, and Lake Pend Oreille have received in the last couple of years has been astonishing. Astonishing only if you haven't been here. In the spring of 2008, Sandpoint and Schweitzer was named in AskMen.com as one of the US Top 10 resort Towns. Our area has been featured in USA Today and Smart Money Magazine. Sunset magazine called us the "West's best small town." National Geographic Adventure magazine voted Sandpoint one of the 10 best adventure towns in the nation. Outside magazine featured Schweitzer & named Sandpoint the "cool Northwest's hot property." Schweitzer was named to Ski Magazine's Top 25 Resorts in January of 2008, and later that year OntheSnow.com voted Schweitzer the best ski resort in the Pacific Northwest. Forbes.com loved our telecommuting, MSNBC said it again, & Cabin Life, Cabin Living called Sandpoint "the quintessential Western outdoor lover's town."

Why do all of these publications find Sandpoint so alluring? Some say it is because of the true small town appeal, with less than 10,000 residents. For others it is the breath-taking scenery. We have perhaps the most beautiful by-way in America, the second largest lake in the west, & it takes less than half an hour to get to the top of Schweitzer Mountain, a top-rated ski haven over looking Lake Pend Oreille., which was featured in 48° North Sailing Magazine. Summers have more sports than many cities & year-round the fine people of the community have festivals and happenings that make the heart sing. But if what you are looking for is privacy along with friendly people, there are truly few places left like North Idaho.

Some of our festivals and events are much like other communities. We have an annual Mardi Gras, which breaks up the winter nicely. We have two Oktoberfests: one at Schweitzer and one at Idaho Club. We have a number of art events, including Art Walk, Plein Air, and the Arts and Crafts Festival. We have a Wooden Boat Show, fishing tournaments, and lots of water events. The 4th of July brings cool fireworks at the water's edge, and we have the expected Christmas and Thanksgiving celebrations. However, our most famous event began in 1982 and has grown into an internationally recognized music festival. The Festival at Sandpoint is graced by many world-class and famous musicians every year, with a history that makes us proud.

Still we have controversies. We have more issues than we have ever faced before. And. we are faced with challenges, such as population growth and a booming economy. Some of the local controversies we face are the planned bypass around the city, the Rock Creek Mine, and the widening of Highway 95. But as many have discovered, these are but minor events in a place that many have come to know as paradise.


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Sandpoint History

This account provided courtesy Sandpoint Magazine. Copyright 2001 Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

The historic homeland of the Kalispel Indian tribe, Sandpoint began to experience white settlement when fur trappers under the direction of North West Company agent and surveyor David Thompson built a trading post on the Hope peninsula in 1809. Thompson described the peninsula where Sand Creek empties into Lake Pend Oreille as a “pointe of sand,” an apt name for the village and town that would eventually grow up there.

Succeeding eras brought mining, steamboats and then construction of railroads in the 1880s. Sandpoint was incorporated in 1901 and grew as a logging town in the 1940s a trophy trout fishery in Lake Pend Oreille brought renown, and founding of the Schweitzer ski area in 1963 propelled the town into a four-season recreation destination.

A Sandpoint Timeline

1901 Sandpoint receives its city charter on Feb. 7 as part of Kootenai County.

1901 The Humbird Lumber Co. takes over Sand Point Lumber Co. and, two years later, absorbs the Ellersick brothers’ mill at Kootenai. At its height, it was the largest sawmill in the region — maybe even the world — and employed 350 men.

1903 Panhandle Smelting and Refining Co. is formed to process lead-silver ore on Lake Pend Oreille between Humbird’s two facilities. Financial problems and a lawsuit led to its demise in 1909.

1904 The original City Hall is built across Sand Creek near the railroad station. Known as the “Apple Box” it held a jail with four cells and the City Council’s chambers.

1905 The present 8,000-foot-long railroad bridge replaces the first one that crosses Lake Pend Oreille between Sandpoint and Venton.

1905 Another railroad builds a line through town, the Spokane Inter-national, making it Sandpoint’s third railroad.

1906 Page Hospital is built.

1906 The three-story, brick Farmin School is built between Second and Third avenues on Main Street, housing the first high school and including all the lower grades. It was torn down in the 1960s to make way for a new bank building and the City Parking Lot.

1906 The first interscholastic athletic event occurs on Nov. 22 the Sandpoint High School boys basketball team beat Hope 38-8 in a game played at the Humbird Lumber Co. storage building on the east side of Sand Creek.

1907 The Northern mail boat is built, providing passenger and mail service to isolated settlers and communities around the Lake Pend Oreille.

1907 The Idaho Legislature split Kootenai County to create Bonner County, which stretched north to the Canadian border. Sandpoint is named as the county seat.

1907 The Board of Commissioners authorizes the purchase of 24 acres on the Great Northern Road for the County Poor Farm. Dr. O.F. Page won the bid to operate it at 70 cents per person per day.

1907 Humbird Mill burns on March 8 while undergoing repairs. The mill at Kootenai ran two shifts to keep up production while the Sandpoint facility was rebuilt.

1908 The first Bonner County Fair organizes and is held at the Methodist Church.

1909 The first wooden bridge across Lake Pend Oreille is completed. The “Wagon Bridge” cost about $50,000 and was heralded as the longest wooden bridge in the world. Harry Fry had christened the first piling with a bottle of champagne — a pint of extra dry — in May 1908.

1909 The first electric street car begins operations from Main to Boyer and then out to Humbird Mill in Kootenai.

1910 Devastating forest fires rage through northern Idaho.

1910 The Power House is built to generate electricity with steam turbines that use wood waste from local sawmills and water from Sand Creek.

1910 The new City Hall is built at the corner of Second and Main.

1911 Former President Teddy Roosevelt visits Sandpoint, delivering a couple of speeches and taking a steamboat trip on The Northern on Lake Pend Oreille. The following year he stops at Sandpoint’s railroad depot during his unsuccessful presidential bid in the “Bull Moose Campaign.”

1915 Bonner County is split in two, creating Boundary County to the north.

1916 Idaho goes “dry,” joining 20 other states, five years before nationwide Prohibition.

1916 L.D. McFarland begins operations, making posts and poles from cedar.

1916 The current Northern Pacific Railroad depot, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places, is built north of its original location.

1917 The lumber industry virtually shuts down in the summer because of a massive strike by the Workers of the World. The strike essentially ended in September, and many months later, the company owners agreed to an 8-hour day.

1918 A worldwide influenza epidemic kills more than 21.6 million people. Local schools shut down to prevent the spread.

1922 A.C. White sawmill at Laclede burns to the ground. The remaining buildings are barged up the Pend Oreille River to Dover, where White took over Dover Lumber Co.

1924 The Sandpoint News Bulletin begins publication, with Lauren Pietsch and J.L. Stack as publishers.
1926 Talache Mine closes it produced $2 million worth of lead and silver.

1927 F.C. Weskill opens the Panida Theater on Nov. 22 with the film Now We’re in the Air, a comedy. The Spanish-style, ornate building cost $75,000 to build and seated 665.

1928 The new U.S. Post Office is dedicated on Second Avenue and houses federal offices as well.

1928 Jim Demers wins the javelin throw at the state track meet with a toss of 200 feet, 4 inches — a world high school record — as well as winning the shot put and discus. He is the only SHS athlete to ever win three events at a state track meet.

1929 The stock market crashes, leading to The Great Depression.

1931 Humbird Mill liquidates, shutting down all logging and its mills in Sandpoint and Newport. Its mill in Kootenai closed the previous year.

1931 Photographer Ross Hall moves to Sandpoint to manage Mrs. Dick Himes’ photo collection and studio. He became Sandpoint’s most prolific photographer.

1931 The last of the Kalispel Tribe’s annual August powwows at the City Beach is held.

1934 Gov. C. Ben Ross dedicates the second Long Wagon Bridge, replacing the first crossing over Lake Pend Oreille. This wooden bridge is nearly 2 miles long.

1936 Community Hall is completed by the Works Progress Administration on First Avenue. Its total cost was $8,292.

1940 Jim Brown Jr. organizes Pack River Lumber Co. Its first logging enterprise was salvaging stray “deadhead” logs from the lake. The next year, he bought the Colburn mill and planer, followed by the Dover Lumber Co., the beginning of a “timber empire.”

1941 Fire ravages the Jones’ Taylor shop on First Avenue, just a couple doors down from the Panida Theater.

1942 Farragut Naval Training Station is built on 4,000 acres at the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille. Ross Hall was hired to be the official photographer. The base boosted Sandpoint’s economy and employment dramatically. Community Hall was used as a USO starting in 1943.

1946 Memorial Park is built to honor World War II veterans the first softball game is played at the field.

1946 On June 15 Farragut is decommissioned 293,381 sailors had been trained there during World War II. Farragut College & Technical Institute opened in October to retrain veterans under the GI Bill. It closed in 1948.

1946 The world-record Kamloops trout is pulled in from Lake Pend Oreille, weighing 37 pounds.

1947 Norm Bauer establishes the radio station KSPT AM 1400.

1947 Pend Oreille Lodge opens at Contest Point, a luxurious lodge with 1,150 feet of lake frontage, at a cost of $65,000.

1948 The harsh winter of 1947-48 brings record snowfall, followed by a disastrous flood in Sandpoint. The lake crested at 2,071.9 feet, the highest since the record flood of 1894.

1949 Buildings from the former Farragut Naval Training Station are floated to Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille to replace Page Hospital.

1949 Last log drive in Bonner County occurs on Priest River.

1951 Cabinet Gorge Dam begins construction on the Clark Fork River, producing power by 1953, and Albeni Falls Dam begins construction on the Pend Oreille River, which was completed in 1955.

1951 A $1.082 million bond passes in order to build a new senior high school (on Division Street) in Sandpoint, as well as other schools in the district.

1953 The Lions Club is chartered in Sandpoint and launches a program to improve City Beach.

1954 A scheduling snafu has legendary Coach Cotton Barlow’s football team scheduled to play two different opponents on the same day, Nov. 11. Barlow split the squad and played Bonners Ferry in the afternoon and Coeur d’Alene the same night, winning both games.

1956 The third Long Bridge is completed, the first steel-and-concrete structure for motorized vehicles, and is dedicated on June 22.

1956 Russell Kotschevar carves Pend Oreille Pete from a 32-foot-long white pine log fashioned after Sam Miller, a well-known fisher and businessman from Garfield Bay. The statue was in front of Kamloops Tavern for 20 years.

1961 Pacific Gas Transmission’s line crosses through Bonner County on its route from Canada to California. As many as 500 workers made Sandpoint their headquarters.

1963 Schweitzer Basin opens on Dec. 4 as a community owned ski resort, with one chairlift, a three-story lodge, a rope tow and T-bar.

1965 Farragut becomes a state park, and the first Girl Scout Jubilee is held there, hosting 10,000 girls.

1966 The Post Office moves from its location on Second Avenue to its current location at Fourth and Church.

1967 Don Samuelson, co-owner of Pend Oreille Sports Shops, is elected Idaho’s governor. He had been stationed at Farragut during World War II, and moved here after the war.

1967 Sandpoint cheers on its own Jerry Kramer as the Green Bay Packers win the first Superbowl in January. Kramer, a right guard, was also on the team when it won Superbowl II.

1967 The Sundance Fire in August burns more than 55,000 acres in the Selkirks, killing two men.

1967 The 12th Boy Scouts World Jamboree, the first and only in the United States, is held at Farragut State Park in August, bringing 17,000 scouts representing 105 nations. The National Boy Scout Jamboree followed in 1969 — the largest ever with 42,500 boys attending — and again in 1973.

1968 The winter of 1968-69 brings record snowfall.

1971 Idaho forms the Magistrate Court and names Margaret N. Burns as the first magistrate judge to serve in Bonner County.

1972 The new Bonner County Fairgrounds are developed on 39 acres on North Boyer, moving it from Lakeview Park.

1974 The new Federal Building is completed on the Dover Highway at Division Street.

1976 The Sandpoint Chamber moves into its new Visitor Center on Highway 95 alongside Sand Creek.

1977 Ed Hawkins Sr. moves Litehouse Dressing from his restaurant in Hope to a new plant in Sandpoint.

1977 Sandpoint High qualifies for the state volleyball tournament, the first of 15 consecutive years. As of 2000 SHS has won 10 state titles, five of them in a row from 1982 to 1986.

1978 The Pend Oreille Arts Council forms, helping Sandpoint get national recognition as an arts community.

1979 Sandpoint Bowl moves from Fourth and Oak to its current location on Division Street.

1980 KPND, the new FM station at 95.3, begins broadcasting on May 18, the same day that Mt. St. Helens erupts. North Idaho was dusted with volcanic ash, closing schools for the remainder of the school year.

1980 The Bonner County Historical Society opens its new museum at the former Fairgrounds at Lakeview Park.

1981 The fourth long bridge opens on Sept. 23 after nearly three years of construction at a cost of $11.4 million.

1982 The Festival at Sandpoint organizes, holding its first concert at Farmin Park.

1983 The Cedar Street Bridge Public Market opens on May 2 on a completely replaced structure. The City had condemed the Cedar Street Bridge in 1980. Originally built in 1905 and rebuilt in 1933, the bridge had been closed to traffic since 1971.

1984 Laurel Wagers, Susan Bates-Harbuck and Jane Evans organize, leading to a community rally to save the Panida Theater $75,000 was raised for a down payment and repairs to re-open as a community-owned theater on Aug. 1, 1985.

1985 Sandpoint’s first health club, Sandpoint West Athletic Club, opens.

1985 Bonner Mall and McDonald’s open in Ponderay.

1986 After a year of double-shifting, a five-year plant facility levy passes for $15.8 million, allowing construction of a new Sandpoint High, Kootenai Elementary and Hope Elementary schools, plus renovations and additions to many other schools.

1986 Sandpoint Unlimited, a non-profit, economic development association, forms in response to an economic downturn.

1986 Ed Hawkins Sr., the founder of Litehouse Dressing, dies.

1988 The Sandpoint Airport annexes surrounding farmland to extend its runway. Residents protest and organize a recall election against Mayor Ron Chaney. The election fails, and the airport development goes forward, requiring rerouting of Boyer.

1988 Dennis and Ann Pence establish Coldwater Creek and publish their first catalog.

1989 A native of Sandpoint, Ward Tollbom gives away 1,000 prints of his painting of chickadees in appreciation for community support. The first 800 people who lined up on Cedar Street were greeted personally by Tollbom.

1989 Sandpoint patriarch and businessman Jim Brown Jr. dies. Bobbie Huguenin, his daughter assumed leadership of the family’s businesses, Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Pack River Management.

1990 Kmart opens just north of Sandpoint in Ponderay, the town’s first discount giant. Wal-Mart follows in 1996, bringing more pressure on local retail businesses.

1990 Schweitzer launches an ambitious expansion plan, building a new day lodge, quad chairlift and Green Gables Lodge, plus night skiing.

1990 Zac Taylor becomes Sandpoint’s first big wrestling star when he wins the state championship. He also won state the following two years.

1991 The new Sandpoint High building opens on Division next to the old high school.

1991 Unicep Packaging is founded by John Snedden, DDS, to provide unit-dose packaging for the dental industry and to manufacture a line of peroxide oral health care products. Since then, it has expanded its manufacturing capacity to inlcude custom packaging and contract manufacturing.

1993 A stoplight is built at the intersection of Highways 95 and 200, ending Sandpoint’s history as a 2-stoplight town since 1960. Three more are added the following year.

1995 Mail order giant Coldwater Creek moves its headquarters to Kootenai and leases the entire Cedar Street Bridge for its retail outlet.

1995 Mark Fuhrman moves to Sandpoint, bringing a storm of media coverage surrounding his investigation of O.J. Simpson’s murder case.
1997 The Sandpoint High School Bulldogs football team wins its first state championship.

1998 Harbor Resorts purchases Schweitzer Mountain Resort on Dec. 31 from U.S. Bank, ending the resort’s period of receivership.

1999 The Bonner County School District splits in two, creating Lake Pend Oreille and West Bonner County school districts.

2000 The new library building at Cedar and Division opens. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain on March 30 to pass 15 books between the old building on Second and the new one. Volunteers included some members of the SHS class of ’68, who had carried the library’s collection from its location in City Hall to the new one on Second in 1968.

2000 Schweitzer breaks a record for the amount of skier visits at 247,421 in the 1999-2000 season, and then builds the new six-pack chairlift, Stella, for the following season.

2001 Sandpoint Centennial celebration is officially launched on Feb. 7.

2012 Sand Creek Byway, a major transportation project that routes Highway 95 away from the downtown core onto a bypass up the Sand Creek Peninsula, opened.

2016: Sandpoint kicks off major redesign of downtown traffic flow with all one-way streets returning to two-way traffic.


By mid-March 1917, as the winter snow melted gradually into spring, the people of Sandpoint opened their weekly newspaper to find a few glimmers of good news. Local barbers reassured customers that the recent 10 cent price increase applied only &hellip Continue reading &rarr

It was the highlight of the 1892 social calendar: a Washington’s birthday dance at the Spinks Hotel. Mr. Spinks, the genial proprietor and “champion yarn-spinner of the Panhandle,” issued an open invitation to Sandpoint residents. All were welcome, he announced &hellip Continue reading &rarr


Bonner County History - June 13, 2021

Eleven eighth grade Kootenai School students were graduated in a brief program: Dara Rigby, Laurel Berger, Tamara Bloom, Steve Van Rossum, Teresa Bonin, Arnold Reed, Steve Ricker, Rodney Stutzke, Cathy Russell, Betty Wise and Pam Kohal. Class motto is, “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

At the Idaho State Employees Assn. banquet June 5, Gov. Cecil Andrus awarded two outstanding state employees for 1970, one of whom was Mrs. Fred (Michiko) Kondo, Priest River, public health nurse of the Dept. of Health. Mrs. Kondo’s (Michi to her friends) duties include maternal and child health, home health services, mental health and prevention and control of communicable diseases. Michi is immediate past president of District No. 10 Idaho Nurses Assn. and a public health nursing representative on the state board of nursing.

SOMMERFELD IS GRASSMAN OF THE YEAR

Charles Sommerfeld, Lan-Nor-Del Herefords, has been selected as 1971 Bonner County Grassman of the Year. Sommerfeld has 180 acres of land along U.S. 95 south of Sandpoint and rents another 60 acres of improved pasture land. The main property includes four acres in potatoes, 13 acres of grain and 120 acres of irrigated pasture and hay land.

100 Years Ago

Pend d’Oreille Review

June 13, 1921 – CITY BREVITIES

E.M. Nedds put over an innovation in location advertising Saturday by putting seven electric washing machines on the sidewalk in front of his shop, next to the Gem theater. The display attracted the majority of passers-by and at times resulted in congestion of pedestrian traffic on the walk.

Archie Dale, Gladys Dale and J.L. Ellis left for Lewiston to enter the summer normal school.

Mrs. J.D. Burt of Dover received a broken forearm when a Chevrolet she was cranking backfired. Dr. O.F. Page reduced the fracture at the City hospital.

MUST MOVE TOGETHER TO SAVE TIMBER

D.W. Humiston of Potlatch Lumber company gave a comprehensive paper on “Forest Production and Depletion” in Coeur d’Alene at the North Idaho Chamber of Commerce, saying in part: “Three-fifths of U.S. primeval forests are gone. The timber remaining is being consumed four times faster than it is being replaced. At the present rate our timber supply will be exhausted in 40 years.”

The Boy Scout council selected a summer camp site on Trestle creek, where the creek leaves the Cabinets to enter Lake Pend d’Oreille. About a quarter mile from the lake, the site is interesting, healthful and beautiful. The first scouts will camp July 4. The camp, exclusively for Boy Scouts, will be open until Aug. 6. All Scouts of north Idaho and adjacent to Montana and Washington are invited.


A Connection to the Past – Gary Pietsch’s new book

It’s often said that journalists write the “first draft of history.” In the case of North Idaho native and former journalist Gary Pietsch, he has a chance to add to that “first draft” and pen a definitive work covering the early days of Sandpoint.

The front cover of Sandpoint’s Early History by Pietsch. Courtesy photo.

Sandpoint’s Early History is the result of a lifetime of learning and writing for Pietsch, who has called North Idaho home for all of his 84 years. The book, covering the entire history of Sandpoint from the Glacial Lake Missoula floods to present day, is published by the Bonner County History Museum and Keokee. Pietsch will launch the book Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon to 2 p.m. at the museum. He’ll also be signing copies of his book from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Vanderford’s Books and Office Products.

Pietsch was born in Bonners Ferry and has lived in Sandpoint all of his life. After graduating from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a stint in the U.S. Army, Pietsch returned to his home in Sandpoint to work for his father Laurin Pietsch, who started the Sandpoint News-Bulletin in 1924.

“In 1924, with $500 worth of borrowed money, he started a one-page mimeographed daily called the Daily Bulletin,” Pietsch said. “At one time Sandpoint had three weeklies and two dailies until he bought out all the competition, including the Northern Idaho News. That’s how it ended up as the Sandpoint News-Bulletin.”

Pietsch began working for the News-Bulletin in 1958, rising through the ranks as a reporter, and eventually as editor and co-publisher with his father until he sold the paper to Pete Thompson in 1975.

“We had the largest circulation of any weekly in the state of Idaho,” Pietsch said.

Thompson eventually morphed the Sandpoint News-Bulletin into the Bonner County Daily Bee, which is the paper of record today in Bonner County.

After his father retired, Pietsch bought the printing equipment and began the Selkirk Press, which he ran until 2000 when he retired and turned the business over to his daughter, Wesley Dustman. Pietsch’s son, Chris, also works in journalism as the photo editor for the Eugene Register-Guard in Eugene, Ore.

“He’s a third-generation Pietsch still in the newspaper business,” he said. “I’m very proud of that.”

Pietsch said he has always enjoyed history, even at a young age.

“For my senior thesis at the University of Idaho, I did the history of newspapers in Sandpoint,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in history.”

A member of the Bonner County History Museum and Historical Society, including a stint as president, Pietsch said Museum Director Olivia Luther asked him if he was interested in writing about Sandpoint’s early history.

Aptly-titled, Sandpoint’s Early History begins with the ice age floods of Glacial Lake Missoula, which formed the landscape of North Idaho, then covers explorer David Thompson’s time in the region.

“Then I followed the activity of the local natives, the Pend Oreille and Kalispel tribes,” Pietsch said. “Then I chronicled the coming of the railroad and how that all came to pass, because that really set the tone on the development of Sandpoint.”

The book also includes history about early residents who emigrated to Sandpoint before the railroads, as well as the development of the town, how the streets were named, the shift of the town center from the east side of Sand Creek to its present location, and a detailed analysis of some of the men and women who shaped Sandpoint’s history.

Pietsch ended up covering all the costs of the book’s production and gifted the first printing to the museum to sell as a fundraiser.

“Gary has been a longtime supporter, volunteer and advocate for the museum,” museum director Olivia Luther said. “The board and staff at the museum are overwhelmed by his recent gift of Sandpoint’s Early History, and all of the research, writing, care and detail he put into creating such a wonderful book.”

Pietsch said it’s important to record these events because future generations won’t be able to access the information without a reliable account.

“I thought it was a good idea to nail down how things used to be and how they came to pass,” Pietsch said. “The history that sprung from the early pioneers is pretty fascinating.”


Bonner County Idaho Cemeteries

Cemeteries are always a great source of information abut your ancestors. The sad part is so many cemeteries are being vandalized now days and many of the old stones are broken or carried away. Many mortuaries have lists of burials in some of them and should also be checked. Cemeteries of Idaho Following Cemeteries Hosted at The Idaho Archives Blanchard Cemetery Boyer Cemetery, (aka Kootenai Cemetery) Brinkwood Cemetery Cabinet Cemetery Clara Cemetery Clark Ford Cemetery Colburn Cemetery Evergreen Cemetery Surnames A-E Surnames F-G Surnames H-L Surnames M-Q Surnames R -Z Gamlin Lake Cemetery, (Newman or Broten) Sagle, ID Greenwood Cemetery, &hellip


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Watch the video: Unangax World War II History (December 2021).