Historical Sites of North Idaho

Did you know Idaho has its own submarine base? Have you ever harvested ice from a lake? Did you know a kiln was an oven to cook limestone in before it was used to create concrete? Would you like to spend a night in the sky? Have you ever watched a River Pig run across floating logs?

These and 15 other historical tidbits are explored in this tour of North Idaho’s colorful history. The communities of the panhandle are teaming with little-known facts, locations and events that are waiting to be discovered. “Old Timers” are more than willing to share their stories over a cup of hot coffee. With a little exploration and research you may be amazed at the new things you will learn. Let your journey into the past begin!

Morton School - Memories of a One-Room Schoolhouse

How does a young, single woman prepare herself to teach in a one room, country school house? When this question was asked of Nellie F. Ramsey Garrison, an 86 year old retired teacher of Bonner County schools, she smiled, laughed and said there is no…

The Sandpoint Train Depot

BURLINGTON NORTHERN STATION In 1882 the Northern Pacific Railroad rumbled to a stop in Sandpoint, Idaho. The arrival opened a trade route for timber from North Idaho to the east coast and freight to the west coast. Passengers arrived and small…

Cabinet Landing

Many small communities sprung up along of the Northern Pacific Railroad as the tracks were laid down in 1882 only to become ghost towns a few years later. Cabinet Landing is one such vanished town. Cabinet Landing began as a steamboat landing at the…

The Cedar Street Bridges

The charming boutique shopping mall known as Cedar Street Bridge is just the most recent in a series of historic crossing here. The city of Sandpoint and the Northern Pacific Railroad depot have been separated by the waters of Sand Creek since the…

Seneacquoteen - The Lost County Seat for Kootenai County

Seneacquoteen – The Lost County Seat for Kootenai County Seneacquoteen is a farming community on the Pend Oreille River with a unique history including being one of the first European settlements in North Idaho in the late 1800’s. However the…

The Italian Settlement

The Italian Settlement – Unique Community near Priest River Come to America to work on the railroad! The call went out to several foreign countries by the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Great Northern Railroad in the late 1890's. Many…

The McFarland House

The McFarland House The three story white house at the corner of First Avenue and US 95 has proudly welcomed travelers into Sandpoint since early 1900. This landmark known as the McFarland House is one of the oldest buildings left in Sandpoint and…

The Spirit of Sandpoint High School

The Spirit of Sandpoint High School The founders of Sandpoint knew that a healthy community needed excellent public schools if it was to attract residents and businesses. The first school was established in 1886 and was moved from building to…

Float Homes of Bayview

Float Homes of Bayview The “Floating Village” at Bayview, Idaho has been a unique community for over 100 years. There are over 200 of the historical floating homes in Idaho with about 100 of them being in one central location of Scenic Bay on…

Idaho's Submarine Fleet

Idaho’s Submarine Fleet During the middle of the night the small scale, unmanned sub glides through the cold, dark waters of Idaho’s deepest lake, Lake Pend Oreille. Idaho? Yes, for over 65 years the south end of the lake has been the premier…

Fire Lookouts – From Hermit's Castles to Weekend Get-A-Ways

Fire Lookouts – From Hermit’s Castles to Weekend Get-A-Ways Fire lookouts once dotted maps of the American West. In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt created the United States Forest Service (USFS) under the Department of Agriculture. The agency…

The River Pigs of Logging

The River Pigs of Logging The remote virgin forests of northern Idaho represented a fortune in timber--if it could be brought to market. In areas not immediately adjacent to a railroad, the fast-moving rivers offered an economical way to get timber…

Flumes, Chutes and Splash Dams

FLUMES, CHUTES & SPLASH DAMS The demand for white pine lumber on the east coast between 1860 and 1900 caused a depletion of the evergreen along the east coast and into the Midwest. The soft wood pine was a premium building material and the rush…

The Long Bridge

The Long Bridges Sometime around 1900, Tom Craig’s 2 ½ year old son accidently chopped his toe off. The family lived south of the Pend Oreille River and the only ways for the panicked father to get to the doctor in Sandpoint was by ferry,…

Cooking Lime in Bayview, Idaho

Cooking Lime in Bayview, Idaho Concrete is a key component to the building of America. But did you know concrete started in an oven with the burning of limestone? Some of these ovens or kilns can be found in the small lakeside community of Bayview,…

Sandpoint’s Qapquape

Sandpoint’s Qapquape Long before the Europeans invaded north Idaho, the semi nomadic hunting/digging/fishing Kalispel Tribe made the shores of Lake Pend Oreille their home. These “Canoe People” or “Lake Paddlers,” as they were called by…

Lakeview - Mining Camp to Vacation Paradise

Lakeview: Mining Camp to Vacation Home The residents of the small community of Lakeview, Idaho lead a quiet life. The 10 to 20 families that make this area their vacation or permanent homes tend to use four-wheeler ATVs for local transportation. …

The Valley Vista Barn

THE VALLEY VISTA RANCH BARN Nestled on a slope between the hillside and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks at Cocolalla Flats is the large Valley Vista Ranch barn. This 65-year-old barn has been a local landmark since its…

Ice Harvest on Cocolalla Lake

Ice Harvesting on Cocolalla Lake Driving past Cocolalla Lake in North Idaho during the winter, the traveler will see several fishermen huddled over a hole in the ice fishing. There is no indication that this popular lake was once a famous ice…

The Northern Steamer of Lake Pend Oreille

The Northern Steamer of Lake Pend Oreille All aboard! The well-dressed group of Sandpoint socialites gathered their box lunches and ventured onto the open decks of the impressive steamer, The Northern. Today’s excursion will be a picnic lunch at…