100 Years of Memories
Interviews by Bob Gunter
Edited by Billie Jean Plaster
Photos by Ross Hall & Dick Himes courtesy of Hallans Gallery
"Fire on the First" -- 1941 (Photo by Ross Hall)
From Sandpoint's incorporation in 1901 to its centennial in 2001, a century of memories have built up. Some of those memories live in in the hearts and minds of long-time residents. A handful witnessed the era of the Humbird Lumber Company, when the huge mill dominated the landscape from Sandpoint to Kootenai, both on land and on the water with its sorting gaps and booms. Many remember how the Depression, the Farragut Naval Training Station and Schweitzer affected life here.
A select few of these memories -- straight from the mouths of seven oldtimers -- are recorded here. The following excerpts are taken from oral histories with Bob Gunter that were filmed by Erik Daarstad for the Centennial Film. These oral histories made for fascinating reading; we regret that we couldn't include more of them.
Then, Sandpoint's century of memories is encapsulated in a timeline of events chosen as the most memorable and significant -- The Top 100. Without trying to rank these milestones in Sandpoint's history, they are listed in chronological order from the beginning, 1901, to the present.
Sandpoint Magazine would like to recognize those who contributed to this special centennial section: Bob Gunter, Nancy Renk, Dann Hall, Bob Hamilton, Erik Daarstad and volunteers at the Bonner County Historical Society Museum. Their efforts to help preserve the rich history of Sandpoint and Bonner County are commendable.
Bob Selle at L.D. McFarland Pole Co. in 1948 (Photo courtesy of Bob Selle)
Bob Selle has lived in this area since 1923; he was 7 years old when his family moved here. His relatives were some of the earliest settlers; in fact, Selle Road was named after the family. Selle worked primarily in the timber industry, both in logging camps and at L.D. McFarland Co. in town.
There were mills every place. There was Humbird Lumber Company in Sandpoint. It was the biggest mill around. It had two head rigs. Then Humbird had a mill at Kootenai and Kootenai Bay. It was solid booms from Sandpoint to Kootenai Point, about a mile out. Humbird Lumber Company had an actual pier out in the lake where they built railroads up some of the big areas -- Rapid Lightning and Grouse Creek. They backed the trainloads of logs out and dumped 'em in the lake. The guys working on the booms -- and the sorting gaps -- they'd identify the logs and put 'em in this boom or this boom or this boom, for that particular mill.
They always had a big barn because they usually had 15, 20 teams of those big horses. Then, of course, the bunk houses. If they were individual cabins, that's about 12 men hanging up their wet socks and pants and stuff to dry around this barrel stove. It would get pretty, pretty smelly in there. The bull cook would give you clean blankets once a week for your bed.
Then the cook house, of course, was the most important. They'd have long tables, and they'd put about six men to a set up, and they had flunkies that waited on the table. The food was very good. They always had lots of meat on the table.
If you ended up with $40 for the month, you did really good after you paid your board -- had to pay $1.10 a day for board and room in the logging camps.
Most of [the workers] were single men, and all they had was what was in their packsack. They'd move from camp to camp. They'd usually spend their money on going to town about once a month -- just blow all their money on booze, women, what not.
Swampers cut the brush and made the trail so the teams could drive up on top of the logs. They [the Teamsters] didn't want no brush hitting their horses 'cause if snow fell on 'em, they'd take their gloves and brush it off the team. We used to make fun of 'em all the time. The swampers hooked up the log -- the Teamster never touched the rigging or anything.
Of course, there was a decking crew that went back and forth and decked the logs up with a chain. Boy, they were catty with a chain, pile them logs right up -- big decks -- cause they never hauled 'em. No good trucks yet. In the winter time in the earlier days, they sleigh-hauled 'em and put 'em in the water at a wet landing where there was a river or whatever. And in the spring when the high water come, then they'd drive all the logs down.
We used to fish the white fish before they had commercial fishing. We'd go catch a dozen white fish, and we'd sell 'em door to door. You didn't have any trouble selling 'em because we'd sell 'em for $1 a dozen, and they weighed about a pound a piece, cleaned.
Then later when we were older, you'd get laid off in the winter time no matter what you did. All the logging would shut down, and then we'd go commercial fishing. You could buy a license for $10, and then you could take 50 fish a day and sell 'em. We got 10 cents a pound. So if you could get a limit of fish, you could get $5. I used to walk across the train bridge and then go over to Bottle Bay. I had a cabin rented, and I'd stay there a week and then the fish buyer would come. Then I'd walk home on Saturday night and give my wife what I'd earned so she could feed the kids.
This lake was full of fish. You could catch all the fish you wanted to catch. Now, when I tell people that, they say, "Why, that's why there's not any now." But that isn't true. See, the dams are what wiped 'em out.
Mainly what I remember, seeing 'em at the powwow, they played a game they called a stick game. It was a gambling game. They used to go in the Humbird ball park, and that was right across from the Lincoln School on Boyer, and that's where the Indians would usually camp when they came for their powwow, and sometimes down on the city beach. [There would be] maybe 20 teepees. And, of course, they did their dances and things for entertainment, and we'd go to that and watch 'em dance.
Blood at age 20 in September 1940 (Photo courtesy of Barbara
In 1939, Barbara (Whitmore) Blood moved to Sandpoint at age 19 from Lodgepole, Neb., where the Depression and the Dust Bowl were making it hard to exist. She started working at Bonner General Hospital in 1944 and worked there for 28 years as a breakfast cook and food service supervisor.
A new life in Sandpoint
We just couldn't get over the abundance of fruit and vegetables and firewood. In Nebraska we burned corn cobs and cow chips. Out here there was wood everywhere. We canned a thousand quarts of fruits and vegetables that fall. In Nebraska the grasshoppers had eaten our garden down to where you couldn't even tell what was planted there. It was just devastating.
What impressed us when we first came here were the loggers. They all wore black jeans and logging boots with the spikes in them, but the jeans were cut off above their boots so that they didn't get snagged. They all wore red hats with the round top, and you looked at 'em and immediately knew they were loggers.
The flood of '48
The winter of '47 there was lots of snow, but then when spring came, there was a terrible flood. The water was over the road between our place and Hornby Creek, and it was also over the road at Johnson Creek west of us. I remember that on Second Avenue where the Second Avenue Pizza is now, the house on the west side of the road -- water was flowing right through the living room windows.
The winter of '68
I was working at the hospital at that time. The snow was so deep that at the intersections in town, you couldn't see the cars coming. So people would tie red neckerchiefs, red brasiers, red panties, whatever they could find that was red, on the very tip of the antenna. I had to be at work at five o'clock in the morning, and sometimes I would get to town and have to wander all over town to try to find the best path to the hospital because the roads weren't always plowed.
The Long Bridge
The old bridge [the second one] was here when we moved here. That came in at the end of First Avenue. There was a part that they could raise up when the boats wanted to go through. It was raised by hand
cranked up by hand. They were mostly tug boats, and they would bring the big boom of logs through the bridge. It was just lots and lots and lots of logs. What I didn't realize -- I was always thinking of it as just one layer of logs -- they say there were logs down beneath, and they had sort of a net or something that kept them all fastened together. It was a common sight here in those days.
Bud Moon at Schweitzer in 1968 (Photo courtesy of Bud Moon)
Bud Moon's family first came to Sandpoint in 1906. His grandfather built Lockwood Lodge on the lake at Sourdough Point, which eventually became the family home. His father became the local mortician in the 1920s and established Moon Chapel. Bud followed in his footsteps, becoming the resident mortician in 1948.
Developing a ski mountain
After World War II, things changed in kind of a major way. That was about the time that we kept looking for a ski area to ski in or to develop. We made trips up Baldy Mountain, and then we made a few trips up into Schweitzer. Jack Fowler was a dentist in Spokane, and his friend, Grant Grosbeck, was an architect in the Spokane valley. They got in touch with several of us in the community and said, "We think that the Schweitzer area would make a good ski area." Those of us that were local thought, Well, I don't think so because it's too steep.
Bob McFarland and the state forestry department had snow cats, so we all piled on those two machines and went up and looked at Schweitzer. From that time until we actually started a corporation, we would go up there every winter that we could and ski out. We incorporated as Schweitzer Basin, Incorporated, and there were three of us that signed the papers -- Bud Palmer, myself and Jack Fowler. From that time, it expanded, and Jim Brown came on board as one of the directors, and we got it going.
It was a community effort. I remember going out to the granges and selling stock to a lot of farm folk and the rural people that we knew. When we built the road up there, there were three logging contractors that agreed to each take a segment of the road for stock in the company. Bud Palmer built the lower third of the road. His brother-in-law, Wayne Ebbett, built the second segment, and Russell Oliver built the third segment. Dan Deshon furnished all the concrete, so Dan became a stockholder. Comp White Jr., our good friend from Clark Fork, was a U.S. representative, and he was instrumental in helping us get an area redevelopment loan, which was the seed money that paid for the original lodge and the No. 1 chair lift. Then we had the good fortune of hiring Sam Wormington from Kimberly, Canada. Sam was our hill manager.
When we look back, it is with a great deal of pride that we've created something in the community for the kids to do in the winter time, and also it has changed the economic picture of the entire community.
In grade school we all learned to read and write, and we learned discipline very quickly. Charlie Stidwell was the principal, and he was a young man in those days. Charlie had a very commanding appearance. The second day I was in school, the door banged open to the classroom, and this huge man stood there with his arms folded and with his head back and glaring at the kids, and that was Mr. Stidwell. If you got sent out in the hall for being disruptive in the class, you quaked in your boots. If Charlie came down the stairs, it was like that was the end of the world, because up on his bookcase in his office, he had a rubber hose. Everybody knew that if you were bad, he would get the rubber hose out and give you a whipping.
When Charlie would come into a room that had been a group meeting or a dance or something like that, he would hold up his fingers like they do in the Boy Scouts, and he wouldn't say a word. He'd just hold his fingers up like that and everybody immediately quit talking. He had an aura about him. I think they need more Charlie Stidwells in the schools these days.
The Sundance Fire
The Priest Lake guys sat around this fire for a week, and they thought they had it all ringed out. Then we got one of these goofy, hot summer winds from the southwest, and man, it just took it out of there and whoosh, it was gone. That fire traveled just within a matter of hours from the back of Schweitzer all the way up to Bonners Ferry.
They had just about every logger in the country up there all fighting the fires. One of the fellas who was a cat skinner for one of the loggers was crippled. He was running a D-8 swamping out the fire line. The fire took off from the back side behind Schweitzer and started up and over the hill, and the fire boss ran down to where he was working the cat. He says, "We gotta get out of here," and the guy says, "You know I can't run." So he says, "OK, start the cat up and we'll run the cat down in the swale, and I'll ride with you."
They got two-thirds of the way down and the fire caught 'em, and they crawled underneath the cat. But that was the end of the road for the skinner and the fire boss.
One of our neighbor kids was up on Roman Nose lookout, Kelly Langston's boy, and the fire had him surrounded. They were talking to him on the radio, and they said, "Get all the blankets you got. Wet 'em down with whatever water you've got. Climb down over the cliff and find yourself a little cave or anything to get into and just sit there and cover yourself up with blankets." The kid did, and by George, after the fire went through and all the roaring got out, they tried to call him on the radio and they got him. He was hot and scorched, but he made it.
Hazel Hall with sailors invited for Thanksgiving in 1942 (Photo by Ross Hall)
Hazel Hall arrived in Sandpoint on Jan. 5, 1932, shortly after marrying Ross Hall. The young photographer had been working for Himes Studio for about seven months when he went to Colorado to marry his sweetheart. Hazel and Ross worked side by side in the studio, which they bought from Mrs. Himes about 10 years later.
The first Long Wagon Bridge
Ross wanted to take me across the bridge. He borrowed Mrs. Himes' car and went across that clickety-clack bridge. He was afraid I'd be afraid, but I wasn't. But a lot of people were beginning to be very afraid because three of the leading citizens in town had gone off the bridge and had drowned. People were getting pretty apprehensive about it. But the very next year, they built the new bridge ... another wooden one.
Farragut and World War II
When we were hit by Japan, that was a great surprise to us. We soon saw an announcement in the Spokesman-Review that we were going to have a naval base on Lake Pend Oreille. Everybody in the whole town said, "What does this mean?" In a short time they knew, because anybody who could even hold a hammer up, could get a job. They could get a job doing anything. And they were paying about a $1.50 to $2 an hour, which 75 cents was the highest that was being paid anywhere at that time.
Ross wanted to do something, but he didn't know what. Lo and behold, Captain McMasters and two other officers came to the studio and asked him if he would be their photographer over at Farragut. Ross had to go to Seattle and a number of places to try to find the right kind of cameras. Recruits were coming and they took pictures, but the dark room wasn't ready yet. He would bring the films to our studio in Sandpoint, and we would develop them and print them the next day. Sometimes we'd have to work all night.
I hired a couple of girls to help me in the studio. One was an Italian and one was a Japanese, both good little workers. They were seniors in high school, and they were friends. One day here came the FBI, and they took this little Japanese girl. They took her right out of the studio because they were taking all the Japanese then. But that was kind of a shock. In no way would she ever have hurt anything or her family. She was the third generation Japanese.
After Farragut, it did leave the community in better condition. Everybody had more money and building began again. It was kind of fun to see it grow. The whole time I've lived here, it has been a real joy.
Ernie Bartelson at the Tam O'Shanter in 1963 (Photo courtesy of Ernie Bartelson)
Ernie Bartelson moved here in 1943 from Seattle and married a local, Opal Chaney. After spending a few years as an independent logging truck driver, he started a 30-year career in bartending. When he first started bartending, there were about 23 bars in Sandpoint.
It seemed like there was a tremendous amount of Canadian traffic at that time [in the 1940s]. Of course, we had slot machines then, so all the bars were busy. One thing about those bars in them days, the bartenders all knew one another. If one bar was short of help, someone was sick, we'd call up another bar and you had a bartender.
My customers [at the Tam O'Shanter] were all family men and working men. Most of them were loggers. They were just great guys. There was Boyd Stevens -- all the Stevenses -- Jack and Dick, and there was Lee Standish and just the whole bunch. This was their headquarters, and it was a family affair. Their wives would come in, and it was really nice because we didn't have any rough stuff. They were rough guys, if you looked at them as loggers, but yet they were just good, solid family men.
We used to have one of the most wonderful police forces you'd ever seen, back when old Mac McCrum was the police chief and then George Elliot was the police chief. Cops like Dub Lewis, Harry Hupp and Pete Peterson and those gentlemen, they'd always walk the beat at night. They'd walk into every bar and see what was going on. Generally, on their last trip through, they'd go up to you and just hold out their hands, and you knew what they wanted. They wanted your car keys, and they'd always just say, "Call us when you're ready." When the bars closed, a police car would pull up, and there would be three or four guys in that police car, and they'd take 'em home. They was looking out after everybody, but yet, you'd never, ever want to cross one of 'em cause they just didn't take any crap off of anybody.
The 'Tervan' sign
I had a neon sign [at the Tam O'Shanter], and the kids in school they'd come by and jump up there, and they were breaking my neon sign all the time. So, I decided to put up a wood sign with just letters on it. I had the letters, and I was up there on a stepladder putting them up. Pinky Cochran across the street that had the Standard station came over to help me. He was handing me the letters, and when we got all through, we had Tavern on one side and Tervan on the other. We stepped back and laughed about it, so we just left it the way it was. So it's remained.
When I was in the Tam O'Shanter, the Globe Trotters were here on a Friday or Saturday night. Anyway, I was working after the game, and there was this bunch of men. They were the biggest men I ever seen in my life. They had to bow their heads to get through the door. They sat up there, and you talk about drink beer. Them boys, they knew how to swallow. The manager told me, "Just keep track with these fellas. I'll settle with you when it's all over." My Gawd, after about an hour or so, of course, they had to leave. I think that was the highlight of my career.
This is definitely true, she said. Some collectors not only buy pieces for their homes, but they also store some of their art in climate controlled warehouses as an investment. For them its exactly like the stock market with its ups and downs. They love the game and the process, and theyre willing to wait it out.
Pat Gooby, left, with his brother Dick, circa 1948 (Photo courtesy of Pat Gooby)
Pat Gooby was born in 1940 and raised in Sandpoint, growing up next to the County Poor Farm on Great Northern Road. Not long after the Poor Farm closed in 1959, the Gooby family acquired the majority of the property. Gooby is now a Realtor.
The county converted what was to be a county hospital into the County Poor Farm designed primarily to take care of elderly men, some cases retarded gentlemen, who could not take care of themselves. Charlie and Alice Albertson came to this area in the early '40s, and they settled out in the Gold Creek area. Charlie was getting a little later in age and what not, so he and his wife went there and caretook [the farm].
My dad didn't think us three boys had enough to do with hand milking 15 cows twice a day. He went over there and got us the job of doing the chores for 10 years up to the time when the county closed it down. Even though it was our job to fill the wood box for the kitchen stove, I don't recall ever cutting a stick of wood for that wood box. Every day, 365 days a year, there was a hobo there after a free meal. Mrs. Albertson made it a point: "If you want your free meal, that's great. Here's the wood box. Out there's the wood. Fill the wood box. You get your meal."
Those gentlemen [residents at the Poor Farm] treated us very well. We ate two meals a day with them virtually for 10 years. Always good food. Always on time. A lot of these gentlemen didn't have family. They were single men who came out here looking for work. Some of 'em were even immigrants from Europe. I remember some of those fellows having quite broken English. They would work in the woods, work on the railroad, whatever, and get injured and could no longer work.
At the time, of course, with all the chores and everything, I'm sure I thought I was totally abused, but it was a good life. I walked to town one or two nights a week to go to the movies for a quarter. I just cannot imagine a better time to be on earth than when I've been here.
Wilma Allen in 1934 (Photo courtesy of Wilma Allen)
Wilma (Harrell McArthur) Allen came to Sandpoint in 1923 at age 5 from Montana, where there had been a crop failure. Her father worked at Humbird Mill and later became the city clerk. Then he founded the F.G. Harrell Agency. The insurance office was in the Panida building, and the Harrells lived upstairs in an apartment. Later, Wilma took over the agency and managed it until the early 1960s.
The footbridge led to Humbird's Mill, which was across the creek. There was a sawmill, planer and a dry kiln and lumber sheds where the golf course is. We also used to go to the Four-L Hall where Humbird Lumber Company
had various picnics and Christmas parties. Just about everybody in Sandpoint -- the men -- worked for the mill. They either worked in town or they worked in the lumber camps.
My dad was a lumber grader, and sometimes we would take his lunch over. In the boiler room is where they ate their lunch. Well, you could see all these huge, big wheels going around -- the mechanism that made the mill and the planer run.
Another thing that I enjoyed -- and not all kids got to do this -- was going up to the file room and watch [a neighbor] file these huge, big saws. They were band saws. When you were up there, you could watch everything that was going on.
There were a lot of kids in Sandpoint because of Mill Town, which was north of Larch; all of that was Mill Town houses. They were built by Humbird, and they paid, I think, it was $7 a month for that house, and that included water and lights. We ice skated on Sand Creek, and the kids from all of our neighborhood and from Mill Town would come down to Humbird's Hill or Pearson's Hill, we used to call it, and more than once we got dumped in the creek.
Humbird Mill, circa 1920 (Dick Himes Photo/Ross Hall Collection)
- 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.
- 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.
"The Indian Stick Game" -- 1931 (Photo by Ross Hall)
Ross Hall was a fresh face in Sandpoint the year he photographed the Kootenai and Blackfoot playing the stick game at the beach in Sandpoint. The young photographer had taken a position with Mrs. Dick Himes to manage the widow's studio and photo collection. 1931 was the last year the Kalispel tribe's August powwow was held in town, and it was Hall's first year in town. Several tribes played this popular version of a gambling game that resembles the familiar "Button, button, who's got the button?" The Kalispels would invite relatives and friends from the Blackfoot, Flathead, Spokane, Colville, Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai and other tribes to join in games and recreation at their regular powwows. The stick game is among the most popular and is still played at powwows in modern times.
Following is a summary of the game drawn from a 1979 paper entitled Twelve Sketches of Kalispel Life, by Allan H. Smith, who was an anthropology professor at Washington State University. Team members and any others who wanted to contribute would present something to wager. The property wagered often amounted to substantial value, and ranged from horses and tack to clothing and ornaments. Players from two teams (usually made up of men) sat or kneeled on the ground and faced each other about six feet apart. They were separated by two logs or boards, which players would beat upon in rhythm with a song. As the game would progress, the excitement would increase.
Each team was given 10 sticks, and the object was to possess all 20 sticks. Once bets were placed, each team was given two pairs of small, polished bones -- two white and two marked with paint or buckskin. Basically, one team would attempt to conceal the bones while the opposing team tried to guess which hands held the unmarked bones. Two players would pass the bones, shifting them from hand to hand, in front or behind their backs while their team members sang a song and beat the sticks -- all in an attempt to confuse their opponents.
When the song ended, the opponent would guess which of the hands -- held out cross-armed in closed fists -- contained the white bones. If he guessed both correctly, his team would take over the bones. If he was incorrect, his team would lose two sticks to the other team. If one guess was correct, then the guessing team only lost one stick and gained one set of bones. They would try to get the remaining set of bones in another guess.
Luck, skill and superstition were all in the mix, making for a great sport and pleasant excitement. The stick game was a popular spectator event, for both Indians and townspeople, and one that would go on as long as there was something left to wager.