Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint is the largest town in, and the county seat of, Bonner County, Idaho, United States.[4] Its population was 7,365 at the 2010 census.

Sandpoint's major economic contributors include forest products, light manufacturing, tourism, recreation and government services. As the largest service center in the two northern Idaho counties (Bonner and Boundary), as well as northwestern Montana, it has an active retail sector. It is the headquarters of Wildwood Grilling, a manufacturer of Cedar grilling planks and other wood smoking products; it is the headquarters of Litehouse Foods, a national salad dressing manufacturer; and Quest Aircraft, a maker of utility aircraft.

Sandpoint lies on the shores of Idaho's largest lake, 43-mile-long Lake Pend Oreille, and is surrounded by three major mountain ranges, the Selkirk, Cabinet and Bitterroot ranges. It is home to Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho's largest ski resort, and is on the International Selkirk Loop and two National Scenic Byways (Wild Horse Trail and Pend Oreille Scenic Byway). Among other distinctions awarded by national media in the past decade, in 2011 Sandpoint was named the nation's "Most Beautiful Small Town" by Rand McNally and USA Today.[5]

Sandpoint, Idaho
Downtown Sandpoint, ID
Downtown Sandpoint, ID
Location of Sandpoint in Bonner County, Idaho.
Location of Sandpoint in Bonner County, Idaho.
Coordinates: 48°16′N 116°34′W / 48.267°N 116.567°WCoordinates: 48°16′N 116°34′W / 48.267°N 116.567°W
CountryUnited States
 • Total4.20 sq mi (10.87 km2)
 • Land3.99 sq mi (10.32 km2)
 • Water0.21 sq mi (0.55 km2)
2,096 ft (639 m)
 • Total7,365
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,003.01/sq mi (773.39/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
83862, 83864, 83888
Area code(s)208
FIPS code16-72100
GNIS feature ID0398095


The Salish Tribes, specifically the Kalispel and the Kootenai built encampments on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille every summer, fished, made baskets of cedar, and collected huckleberries before returning to either Montana or Washington in the fall. The encampments ended before 1930.[6]

The region was extensively explored by David Thompson of the North West Company starting in 1807. Disputed joint British/American occupation of the Columbia District led to the Oregon boundary dispute. This controversy ended in 1846 with the signing of the Oregon Treaty, whereby Britain ceded all rights to land south of the 49th parallel.

In the 1880s, the Northern Pacific Railroad brought European and Chinese settlement to the area.

In August 1888, twenty-nine-year-old author and civil servant Theodore Roosevelt visited Sandpoint on a caribou-hunting trip in the Selkirk Mountains.[7] Roosevelt documented what a rough-and-tumble environment "Sand Point" was at that time (and for many decades following).

Sandpoint was officially incorporated in 1898.

Timber harvesting and railroads drove the economy for nearly a century as loggers moved in from the over-harvested Great Lakes region. Several lumber companies operated in the region from as early as 1896 to present, the most notable being the Humbird Lumber Company which operated from 1900 to around 1944. The lumber companies bought land from the Northern Pacific Railroad and built a major mill at Sandpoint and adjacent Kootenai. Lumber company-owned railroads extended into many of the local drainages including Grouse Creek, Gold Creek and Rapid Lightning Creek. Although the trees were never exhausted in the area, Humbird Lumber succumbed to the low timber prices of the Great Depression.

"Stump ranches" were sold by Humbird to many families who slowly cleared much of the valley land of tree stumps. Farming and ranching became the third largest business in the area, behind lumber and railroads, prior to the "discovery" of Lake Pend Oreille as a sports fishery in the 1950s. The economy was given a boost during World War II from Farragut Naval Station, a training center for the US Navy located at the southwestern end of Lake Pend Oreille.

The opening of Schweitzer Mountain Resort in 1963 turned the area into a year-round tourism destination. The beauty of the surrounding Selkirk and Cabinet Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille has kept Sandpoint a tourist favorite for water sports, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and skiing.

In the 1980s and 1990s, 30 miles south of Sandpoint, the areas of 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.[8] The lawsuit bankrupted the organization and forced them to give up their Hayden Lake property and disband.[9] In December 2011, Sandpoint became the first city in Idaho to pass an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Community organizations stage a number of regionally known annual events, including Sandpoint Winter Carnival in February; including the 50s vintage car show in May; the Festival at Sandpoint summer music festival in August; and Idaho State Draft Horse International show in September. Sandpoint's historic vaudeville-era Panida Theater hosts frequent performing art events and an ongoing independent film series. A robust visual arts community supported by the Pend Oreille Arts Council also contributes to Sandpoint's reputation as a center for arts and culture in northern Idaho and the Inland Northwest.

Geography and climate

Sandpoint, Idaho
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: NOAA

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.79 square miles (12.41 km2), of which 3.98 square miles (10.31 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.10 km2) is water.[10] Sandpoint has a fairly typical inland Northwestern humid continental climate (Köppen Dsb), with cold, snowy winters and dry summers with large diurnal temperature swings from hot in the day to very cool at night. The record low was −37 °F (−38 °C) on December 30, 1968, while the record high was 104 °F (40 °C) recorded on both July 20, 1923 and July 24, 1994. The wettest month was December 1933 with 11.99 inches (304.5 mm) of total precipitation and the most monthly snowfall 68.8 inches (174.8 cm) in January 1969.


Sandpoint id city beach
City Beach on Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint
Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20178,390[3]13.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

The median income for a household in the city was $41,145, and the median income for a family was $47,875. The per capita income for the city was $22,888. The percentage of persons below the poverty line (2007-2010) was 19.4%.

The median value of owner-occupied housing in the city was $228,800. The homeownership rate (2006-2010) was 49.6%.

Of the population over 25 years of age (2006-2010), 89.9% had graduated high school, 25.6% had achieved a bachelor's degree or higher.

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,365 people, 3,215 households, and 1,811 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,850.5 inhabitants per square mile (714.5/km2). There were 3,769 housing units at an average density of 947.0 per square mile (365.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.5% White, 0.1% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.9% of the population.

There were 3,215 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.7% were non-families. 36.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.86.

The median age in the city was 38.8 years. 23.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 25.9% were from 45 to 64; and 16.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.


Local businesses in and around Sandpoint include Litehouse (a national salad dressing manufacturer), Wildwood Grilling, Thorne Research, Quest Aircraft, Timbersled (Polaris), Encoder Products, Percussionaire (medical instrumentation) and Pend d'Oreille Winery, a nationally recognized wine maker.

Since 2002, Sandpoint has been home to Quest Aircraft[13] the manufacturer of the Kodiak, a ten-seat, single-engine, turboprop airplane designed and produced to meet the needs of missionary and humanitarian organizations that travel to remote regions of the world.

Since 1995, Wildwood Grilling has called Sandpoint home to its manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters. They manufacture grilling planks in flavors such as Cedar and Alder, smoking chips and other wood smoking products. Wildwood Grilling employs dozens of locals, both in manufacturing as well as administrative, marketing, sales and management positions.


Sandpoint is part of the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Sandpoint High School and Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School educate students in grades 9 through 12.

Forrest Bird Charter School educates grades 6-12.

Rail transportation

The Sandpoint Amtrak station serves as the only stop in Idaho. The Amtrak Empire Builder route carries passengers daily in both directions between Chicago, Illinois to the east and Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon to the west.

Local media


Television stations serving Sandpoint originate from the Spokane, Washington market:


Notable people


  1. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Bly, Laura (22 July 2011). "The five best small towns in America". USA Today. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  6. ^ Green, Bob. "History of Sandpoint, Idaho - Remembering The Indians". Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  7. ^ Gunter, Bob. "History of Sandpoint, Idaho - Teddy Roosevelt in Early Sandpoint". Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "Attorney Morris Dees pioneer in using 'damage litigation' to fight hate groups". CNN. September 8, 2000. Archived from the original on 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  9. ^ "Keenan v. Aryan Nations". Southern Poverty Law Center. 2000. Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  11. ^ "SANDPOINT EXPERMNT STN, IDAHO - Climate Summary". Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Quest Aircraft Company". Quest Aircraft Company. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  14. ^ "John Craigie's New Album "October is The Kindest Month" is a Work of Art from Beginning To End". Jambandfriendly. 2011-10-11.
  15. ^ Olson, Ben (January 13, 2017). "A Reader interview with Viggo Mortensen". The Sanpoint Reader. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

Further reading

External links

Bonner County, Idaho

Bonner County is a county in the northern part of the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 40,877. The county seat and largest city is Sandpoint. Partitioned from Kootenai County and established in 1907, it was named for Edwin L. Bonner, a ferry operator.

Bonner County comprises the Sandpoint, ID Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Brian Farber

Brian Farber (born April 15, 1982 in Sandpoint, Idaho) is an American soccer player.

Chuck Kress

Charles Steven "Chuck" Kress (December 9, 1921 – March 4, 2014) was an American professional baseball first baseman. He played seven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1947 to 1954 for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Brooklyn Dodgers. He served in the U.S. Army for three years during World War II (1943–1945).Kress retired from baseball in 1961, moving to Rush Lake, Minnesota in 1973, to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1980 and to Sandpoint, Idaho in 2002.

Compton I. White Jr.

Compton Ignatius White Jr. (December 19, 1920 – October 19, 1998) was a two-term congressman from northern Idaho. A Democrat, he was elected to the open seat in the first district in 1962 and re-elected in 1964. White left office 52 years ago in January 1967 and is the last from the Idaho Panhandle region to represent the state in Congress.

Don Osborn

Donald Edwin Osborn (June 23, 1908 – March 23, 1979) was an American pitcher and manager in minor league baseball and a scout, farm system official and pitching coach at the Major League level. Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Osborn threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg).

Osborne's professional playing career began in 1929, and while he never reached the Major Leagues as a pitcher, he enjoyed great success in the Pacific Coast League (1936–38; 1943–47) and the Western International League (1938–42). He won 22 games for the 1936 Seattle Indians, and in 1942 led the WIL in victories (22), winning percentage (.815) and earned run average (1.63) as the playing manager of the league champion Vancouver Capilanos. It was Osborn's first year as a manager. He would lead teams in the farm systems of the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies through 1957 before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1958 as a roving troubleshooter and managerial consultant in their minor league system.

In 1963, Osborn was named pitching coach of the Pirates, and he would serve three terms in that post—1963–64; 1970–72; and 1974–76. During most of that time, he worked under manager Danny Murtaugh, and he was a member of the 1971 World Series champion Pirates club. At age 70, Osborn was appointed pitching coach of the Bucs for a fourth time after the 1978 season—this time by skipper Chuck Tanner—but ill health forced his resignation a few weeks after his appointment. He died in Torrance, California, during spring training in March 1979.

As a minor league pitcher, Osborn won 199 games, losing 119 for a stellar .626 winning percentage. According to The Sporting News' Official Baseball Register, Osborne was nicknamed "The Wizard of Oz" for his pitching mastery. His record as a minor-league manager was 929–751 (.553) with four championships.

Don Samuelson

Donald William Samuelson (July 27, 1913 – January 20, 2000) was a Republican politician from Idaho. He was the state's 25th governor, serving a single term from 1967 to 1971, and is the state's most recent incumbent governor to lose a re-election bid (1970).

Jake Rosholt

Jake Rosholt (born September 2, 1982) is an American mixed martial artist and former collegiate amateur wrestler. A professional competitor from 2007-2012, he competed for the UFC, WEC, Bellator, and Shark Fights. He is the older brother of current heavyweight MMA fighter/Oklahoma State NCAA Champion Jared Rosholt.

Jared Rosholt

Jared Rosholt (born August 4, 1986) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Heavyweight division of the World Series of Fighting. A professional competitor since 2011, Rosholt has also competed for the UFC, Titan FC, and Legacy FC. He is the younger brother of former mixed martial artist Jake Rosholt.

Joe Mather

Joseph Paul Mather (born July 23, 1982) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs.

Joyce Broadsword

Joyce M. Broadsword (born June 18, 1958 in Sandpoint, Idaho) served as a Republican Idaho State Senator from 2004 to 2012 representing the 2nd District.


KIBR (102.5 FM) is a radio station broadcasting a country format. Licensed to Sandpoint, Idaho, United States, the station is currently owned by Benefield Broadcasting, Inc.

Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille ( pond-ə-RAY) in the northern Idaho Panhandle is the largest lake in the U.S. state of Idaho and the 38th-largest lake by area in the United States, with a surface area of 148 square miles (380 km2). It is 43 miles (69 km) long, and 1,150 feet (350 m) deep in some regions, making it the fifth-deepest in the nation. The lake is fed by the Clark Fork River and the Pack River, and drains into the Pend Oreille River, as well as subsurfacely into the Spokane Valley–Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.

It is surrounded by national forests and a few small towns, with the largest population on the lake at Sandpoint. The majority of the shoreline is non-populated and all but the southern tip of the lake is in Bonner County. The southern tip is in Kootenai County and is home to Farragut State Park, formerly the Farragut Naval Training Station during World War II, of which a small part is still active and conducts U.S. Navy acoustic underwater submarine research.The surrounding forests consist of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, red cedar, poplar, quaking aspen, hemlock, paper birch and western larch. Local animal species include white-tailed deer, elk, gray wolves, moose, mice, squirrels, black bears, grizzly bear, coyotes, and bobcats, along with bald eagles, osprey, owls, hummingbirds, hawks, woodpeckers, ducks, and the mountain bluebird. The lake is a home for several species of migratory water fowl.

Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Summers Robinson (born 1943) is an American novelist and essayist. During her writing career Robinson has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, the 2012 National Humanities Medal, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. In 2016 Robinson was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Robinson began teaching at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1991 and retired in the spring of 2016.Robinson is best known for her novels Housekeeping (1980) and Gilead (2004). Her novels are noted for their thematic depiction of both rural life and faith. The subjects of her essays have spanned numerous topics, including the relationship between religion and science, nuclear pollution, John Calvin, and contemporary American politics.

Mel Wasserman

Mel Wasserman (1930 – April 29, 2002) was a businessman, entrepreneur and founder of CEDU Education. He was a pioneer in the unaccredited Therapeutic Boarding School industry who used cult doctrines as their philosophical base.

Nick Hagadone

Nicholas Michael Hagadone (born January 1, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians.

He was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft but didn't sign, instead opting to go to Bellevue Community College and later the University of Washington. He was later selected by the Boston Red Sox with their first pick, 55th overall, in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft. He was rated by Baseball America as the 60th best prospect for the 2007 Draft.

Sandpoint station

Sandpoint is a train station along Amtrak's Empire Builder line in Sandpoint, Idaho, as well as the only operating Amtrak station in Idaho. The station site is owned by BNSF Railway.The station building is the oldest remaining active passenger depot of the former Northern Pacific Railway. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and is known therein as the Sandpoint Burlington Northern Railroad Station, or as the Northern Pacific Depot.In June 2009 Amtrak announced that it was considering a new stop in Sandpoint, citing concerns about the new Sand Creek Byway. City officials and the Idaho Department of Transportation (ITD) pledged additional funds to support retaining Amtrak service at the original depot.As part of mitigation efforts related to construction of the byway, ITD paid BNSF approximately $922,000 to stabilize the depot or design and erect a replacement facility. As of winter 2013, Amtrak was working with station owner BNSF to modify the existing lease to include parts of the building and the platform. Once this process is completed, Amtrak will move forward with design work for the rehabilitation; in conjunction with this project, Amtrak will also fund a new ADA compliant concrete platform with tactile edging.

Solar Roadways

Solar Roadways Incorporated is an American company based in Sandpoint, Idaho aiming to develop solar powered road panels to form a smart highway.

Their proof-of-concept technology combines a transparent driving surface with underlying solar cells, electronics and sensors to act as a solar array with programmable capability. The road panels are to be made from recycled materials and incorporate photovoltaic cells. The project has received criticism in regards to its feasibility and its efficiency compared to traditional solar panel installations.

Tinker Hatfield

Tinker Linn Hatfield, Jr., (born April 30, 1952, Hillsboro, Oregon) is an American designer of numerous Nike athletic shoe models, including the Air Jordan 3 through Air Jordan 15, the twentieth anniversary Air Jordan XX, the Air Jordan XXIII, the 2010 (XXV), the 2015 Air Jordan XX9 (XXIX), and other athletic sneakers including the world's first "cross training" shoes, the Nike Air Trainer. Hatfield oversees Nike's "Innovation Kitchen". He is Nike's Vice President for Design and Special Projects. For his many innovative designs and numerous creations over more than three decades, Hatfield is considered a legend of design.

Vincent Bertollini

Richard Vincent Bertollini (born 1939) is an American anti-semite and white supremacist who gained notoriety for providing financial support to Richard Butler, the founder of the Aryan Nations.

Bertollini, along with a close friend and former business partner, Carl Story (b. 1936), were notorious for running the Sandpoint, Idaho-based 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, a Christian Identity ministry which worked closely with Butler's group and often mailed out its racist pamphlets to area neighborhoods.Bertollini was arrested April 12, 2006 by the FBI in Santa Fe, New Mexico after fleeing a drunk driving charge in Bonner County, Idaho, in July 2001. On August 25, 2006 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two concurrent prison sentences of one to four years, both of which would be suspended, and concurrent 6-month sentences in the Bonner County Jail. The agreement also called for $10,000 in fines with $2,000 suspended, leaving a balance of $8,000. In June 2007 he received 41 months on federal charges in New Mexico of being a fugitive in possession of firearms ("At the time of his arrest, agents discovered a sawed-off, 12-gauge shotgun with a shell racked into firing position. The search of the pickup truck he was driving also yielded a loaded .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol, federal court documents indicate.").After being in Florence, Colo., federal prison, he has gotten part-time employment to supplement his monthly Social Security payments using his new name (Vincent Bert), moving to Albuquerque from Santa Fe, N.M., where he maintains a post office box.

Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Sandpoint, Idaho
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 54
Average high °F (°C) 32.3
Average low °F (°C) 20.3
Record low °F (°C) −31
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.06
Average snowfall inches (cm) 22.8
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 14 12 12 10 11 10 5 5 7 10 13 15 124
Source: Sandpoint Experimental Station[11]
Municipalities and communities of Bonner County, Idaho, United States

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