Sandpoint, Idaho: a community nestled along the shore of Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Orellie

The pacific beauty of northern Idaho with it’s many sapphire blue lakes and densely forested mountains can hardly be thought of as a stronghold for national terrorist organizations.  The Aryan Nations congregated in the area of Hayden Lake and Coeur d’Alene in the 1980’s, but the more than 7,000 residents of Sandpoint, Idaho vehemently protested, and formed the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force.  The Aryan Nations, bankrupted by a lawsuit against them, lost the 20 acre site at Hayden Lake, and eventually demobilized.

Downtown Sandpoint, ID

Apart from the recent history of Bonner County, the community of Sandpoint, Idaho evolved as a result of the logging industry.  The first lumber company, built-in 1890, hired laid-off lumberjacks from the once thick forested areas of the Great Lakes region.  Railroads followed shortly thereafter to support the lumber industry.

Today, Amtrak rolls through town, making Sandpoint the only stop in Idaho along the Chicago – Seattle line.  New industries, including a salad dressing manufacturer, a medical instrumentation plant, and Coldwater Creek (a national producer of clothing and apparel)  now employ local residents.

Entrance to the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market in downtown Sandpoint

The Cedar Street Bridge, once home to Coldwater Creek, now houses the Cedar Bridge Public Market; a small mall-like structure in downtown Sandpoint with mom-and-pop shops, vendors and eateries.

Coordinates:  48°16’N 116°34’W

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Copyright 2015 Rita Boehm. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Photographs, artwork, and/or related text are available for licensing. Contact writer for further information
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