Sandpoint and Surrounding Communities History

History - Technology

by Bob Gunter

Men invent things for two reasons: There seems to be in every person a desire to find a better way of doing things and the second reason for invention is to make money. The latter reason has become more pronounced since corporate mentality has replaced the individual who worked on his own and at his own expense.

To mention all the great, or not so great, inventions is not the scope of this article. Space will only allow for a few inventions that have changed human life for good or for bad. With apologies to the first person to make a wheel and all the inventors not mentioned here are those inventions by category.

Agriculture

The next time you eat a peanut butter sandwich remember George Washington Carver. He was born a slave and belonged to a man by the name of Moses Carver. He was educated in Iowa and was invited to be the head of the agricultural experimental station at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Carver developed methods of crop rotation and hundreds of uses for sweet potatoes, cow peas, soy beans, and especially peanuts. His work with peanuts produced peanut butter, cooking oil, and printers ink.

Medicine

Thousands of people, with end-stage renal disease, have been kept alive by the invention of Willem J. Kolff. He invented the artificial kidney dialysis machine.

Microbiologist Benjamin Rubin used the eye of a sewing machine needle to help wipe out the killer disease smallpox. He ground and bent the eye into a fork shape to create a vaccine delivery system.

Forrest M. Bird, a Glengary Bay resident, developed the Bird Universal Medical Respirator for acute or chronic cardiopulmonary care. He also developed the Babybird respirator in 1970 and quickly reduced infant mortality for children with respiratory problems from 70 to less than 10 percent worldwide.

Wilson Greatbatch invented the cardiac pacemaker. His implantable cardiac pacemaker has enabled heart patients to survive at a rate comparable to that of a healthy population.

Travel

The name of William P. Lear is most often associated with the Learjet, a corporate jet airplane, but he made his mark in car radios and by inventing the eight-track tape player.

Orville and Wilbur Wright went from bikes to invention of the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight of an airplane. They completed their first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903.

Charles Franklin Kettering invented the first electrical ignition system and the self-starter for automobile engines and the first practical engine-driven generator.

Communication

In 1895 Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, invented equipment that transmitted electrical signals through the air from one end of his house to the other. By the year 1901 he had sent and received signals from across the ocean. These experiments were the dawn of wireless telegraphy or radio.

The work of Philo Taylor Farnsworth made possible today's TV industry. Without him there would have been no TV, no shots from the Moon and Mars and no satellite pictures.

Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone changed the world. His work in the field of communication led to his invention of the photophone, transmission of sound on a beam of light, the precursor of modern optical fiber systems. He also worked in medical research and invented techniques for teaching speech to the deaf.

Charles Ginsburg led the team that developed the first practical videotape machine.

Edwin Howard Armstrong's inventions were so important that to this day every radio and television set makes use of one or more of them. His most important achievement (1933) was the invention of wide-band frequency modulation, known as FM radio.

Emile Berliner invented the microphone that became a part of the first Bell telephones. His gramophone was the first record player to use disks. His trademark was a painting of his dog Nipper, listening to his master's voice. This image was later adopted by RCA.

Space

In 1915 Robert Hutchings Goddard proved that rocket engines could produce thrust in a vacuum and therefore make space travel possible.

Home

Though houses look the same on the outside what goes on inside has changed drastically over the years. The old wood stove has been replaced by cooking units that do everything but dance. They come with a timer and a self-cleaner. Television or a play-station has replaced talking among family members. There seems to be a telephone in every room with a teen-ager sitting on the curb talking into a cell phone. Mr. Thomas A. Crapper provided the one most important change for today's home. He was a plumber from England and invented the commode. I am sure his family was flushed with pride.

Fun and Games

Frisbee: William Frisbee lived in Connecticut and made his living as a baker. To promote his homemade pies he had the family name engraved in the bottom of his pie pans. When a housewife started to bake a pie in the pan she would see the name and remember how much easier it was to buy a pie. Sometime in the 1940's Yale students started sailing the pans through the air and catching them. Later on in California a company, named Wham-O, made a plastic dish and the Frisbee was born.

Ice Cream Cone: The ice cream cone happened by accident. One day Charles Menches was selling his ice cream at a fair. It was hot and he had run out of the dishes he used to hold his cream and the day was only half over. He went to a friend, who was from Syria, who was selling a crisp, wafer like pastry. Menches bought the wafers rolled them up and the first ice cream cones were born.

I have saved for last the one item that has probably caused more ulcers, road rage, and anxiety attacks than any other. The next time you see a friend look at a watch, wait five seconds and ask for the time. The arm comes back up and you are told the time. The first time they looked at the watch was not for the time but to see if they were early or late. Before the year 1904, when the wristwatch was invented, people moved at a much more leisurely pace.

 

To see more great old photos of Sandpoint and the surrounding areas :: Click Here ::

 

All photographs have been used with permission of the Bonner County Museum.

 

Old Sandpoint

To experience the charm of a town one must live there. Bob Selle is an old-timer in the Sandpoint area. Here, in his own words, he gives us a peek at a young person's...

Clark Fork Ferry

In 1916 when the drive for a bridge over the Clark Fork river was nearing an end a reporter wrote "The Clarkfork river basin affording an easy grade will...

City Hall

The old building stood across the creek near the railroad station. There were signs advertising chewing tobacco and Bull Durham nailed to its walls...

Early Sandpoint "Hang Town"

Today Sandpoint, Idaho is known for its beautiful lake and majestic mountains. It is known as a good place to find serenity and a sense of peace. But the Sandpoint...

Ferry Boat Accidents

In our day and time the crossing of a river is an easy thing to do. There are bridges at every desirable location and they are crossed without a thought. It has ...

Chinese in Hope

The Chinese that were located in Hope, Idaho came there on contract to help build the Northern Pacific Railroad...                                                  

McFarland House

The old building is called the McFarland House by practically everyone that lives in the Sandpoint, Idaho area. It is located on the corner of Highway 95...

The Long Bridge

On 26 May 1908 the first pilings for the first bridge connecting Sagle, Idaho with Sandpoint, Idaho were driven. When completed the bridge was...

Remember the Indians

Bob Green was born and lived in Bonner County most of his life and now lives in Washington State. He remembers well, as a young person, seeing...

The Fish House

The whistle of the strange looking craft broke the silence as it pulled away from the City Docks of Sandpoint...                                                                                          

Teddy Roosevelt

I asked Dale Selle of Sandpoint to tell me a story and here, in his own words, is the story he told me. I am sure you will find it interesting and humorous...                

Ice Man

Anyone fortunate enough to be born before the days of modern refrigeration remembers the sound of the horse and wagon or truck nearing the house with its...

Street Cars

In the early days of Sandpoint, Idaho there was quite a transportation problem. For most people there were two ways of getting around-walk or ride a horse...

Schweitzer Mountain

The dream that started long ago is being realized. The growth of the Schweitzer basin, twelve miles from Sandpoint, Idaho, is a present-day reality...            

The Powerhouse

The Power House of the Northern Idaho & Montana Power Company was completed in 1910. It cost nearly $200,000 and, as the Pend Oreille Review stated...

USO Club

The community Hall in Sandpoint, Idaho took on a national function in 1942. The YMCA leased the hall from the city for $1 a year to be used as a USO club...

Court House

The bill forming Bonner County was passed in 1907 and there was dis-order in the court. The city of Sandpoint had a jail and courthouse but the new county...      

1st Sandpoint Hospital

Prior to the year 1902, in Sandpoint, Idaho, you did not have to ask a physician if he or she made house calls. If you did see a doctor it usually was in your home...

2nd Sandpoint Hospital

It was on May 23, 1903 that the Northern Idaho News heralded the opening of Sandpoint's second hospital by stating, " Dr. Ones F. Page established a hospital...

Bonner General Hospital History

Not only were the people of Sandpoint, Idaho, to have their own modern hospital, but for the first time they were offered affordable health care. A local paper...    

Hope Hotel

Hotel Hope was in its prime when Hope, Idaho, grew into prominence after becoming a center of commerce and a division point on the Northern Pacific Railroad...      

First School

In the early years of the pioneer town called Sandpoint, it was a struggle for parents to educate their children. Funds had to be subscribed to hire the teachers...    

Glacial Lake

The pale sun rolled back the mist like a scroll and the surface of the monstrous lake slowly became visible in the morning light. The swirling water and ice...

Above the Call of Duty

Wilma Allen remembers Sandpoint when it was much different than it is today. She recollects how an old-time doctor responded to some of the needs he saw...

Along the Wild Horse Trail

Long before the white man came there was a trail. The Indians for time immemorial had used it. The old trail started on the Spokane River and ran through...

Youth in the 30's

Elizabeth Montaque Whatley came to the Sandpoint area in 1933. She, in her own words, shares what it was like to be a young person at that time. The picture...

A Place of Remembering

When the little village, that was to be Sandpoint, was very young the people who had gathered along the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks had to have a...

Bonner County Poor Farm

Pat Gooby has lived in Sandpoint all his life and as a child did chores at the old County Poor Farm. I asked Pat to tell me a story about the farm and here...

Clark Fork Campus

The beautiful University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus offers a magnificent setting for academic courses and workshops, conferences and retreats...

History of Colburn, Idaho

"Busy Village of Colburn" was how the North Idaho News saw the Colburn area in 1905...                                                                                                                        

Coming Home

We sat on the lawn in front of the house that had meant so much to her. She, and her three children, had come from Seattle for a time of remembering...            

Depression Days

Barbara Blood came to the Sandpoint, Idaho area in 1939. The worst of the Great Depression was over but its consequences could still be felt across the...

Dover Church

Nestled among the houses, while waiting for a ride on the barge to Dover from Laclede, was an eight-room rustic building. It had been built on the banks...

Hope, Idaho

The first white man to come to the area was the famed David Thompson, map maker and fur dealer. He had traveled from Canada and built Kulyspell House...

Early Sandpoint Remembered

Elizabeth Montague Whatley shares, in her own words, some of the things she remembers about her family in early Sandpoint...                                                  

Bonner County Ferries

Apparently the only evidence in existence that indicates there was a ferry crossing operated by a man named Smith is the survey of 1892-96. This survey places...

The Campfield Ferry

The Idaho Territorial Legislature granted a license to operate a ferry to Charles H. Campfield and Associates. That was on December 22, 1864. The authorized...

Thama Ferry part1

The demise of Carey's ferry created some real problems for the farmers and ranchers south of the river, especially since there was almost no road to...

Thama Ferry part2

After the war the County changed their system for hiring ferrymen by doing away with the bidding process. They also increased the pay. Charley Shoopman started...

Sandpoint had no Ferry

On April 18, 1891, C.R.Martin and A.T.Dickinson received a license for $36.00 after posting a $1,000.00 bond, authorizing them to operate a ferry at...

Fire Line

Bob Selle is a long time resident of Bonner County, Idaho. He shares his experience, in his own words, of fighting fire when he was very young...                  

Here and There in Sandpoint 1

Indian tribes from Montana and Washington used to come to Sandpoint by the thousands to pick Huckleberries. The women and children picked...

Here and There in Sandpoint 2

At one time Priest Lake was the scene of a movie camp owned by Nell Shipman. She was an old time movie star and produced movies at Lionhead Lodge...

Indians

This group of Native Americans lived in the northern most part of the Great Basin. From Idaho they spread into Canada, Montana, and Washington...

Kullyspell House

(David Thompson, one of North America's most famous explorers, came to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille and built what he called "Kullyspel House..."                

Library in the Early Years

The roots of the present library system in Bonner County, Idaho, started in 1905 when a few individuals opened a "free reading room". Hope was...

Library Maturing

In September 1966, the people of Sandpoint, Idaho, gathered in the city hall council chambers to witness the signing ceremony that would transfer the post...

There she Comes

The old lady has been sitting by the tracks doing the same job for 83 years. One can see some changes have transpired but she still presents a picture of dignity...

Logging in Bonner County

Bob Selle has lived in this area since 1923. He was seven years of age when his family came to the Sandpoint area. His first experience in logging...

The Museum

The Bonner County, Idaho, Museum is a special place that is dedicated to finding and preserving, for future generations, the history and heritage of the...

Newspapers

The beginning of the newspaper business in this area had its roots in Rathdrum, Idaho. There the Kootenai County Republican first appeared on Friday...

The Sundance Fire

The Selkirk Mountains still show scars from the devastating effects of the Sundance fire. The fire started on August 23, 1967 with a lightning strike...

Northern Mercantile Company

On April 18, 1891, C.R.Martin and A.T.Dickinson received a license for $36.00 after posting a $1,000.00 bond, authorizing them to operate a ferry...

Old P-51 Attacks Sandpoint

Don Johnson, a Sandpoint native, was a member of the class that took an aviation course back in 1946. He remembers well the plane and the men that were...

Pend Oreille Lodge

The two old chimneys still stand like two fingers pointing to the heavens. They are all that remain of what once was a show place along the banks of...

The Pioneer Citizens

On April 29, from 1-4 pm, there was a reception for all who have lived in Bonner County for 50 years or more...                                                                              

Radio Stations

Throughout Sandpoint and Bonner County, Idaho, the event had been awaited with much anticipation. People gathered around their receiving sets, tuned...

Sandpoint 1901-1902

When you walk the main streets of today's Sandpoint you will find most of the businesses are geared to meet the need of the tourist that frequent the area...

Sandpoint Tidbits

Sandpoint was just a few years old when someone thought a name change was in order. The streets we are familiar with today were not always called...

Schools of Glengary Peninsula

But there is one that still stands proudly as if waiting for the children of the area to come by foot, wagon, or on horse back to get "book learning" from a tall...

Smelting Companies

It was in March, 1903, that the Kootenai County Republican announced that "ground will be broken in ten days" for the new smelting company located at...

To Stop a Thief

The method used in the Sandpoint Post Office for protecting their valuables stayed hidden for many years but recently it was discovered, and what a surprise...

Street Names

At the time the streets were named many of them were just in the minds of the Farmins and their guests because much of the land was dense forest...

Technology

Men invent things for two reasons: There seems to be in every person a desire to find a better way of doing things and the second reason for invention is to make...

That's the Law

Take a look at any old town's codes and ordinances and you will find many laws that seem to make no sense at all. Sandpoint, Idaho had their own set of laws...

The Wagon Bridge

Word had come to the doctor in Sandpoint that his help was needed on the South side of the river. It was 1907 and the doctor must make a decision on how he...

Train Technology

Sandpoint, Idaho, came into being because of the railroad and timber. The advances in technology in these two areas are mind boggling. Follow the railroad...

Old High School

Thousands have walked through the doors and glanced up at the crest above their head. It read "Sandpoint High School" and marked the entrance to the building...

The War Years

Many people were uprooted and had to move around the country as a result of World War II. The people who came to Sandpoint and Bonner County...

The War Years 2

Many people came to Sandpoint during the war years. Two of them were Beth Knight and Price May. Her story, in her own words, continues and she tells about...

The War Years 3

Many people came to Sandpoint during the war years. Two of them were Beth Knight and Price May. Her story, in her own words, continues and she shares...

Timber Industry

Sandpoint, Idaho, has always been a timber town. The advancement in the timber industry is no less dramatic than the advances in railroading. The old steam...

Trestle fr. Sunnyside to TrestleCr.

The picture is of the old trestle that used to go from Sunnyside to Trestle Creek just a few miles from Sandpoint, Idaho. In the picture there is seen...

What's in a Name

There are some places located in Bonner County, Idaho that have had name changes. Often the changes reflect a bit of history of the area. Here are a few...

The Whitaker House

This is a story of a house located at 410 Railroad Avenue in Sandpoint, Idaho. It proudly stood overlooking Lake Pend d'Oreille when Sandpoint was...

Winter Activities in Sandpoint
Spring Activities in Sandpoint
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Skiing Sandpoint, Idaho - Outdoor Activities in Sandpoint - Watersports on Lake Pend Oreille

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