Sandpoint, Idaho

Sandpoint, Idaho
City Beach on Lake Pend Oreille

Because of the location on Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint's primary businesses revolve around recreation and tourism. Coldwater Creek, the women's apparel retailer, is headquartered in Sandpoint.

The Kootenai and Kalispel of the Salish Tribes summered here, fishing, making cedar baskets and collecting huckleberries before returning to either the Washington or Montana areas in the fall. They enjoyed this lifestyle for hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived. The first recorded European to travel through the area was David Thompson of the Northwest Fur Company in 1807. As this area was part of the disputed Columbia District, settling here was troublesome until the British and American governments signed the Oregon Treaty, ceding everything south of the 49th parallel to the U.S. The Northern Pacific Railroad built its way through here in the 1880's.

The 29-year-old Theodore Roosevelt visited "Sand Point" in August, 1888, on a hunting trip to the Selkirk Mountains and remarked about how rough-and-tumble the area was. From about 1896 on, the economy here centered around railroads and logging. Many lumberjacks and timber companies moved here after deciding the Great Lakes region had been over-harvested. A major sawmill was built at Sandpoint and another at nearby Kootenai. The lumber companies even built their own railroads into several of the large drainages around Sandpoint. Although their timber cutting activities were extensive, they never exhausted the supply of usable timber. However, the lumber industry was brought low by the Great Depression and many companies went out of business.

When Lake Pend Oreille was "discovered" as a big sports fishery in the 1950's, the economy of Bonner County started to pick up again. Schweitzer Mountain Resort opened in 1963. That turned the Sandpoint area into a year-round destination. These days, the beauty of the surrounding Cabinet and Selkirk Mountains coupled with Lake Pend Oreille have made Sandpoint an internationally recognized favorite for hunting, fishing, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, skiing and water sports.

Fast Facts about Sandpoint, Idaho
Sandpoint, Bonner County, ID
Zip Codes: 83862, 83864, 83888
Incorporated: 1898
Elevation: 2,096'
Latitude: 48.2756°N
Longitude: 116.5591°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 92.7%
Hispanic: 4.3%
Native American: 0.3%
Two or More Races: 1.4%
African-American: 0.7%
Asian: 0.6%
High School or Higher: 86.4%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 23.4%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 9.0%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 8,370
Males: 3,903
Females: 4,467
Median Resident Age: 36.5 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $38,500
Estimated Median Home Value: $235,000
Population Density: 2,144 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Sandpoint: 89.1
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Health Care, Construction, Educational Services, Forestry & Timber Products, Retail Services, Transportation Services, Real Estate Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 16.1%
Photo of City Beach at Sandpoint, Idaho courtesy of Wikipedia userid Epdp, CCA ShareAlike 3.0 License.
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