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RAILROAD HISTORY arrived and shingles been purchased here for the same. It is planned by the railroad management to have the building constructed this fall, providing the weather settles.” Between the architect’s visit in October 1905 and the building of the depot in the fall of 1916, the sentiments of the managers and owners of the NP changed. Daniel E. Willard, development agent for the NP wrote that “northern Idaho was a bit of rocky scenery over which the Northern Pacific passed as a bridge connecting Montana with Washington.” Undaunted by the NP’s apparent change of heart, the business leaders of Greater Sandpoint launched an assault to acquire what had been promised. Two of the area’s prominent newspapers of the time, the Northern Idaho News and the Pend d’Oreille Review, faithfully recorded the volleys exchanged between the two. In those intervening years, members of both the Sandpoint Commercial Club and the Bonner County Business Men’s

Association pleaded in person and by letter with the NP to provide them a new depot befitting their status as both a growing community and a highvolume shipper along the NP line. They issued invitations and wined and dined members of the NP who would make an appearance. They took them hunting and showed them thriving enterprises of agriculture, timber and mining. On the part of the NP, they countered with explanations of falling railroad receipts and cited lack of both “gettogether spirit and civic pride” among the people of Sandpoint as reasons for failure. However, the NP did pick up the existing depot, flip it around, move it to the other side of the tracks, and included a new coat of red paint. When cajoling failed, the business community resorted to shame and guilt tactics. They reminded the management of the NP that they had received more than 415,000 acres of Idaho land as a grant from the U.S. government – land they were neither using nor allowing to be sold. In the estimation of com-

munity leaders, NP had received their largess and now they owed the people of Idaho, particularly Sandpoint, a new depot. Furthermore, it reflected poorly upon the NP that the Great Northern Railroad could furnish beautiful new stations for their locations while all the NP could offer was broken promises. Matters escalated when NP began building new depots for two communities in Washington and contemplated a new depot in Coeur d’Alene. The March 7, 1913, edition of the Pend d’Oreille Review reported talk of boycott: “At the meeting of the Commercial Club Wednesday evening when H.V. Williams stated that he was going to present a resolution at the next meeting of the Bonner County Business Men’s Association, asking all of the business men in Sandpoint to route their freight over some other railroad.”

Finally, the town’s crown jewel The Northern Pacific Railway management eventually saw the light and contracted with the Rounds

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SANDPOINT MAGAZINE

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SUMMER 2016

Approved

5/10/16 2:35 PM

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...