Bonners Ferry, Idaho

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Bonners Ferry
City
Bonner's Ferry and the Kootenai River
Bonner's Ferry and the Kootenai River
Location in Boundary County and the state of Idaho
Location in Boundary County and the state of Idaho
Coordinates: 48°41′32″N 116°19′03″W / 48.69222°N 116.31750°W / 48.69222; -116.31750Coordinates: 48°41′32″N 116°19′03″W / 48.69222°N 116.31750°W / 48.69222; -116.31750
Country United States
State Idaho
County Boundary
Area[1]
 • Total 2.61 sq mi (6.76 km2)
 • Land 2.44 sq mi (6.32 km2)
 • Water 0.17 sq mi (0.44 km2)
Elevation 1,896 ft (578 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,543
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,610
 • Density 1,042.2/sq mi (402.4/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 83805
Area code(s) 208
FIPS code 16-09370
GNIS feature ID 0396163

Bonners Ferry is a city in and the county seat of Boundary County, Idaho, United States.[4] The population was 2,543 at the 2010 census.

History[edit]

When gold was discovered in the East Kootenays of British Columbia in 1863, thousands of prospectors from all over the West surged northward over a route that became known as the Wildhorse Trail. Edwin Bonner, a merchant from Walla Walla, Washington, established a ferry in 1864 where the trail crossed the broad Kootenai River. In 1875, Richard Fry, and his Sinixt wife, Justine Su-steel Fry, leased the business,[5] but the location retained the name of the original founder and later became the town of Bonners Ferry.

Before the gold rush, only a few visitors had come to the region; one of the first was explorer David Thompson, a cartographer for the Northwest Trading Company. Thompson and four fellow fur traders arrived in 1808 to trade with the Lower Kootenais. Exhausted and famished[who?], the local natives gave Thompson's party dried fish and moss bread. Thompson returned the next year and established a trading post on Lake Pend Oreille. He was followed in 1846 by Jesuit Priest Father DeSmet, a missionary to the Kootenai Tribe.

The Oregon question was settled by Oregon Treaty of 1846 which established the 49th Parallel north as the boundary between the U.S.A and British North America. Government surveyors of the Boundary Commission came in 1858 to establish the border between the United States and British Columbia.

With mines to the north, the community of Bonners Ferry began to flourish in the 1880s as a supplier.[6] The Norwegian-built steamer Midge began service in 1883 and operated for the next 25 years, carrying passengers and freight between Bonners Ferry and British Columbia. The Great Northern Railway was built here in 1892, followed quickly by the Spokane International and the Kootenai Valley lines.

The village of Bonners Ferry was formally established in 1893, along the south bank of the Kootenai River. Scattered along the valley and benchland were a few ranches and homesteads. Numerous mines were developed in the nearby mountains, including the Continental Mine in the Selkirks. The lumber industry also grew rapidly. Bonners Ferry, perched on stilts to avoid the inevitable spring floods, appeared to be a boom town.

Moving into the 20th century, the town became the center of a lumbering and farming community. The valley land was drained, levees were constructed and farms were cleared on the benches. The rich Kootenai Valley became known as the "Nile of the North", while the Bonners Ferry Lumber Company grew to be one of the world's largest lumber mills. The downtown took shape as brick buildings were constructed, replacing those on stilts. Completion of the Libby Dam in 1975 lessened the threat of serious flooding. Today, much of Main Street dates from this initial period of solid, permanent construction.

On September 20, 1974, the Kootenai Tribe, headed by chairwoman Amy Trice, declared war on the United States government. Their first act was to post soldiers on each end of the highway that runs through the town and they asked people, to pay a toll to drive through what had been the tribe’s aboriginal land. The money would be used to house and care for elderly tribal members. Most tribes in the United States are forbidden to declare war on the U.S. government because of treaties, but the Kootenai Tribe never signed a treaty. The dispute resulted in the concession by the United States government and a land grant of 10.5 acres (42,000 m2) that is now the Kootenai Reservation.[7]

Bonners Ferry is eight miles (13 km) from the site of the Ruby Ridge confrontation and siege in 1992.

In recent years, Mormon Fundamentalists from nearby Bountiful, British Columbia have established a presence in Bonners Ferry. They have brought with them the controversial practice of plural marriage.[8]

Geography[edit]

Bonners Ferry is located at 48°41′32″N 116°19′3″W / 48.69222°N 116.31750°W / 48.69222; -116.31750 (48.692110, −116.317626),[9] at an altitude of 1,896 feet (578 m).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.61 square miles (6.76 km2), of which 2.44 square miles (6.32 km2) is land and 0.17 square miles (0.44 km2) is water.[1]

Bonners Ferry has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb/Dsb) with cold, snowy winters and dry summers with hot days and cool nights. It is almost warm enough to be classed as a Mediterranean climate or oceanic climate, and despite the cold, snow depths above 10 inches (0.25 m) occur only on nine days in an average winter.

Climate data for Bonners Ferry (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 55
(13)
61
(16)
71
(22)
89
(32)
95
(35)
98
(37)
104
(40)
101
(38)
97
(36)
84
(29)
67
(19)
56
(13)
104
(40)
Average high °F (°C) 33.3
(0.7)
39.2
(4)
49.5
(9.7)
60.4
(15.8)
69.3
(20.7)
76.0
(24.4)
83.1
(28.4)
83.4
(28.6)
72.3
(22.4)
57.4
(14.1)
41.3
(5.2)
33.5
(0.8)
58.2
(14.6)
Average low °F (°C) 20.5
(−6.4)
24.3
(−4.3)
29.1
(−1.6)
34.7
(1.5)
41.6
(5.3)
47.6
(8.7)
50.7
(10.4)
50.0
(10)
41.9
(5.5)
34.1
(1.2)
28.6
(−1.9)
22.1
(−5.5)
35.4
(1.9)
Record low °F (°C) −29
(−34)
−25
(−32)
−12
(−24)
12
(−11)
17
(−8)
31
(−1)
32
(0)
28
(−2)
15
(−9)
11
(−12)
−13
(−25)
−33
(−36)
−33
(−36)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.70
(68.6)
1.77
(45)
1.49
(37.8)
1.42
(36.1)
1.76
(44.7)
1.62
(41.1)
1.02
(25.9)
1.07
(27.2)
1.16
(29.5)
1.61
(40.9)
3.03
(77)
2.91
(73.9)
21.56
(547.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 16.0
(40.6)
10.5
(26.7)
3.4
(8.6)
0.5
(1.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.5
(1.3)
9.2
(23.4)
22.0
(55.9)
62.1
(157.8)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 12.6 10.6 9.7 9.2 11.0 10.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 9.4 13.8 14.4 120.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 inch) 7.8 4.9 2.0 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 3.5 9.0 27.9
Source: NOAA (normals, 1971–2000)[11]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 349
1910 1,071 206.9%
1920 1,236 15.4%
1930 1,418 14.7%
1940 1,345 −5.1%
1950 1,776 32.0%
1960 1,921 8.2%
1970 1,909 −0.6%
1980 1,906 −0.2%
1990 2,193 15.1%
2000 2,515 14.7%
2010 2,543 1.1%
source:[12][13]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,543 people, 1,117 households, and 631 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,042.2 inhabitants per square mile (402.4 /km2). There were 1,254 housing units at an average density of 513.9 per square mile (198.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 0.2% African American, 2.0% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.7% of the population.

There were 1,117 households of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.5% were non-families. 38.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.91.

The median age in the city was 41.9 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.4% were from 45 to 64; and 19.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.0% male and 52.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 2,515 people, 1,027 households, and 650 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,186.9 people per square mile (458.0/km²). There were 1,120 housing units at an average density of 528.5 per square mile (204.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.67% White, 0.04% African American, 1.59% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 1.31% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.29% of the population.

There were 1,027 households out of which 31.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 32.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,509, and the median income for a family was $35,237. Males had a median income of $28,558 versus $16,776 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,343. About 17.3% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.6% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

Boundary County Airport is a county-owned, public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) northeast of the central business district of Bonners Ferry.[15]

Radio[edit]

Bonners Ferry is home to KBFI AM 1450, owned by Radio Bonners Ferry, Inc.

Newspapers[edit]

Bonners Ferry is served by a single newspaper The weekly Bonners Ferry Herald, owned by Hagadone Publishing is the official paper of record. The Bonners Ferry Herald website is: http://www.bonnersferryherald.com

Other Languages[edit]

Some of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho speak the city name in their language as Bonners Ferry (Ktunaxa: k̓akanmituk ʔa·kaq̓ǂaʔhaǂ, ʔaq̓anqmi[16]).

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Pryce, Paula. Keeping the Lakes Way, ISBN 0-8020-8223-8, University of Toronto Press, pp. 166–7
  6. ^ Bonners Ferry.info
  7. ^ Kuglin, John (June 2, 1975). "Idaho Indians Reap Spoils Of War". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Retrieved April 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.bonnersferryherald.com/articles/2009/02/19/breaking_news/doc499d94f1360b3158393760.txt
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Bonners Ferry, Idaho
  11. ^ "Climatography of the United States, No. 20, 1971–2000". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  12. ^ Moffatt, Riley. Population History of Western U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850–1990. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1996, 90.
  13. ^ "Subcounty population estimates: Idaho 2000–2007" (CSV). United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for 65S (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective June 3, 2010.
  16. ^ "FirstVoices: Nature / Environment – place names: words. Ktunaxa.". Retrieved 2012-07-07.