|• Total||0.57 sq mi (1.47 km2)|
|• Land||0.57 sq mi (1.47 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||1,365 ft (416 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||530.86/sq mi (205.11/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific (PST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|Area code||509 Exchange: 732|
|GNIS feature ID||1523920|
|Website||Town of Northport|
Northport began when railroad builder Daniel C. Corbin had agents purchase two wooded benches overlooking the Columbia River from the federal government in 1892. Corbin had plans to extend his Spokane Falls and Northern railroad from Little Dalles, the town seven miles south, to the rich mining districts of southern British Columbia. Northport would provide a railhead for two railroads into Canada.
At this time, The Kootenai Steamship Company riverboats provided service from Little Dalles to Revelstoke, B. C. After the Spokane Falls and Northern railroad reached Northport on Sept. 18, 1892, the riverboats ran from Northport to Revelstoke.
Northport became an international port of entry in 1895.
The north half of the Colville Indian Reservation, across the river from Northport, was opened to mining in February 1896. Miners and prospectors flooded into the area and came into town to record their claims, get supplies and entertain themselves.
In 1890, ores rich in copper, gold and silver were discovered in Canada at Red Mountain, near the present city of Rossland, British Columbia. Mines were developed and the ore was laboriously shipped out by wagon on a rude road 17 miles and ferried across the Columbia river to Northport and the Spokane Falls and Northern railway. In January 1896, 170 four horse teams hauled ore down the road in one week. The need for rail transportation was great and D. C. Corbin set about obtaining approvals and charters to fill the need. Construction began on the American side in May 1896. A ferry was built at Northport to carry engines and cars across the Columbia River until a bridge could be built. The Columbia and Red Mountain railroad began service in December. The bridge over the Columbia River was begun in early spring 1897 and completed in October. Northport was now a busy railway center boasting a two-story 180 foot long passenger depot, the connection point of three railroads linking the supply center of Spokane to the mining districts of British Columbia.
The Red Mountain mines were now producing more ore than the smelter at Trail British Columbia could process. The mine owners, mostly Americans, wanted another smelter. Northport had limestone and rail connections for importing coke, coal and building materials and exporting the smelter matte to distant refineries. D. C. Corbin donated the land on a bench overlooking the river north of town and construction began in August 1897. The smelter began operations in January 1898. Two hundred men were employed which soon increased to almost six hundred.
On June 23, 1898, an election was held to incorporate an area of the county with 1500 inhabitants as the "City of Northport", and to elect a mayor and city council. Incorporation passed 228 for, 5 against. Now, instead of the county collecting over $5000 in local saloon fees, the new town could afford to improve the streets, build sidewalks, have a health officer, a fire department, a marshall and a jail.
The US immigration inspector was located at Northport in 1900.
At this time, the city was financed without property taxes but by licensing saloons, and by fines levied on gambling and courtesans.
In these first years, the smelter mostly treated the copper and gold ores from the LeRoi mine near Rossland, B. C., but in 1906 the LeRoi contracted the Trail, B. C. smelter to treat its ores and the Northport smelter gradually ceased operations, shipping the last matte in May 1911.
After the smelter was idled, things looked bleak for Northport. Times were hard, the population fell to 300, many businesses closed and the Northport State Bank became insolvent, unable to pay its depositors.
On July 22, 1914, Northport suffered another major fire. Blocks 3 and 4 were destroyed. This included most of the business district, a warehouse and the Great Northern train depot. Only a few businesses rebuilt and the once densely packed block 4 has remained mostly vacant ever since.
Then, in September 1915, the Northport Smelting and Refining Co. was purchased by the Hercules Mining Co. and the Tamarack and Custer Consolidated Mining Co. The smelter was renovated to treat lead ores, and began operations March 12, 1916.
At the end of the world war, demand for lead fell and unfavorable freight rates led the Northport smelter to close in 1921. The plant was sold to the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) in August 1922. ASARCO dismantled the works and the boom days were over.
In 1925,in addition to the general depressed business conditions locally, the smelter at Trail, British Columbia, 20 miles up the river valley, doubled sulfur emissions. The toxic smoke drifted down the river valley to the United States. Trees died, crops withered and cattle sickened. A meeting of the local farmers led to the formation of a Citizens Protective Association and helped bring the situation to the attention of members of congress. The US State Department opened negotiations with Canada and the matter was referred to The International Joint Commission. It was the first case of air pollution to come before an international tribunal. Negotiations dragged on for years. In 1934 President Roosevelt pressed the case, leading to more studies and a Final Decision was arrived at on Mar 11, 1941 in which $438,000 was paid to compensate the farmers. Individual farmers who had made claims received an amount that was only a small fraction of their losses.
The Tribunal declared that “no state has the right to use or permit the use of its territory in such a manner as to cause injury by fumes in or to the territory of another or the properties or persons therein, when the case is of serious consequence”. The Trail Smelter case became "one of the most cited and fundamental cases for international environmental law".
Northport was given its name since it was once the northernmost town on the Spokane Falls and Northern Railway.
Northport is located at (48.914460, -117.782331).
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Northport has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
|Climate data for Northport|
|Record high °F (°C)||57
|Average high °F (°C)||31.7
|Average low °F (°C)||19.2
|Record low °F (°C)||−32
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.06
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||18.1
|Average precipitation days||12||9||9||8||10||10||5||5||6||9||12||12||107|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 295 people, 139 households, and 76 families living in the town. The population density was 508.6 inhabitants per square mile (196.4/km2). There were 168 housing units at an average density of 289.7 per square mile (111.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.2% White, 0.3% African American, 1.7% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
There were 139 households, of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.3% were non-families. 38.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.75.
The median age in the town was 48.5 years. 21% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 18.3% were from 25 to 44; 35.9% were from 45 to 64; and 18.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.2% male and 49.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 151 households, and 83 families living in the town. The population density was 592.7 people per square mile (227.6/km2). There were 179 housing units at an average density of 315.8 per square mile (121.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 94.94% White, 0.60% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 3.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.36% of the population.
There were 151 households, out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.4% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 25.0% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 22.0% from 25 to 44, 30.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $21,719, and the median income for a family was $26,875. Males had a median income of $28,929 versus $16,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $11,679. About 15.9% of families and 27.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.5% of those under age 18 and 17.4% of those age 65 or over.
Peter Janni was born in Italy in 1874 and came to America to work on the railroad. Eventually he ended up in Northport and in 1923 purchased a limestone quarry south of Northport. Janni shipped limestone all over Washington from the quarry. The quarry was located in the center of the tetrahedrite mineralized zone of Northern Stevens County. Ore deposits in the district occur in “Vugs” or “Chimneys” usually narrow veins of galena with high silver content. In 1953 Janni's crew discovered a chimney of galena with silver, 6 feet by 5 feet on the second level of the quarry. They followed it down and shipped nearly forty tons of high grade galena to CM&S Company's lead refinery in nearby Trail. After following it down 15 feet Janni came and said “cover the damn thing up”. Janni's men pleaded to follow the chimney further, but Janni refused saying “maybe someday we will dig her up again”. Why he abandoned the chimney remains a mystery. According to some old timers in Northport the rich chimney is still at the quarry buried under tons of limestone located on the second level.
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- Fahey, John. Inland Empire, D. C. Corbin and Spokane, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1965, p119
- An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, Western Historical Publishers, 1904, p138
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- The Northport News, Northport,Washington,1896-01-23
- Fahey, John, Inland Empire, D. C. Corbin and Spokane, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1965, pp161-164
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- The Northport News, Northport,Washington, 1898-05-05, 1898-05-12
- The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, 1898-05-04
- The Northport News, Northport,Washington, 1898-06-08
- An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, Western Historical Publishers, 1904, p146
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- The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, 1914-07-23
- Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, WA, 1914-07-24
- Sanborn Map Co.,New York, Northport,Washington, February 1918, August 1929
- The Northport News, Northport,Washington, 1922-08-18 "Smelter History Here from the Beginning to Now"
- Northport Mining and Smelting Company, Manuscript Group 234, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho
- The Lotze Family of Onion Creek, Washington, Anna Marie Lotze Reeves, Gray Dog Press, Spokane,WA p 79
- The Lotze Family of Onion Creek, Washington, Anna Marie Lotze Reeves, Gray Dog Press, Spokane,WA, p100
- The Trail Smelter Case: International Air Pollution in the Columbia Valley, Keith A. Murray, BC Studies, no. 15, Autumn 1972 https://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/download/757/799
- Trail Smelter Arbitration, U.S.-Canada, Decision, March 11th, 1941, Reports of International Arbitral Awards, Vol. 3 1938-1982.
- An International Environmental Law case study: The Trail Smelter Arbitration, Catherine Prunella, International Pollution Issues, City University of New York, December 2014 https://intlpollution.commons.gc.cuny.edu/an-international-environmental-law-case-study-the-trail-smelter-arbitration/
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- Climate Summary for Northport, Washington
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- N.L. Barlee, Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns of Northeastern Washington., Hancock House Publishers., 2004