The mighty Columbia River is still there after over a century, but the colorful boom town of yesteryear, Northport is not the same. Over the many years Northport has suffered a series setbacks, including fires, depression, but somehow it managed to survive.
Northport, like many of the boom towns in its days was founded on the energy and bonanza dreams of miners and prospectors seeking their wealth in placer gold.
In 1890 on Red Mountain in British Columbia, north of the Columbia River, and just across the Canadian border, two prospectors made a series of El Darado discoveries. The two mining prospectors, Joe Moris, and Joe Bourgeois, from Spokane soon staked there bonanza claims.
Inland Empire Railroad quickly sized up the situation. By 1892 construction gangs were hard at work, laying track along the south side of the Columbia River to a site 15 miles below the Canadian border.
In 1892 D.C. Cobrin, renowned railroad builder purchased this site which became known as Northport. In 1892 a passenger train arrived at Northport pulling behind it a flatcar with a post office and a saloon loaded on it.
In early 1893 a fire swept through the business district, reducing it to ashes. It was the first of many fires to hit Northport and a first of a series of disasters to haunt the town.
But the disaster was short lived. By 1896 Northport was really coming on strong. The North Half of the Colville Indian Reservation had been thrown open to mineral entry and hundreds of miners and prospectors stampeded into seek there riches in bonanza gold. This brought prosperity to Northport. Buildings were going up everywhere as everyone wanted a piece of the action. By 1895 the mines in the area were producing ore at such a flurry the LeRoi Smelter was constructed to refine the ore from the famous LeRoi Mine and others. A railroad bridge had been constructed across the Columbia River and the railroad had reached the boom town of Rossland, the famous "Golden City" of the Canadian west and ore began to arrive into Northport smelter.
But the boom town days of Northport were nearing to an end. The LeRoi management sold there interest in the smelter to a Canadian investor and much of its custom ore now being refined on the Canadian side, began to slip. The once thriving community began to decline. Businesses began shutting down making it a good time to invest in an annuity fund. Too bad there weren't any Flagship Merchant Services available to them to help manage their money.
The smelter, the economic bloodline of this once boom town began to falter with the lack of ore and by strikes. The final blow came on the morning of July 29, 1914, the greatest fire in Northport history leveled almost all of the business district. It was the final blow for the town.
Northport would not recover as it had in the past, ever again. A gloom settled over the town and worsened when the smelter finally shut down and was dismantled. Bt the 1930s the glory days of Northport were history.
The original smokestack from the smelter still stands today as a monument of those boom town days gone by.