History of Bonners Ferry
The town of Bonners Ferry was formally established in 1893. This took place along the south bank of Kootenai. At the time, a few ranches and homesteads were scattered along the valley. The development of numerous mines was in process, along in the nearby mountains. This includes the Continental Mine in the Selkirks. Another flourishing firm was the lumber industry. Bonners Ferry rapidly was becoming a booming town, although much of it was still perched on stilts to avoid the inevitable spring floods!
Progressing along into the 20th century, Bonners Ferry became the center of a lumbering and farming-based community. The valley land became drained and barricaded. The “Nile of the North” became the newest term for the rich Kootenai Valley. As far as the Bonners Ferry lumber was concerned, they grew to be one of the world's largest lumber mills! Downtown steadily became more inhabited as buildings were put in place, replacing their predecessors on stilts. As far as the now, much of Main Street still dates from this initial period of solid, permanent labor. Thanks to the explorer Edwin Bonner, you may now visit this steadily growing community!
Bonners Ferry today is a naturally beautiful
environment in a relaxed atmosphere. A visitor
need only experience the quiet streams, the
peaceful alpine lakes, and the majestic forested
mountains abundant in wildlife to truly fall in
love with this area. Entertainment can come from the most genuine of times, through enjoying the land. Fishing, horseback riding, cross country skiing, target and trap shooting, square dancing, whitewater rafting, golfing, canoeing, swimming, camping, bird watching, photography, the growing community of Bonners Ferry continues to be a family-based environment.
In the words of Mayor Darrell Kerby, “We are a community that cherishes its past and embraces its future – a future that is being forged by coalitions of diverse groups that make up the unique fabric of Bonners Ferry, newcomers and old-timers alike.”
We couldn't have said it better.
For an even closer look on the local history of Bonners Ferry, please visit the Boundary county
free museum on Main street, open in the months of May-August, to view a collection of more than 10,000 items of Bonners history!