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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bonners Ferry in Boundary County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

Kootenai Valley Railway

1899-1971

 
 
Kootenai Valley Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 8, 2018
1. Kootenai Valley Railway Marker
Inscription.  The Kootenai Valley Railroad, a subsidiary of the Great Northern, connected the main line from a spur near Bonners Ferry to the southern end of Kootenay Lake in British Columbia. Completed in 1899, its purpose was to connect with the Canadian Kaslo & Slocan Railroad and James J. Hill's steamboats on Kootenay Lake. With the closing of the Slocan silver mines, a major forest fire that burned most of the K & S, and strong competition from the Canadian Pacific Railway, Hill removed the KV's Canadian tracks.
The town of Porthill at the Canadian border became the northern termination point. The railway carried supplies, mail, and passengers from Bonners Ferry and returned with ore, logs, and agriculture products. The journey took about four hours and was often delayed by derailments or to give the crew and passengers time for some hunting or fishing. Locals nicknamed the line, "Keep Vaiting Railroad."
The railroad discontinued regular passenger service in 1914, but it continued to deliver supplies and mail to valley residents until the early 1970s. The line also transported ore from the Continental Mine in northwest Boundary County to
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regional smelters.
Although the railroad removed the bridges, trestle, ties and rails, remnants of the roadbed and faded advertisements painted on the rock walls are a reminder of an earlier time.

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In the early 1900s, loggers cut huge stands of virgin timber in Boundary County. Workers lived in remote logging camps owned by the lumber companies. Logs were skidded by horses and hauled on wagons, or sleighs in the winter, to company owned railroad sidings. The railway transported flat cars of logs to area mills.
 
Erected by Boundary County Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars.
 
Location. 48° 41.861′ N, 116° 18.693′ W. Marker is in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, in Boundary County. Marker is on Main Street near Riverside Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7229 Main Street, Bonners Ferry ID 83805, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Great Northern Railway 1892 (here, next to this marker); Spokane International Railway (here, next to this marker); Railroad Laborers (here, next to this marker); A Town is Born Along the Way (here, next to this marker); Railroad Services
Kootenai Valley Railway Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 8, 2018
2. Kootenai Valley Railway Marker
(here, next to this marker); Logging Railroads (here, next to this marker); Semaphores (here, next to this marker); Pelton Wheel (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bonners Ferry.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located on the backside of the building at 7229 Main Street near the entrance to the Boundary County Museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 299 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 31, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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May. 26, 2024