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Sandpoint Gets Presidential

In summer of 1888, Theadore “Teddy” Roosevelt wasn’t yet President of the United States when he arrived in Sandpoint on the Northern Pacific railroad. According to the Hawkins’ family story, as told to Bob Gunter by Dale Selle, Roosevelt traveled to Idaho from his ranch in the Dakota Territory for a caribou hunting trip in the Selkirk Mountains.

While waiting on horses and guides, the party ventured into the town of Pend d’Oreille (later to become Sandpoint). After a night out dining and drinking, Roosevelt ended up in the only available room in town: Winfield Scott Monfort’s shack, which the lodging house owner rented out in Monfort’s absence. At midnight, Roosevelt was awakened by a returned and surprised Monfort fresh from the bars and ready to tuck in for the night—and not expecting a guest. Whatever the resulting argument, record has it Roosevelt ended up with the bunk. Thirteen years later, he would become the 26th president of the United States.

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