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What’s in a Name?

Drive through the downtown streets of Sandpoint, and odds are you’ll notice an abundance of tree names designating the various tree-lined streets of the quaint downtown neighborhoods. This isn’t by mistake. In the late 1890s, L.D. and Ella Farmin homesteaded 160 acres that would later become the downtown of Sandpoint. After Mr. Farmin had a civil engineer survey and plat the first site of Sandpoint, it fell to the Farmins and friends to name the streets.

And so seated around the dining room table, they began to select names. L.D. Farming desired that avenues running north and south be numerical names—hence 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, and so forth. The streets running east to west were to be named after local trees. And so we have Cedar, Fir, Pine, and a multitude of other streets we’ve come to recognize by their plant names. Except for a few—Church as a notable example. Ella Farmin’ went against her husband’s direction and named it for the only church in the area that was situated on that street.

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