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Sandpoint School Gardens

A blossoming new idea

Sandpoint School Gardens
Unknown child gardening. Photo courtesy of the Bonner County Historical Society & Museum. Donor unknown. Courtesy of the Bonner County Historical Society & Museum


As springtime makes its slow appearance in Sandpoint, it teases the citizens with snow here and there, and the gardeners begin to dream of the blossoms of the near future. The school curriculum has changed since the early days of Sandpoint, and gardening is one of them.

In 1911, just 10 years after Sandpoint became an official village, every school in Bonner County was encouraged to have its own school garden. In fact, the first Bonner County superintendent, Nell K. Irion, and the Bonner County Fair Association advertised that each school was encouraged to start their garden now and enter their flowers or vegetables in the upcoming fair. Whichever school was to win the best garden exhibit would receive $10 cash.

This may not sound like much to us today, but $10 in 1911 is worth $330 today. That was most likely a lot for our small rural schools that were just beginning to pop up and receive consistent funding. 

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