The Hunt family had a brickyard south of where the remains of the County
Poor Farm now sits. Mr. Hunt built a two-story home that later became
approximately the eastern third of the old Poor Farm. He built his home
using the bricks he made in the brickyard for both the foundation and the
main structure. It is possible that the Hunt family lost the home to the
county for taxes.
is a sad story about something that happened while the Hunts were there.
They had been having problems with coyotes trying to get their chickens. One
night they heard a noise and Clarence, a son, went out back without his
father's knowledge. Mr. Hunt got his shotgun and went to check on the
chickens. He saw a movement and not being able to see he shot his son in the
face. It did not kill him but he had very poor eyesight for the rest of his
life and Mr. Hunt never got over the accident.
that particular time it was thought that the City of Sandpoint was going to
be located out in the general area of the Poor Farm (on today’s Gooby
Road) and away from the eastern side of Sand Creek. When the county acquired
the Hunt property it was their desire to have a County Hospital and with
brick left over from the Hunt factory they added the two-thirds of the
western part of the old County Poor Farm. There was a swing in sentiment and
Sandpoint was developed, as we know it today. It was on 8 January 1908 that
the County converted what was to be a county hospital into the County Poor
Farm. It was primarily designed to take care of elderly men who could not
take care of themselves and had no means of support. This was prior to
Social Security and other programs offering help.
and Alice Albertson, the caretakers, lived in the part that had been the
Hunt residence. The county hired them to come in and take care of the old
men. They were to see that they were fed and that things were done the way
the county wanted them done. It was designed to be self-sustaining because
they raised their own meat, their own dairy products, and they had a large
garden. The county not only had the caretakers but they would allow the
caretakers to hire kitchen help and farm help. Typically these were foster
type children of high school age and they would receive $25 a month plus
room and board.
every day there would be a hobo that showed up wanting something to eat. He
was asked to fill the wood box to pay for his meal. The people who came to
the Poor Farm had a job to do. It might be working in the garden, milking
the cows, or working around the farm doing various chores. The men who
stayed at the Poor Farm were good people but circumstances had forced them
to ask for assistance. Some of them were young and had been hurt on the job
or they couldn't work due to the weather. By all reports they always got
1957 Bonner County closed the Poor Farm and leased the property to two
doctors just prior to their opening of what was called Sandpoint Manor. They
operated it as their rest home for about two years and then moved to a new
location in town. About 1960 the county put the property up for sale and the
Gooby family purchased it.