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The Newport miner. [volume] : (Newport, Wash.) 1899-current
Alternative Titles:
  • Miner
Place of publication:
Newport, Wash.
Geographic coverage:
  • Old Town, Bonner, Idaho  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
  • Newport, Pend Oreille, Washington  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
W.R. Herbert
Dates of publication:
  • Began in 1899.
  • English
  • Newport (Wash.)--Newspapers.
  • Old Town (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Washington (State)--Newport.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01252709
  • Archived issues are available in digital format as part of the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Bonner Co., Idaho ed.: Gem State miner.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 28 (Jan. 13, 1900).
sn 87008085
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The Newport miner. [volume] November 9, 1907 , Image 1


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Newport Miner

Newport, Washington, is located in the Pend Oreille Valley on the Washington/Idaho border. It was established in 1895 when townspeople from Newport (now Oldtown), Idaho migrated west with the Great Northern Railway line. Newport grew steadily as settlers developed agriculture (alfalfa and cattle), logging, milling (lumber and saw), and mining industries.

The origin of the Newport Miner is a subject of debate amongst local historians. Many believe that the Miner was originally published as the Newport Pilot in 1897-1900 and became known as the Newport Miner thereafter. However, others maintain that the Pilot and Miner were separately published weekly newspapers which merged sometime in 1900. This view is supported by bibliographic records found in Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm (1991) which indicates that the Pilot was “absorbed by,” as opposed to “continued by,” the Miner. The exact start date of the Miner is also contested by historians. According to current Miner publisher, Fred Willenbrock, “there are no known remaining copies of the first issue. Writings at the Pend Oreille County Historical Museum in Newport state that the first issue [of the Miner] was dated Aug. 19, 1899. The first issues that are known to exist are both at the museum – June 30, 1900, and July 7, 1900. These are the last two issues of the first year of publication. The second year of publication began on July 14, 1900, making one question the authenticity of the August startup date.” The Union List simply states that the Miner began in 1899 and thus cannot help clarify the ambiguity of the paper’s start date.

Fred L. Wolf was editor of the Miner in 1907-12 and often used the paper as a platform for his personal interests. He dedicated significant space in the Miner to the establishment of the Flathead Indian Reservation (approved by Congress in 1904 and opened in 1909), the opening of the Newport Public Library in 1909, and the approval of the development of Pend Oreille County and its subsequent division from Stevens County in 1911. In addition to Wolf’s local causes, the Miner also featured short stories, serialized fiction, legal notices, local news briefs, and advertisements during this period.

Wolf remained at the helm of the paper for 38 years and is considered one of Pend Oreille’s greatest promoters and benefactors. The Miner has had several editors since but has continued as Newport’s primary weekly newspaper. In 1971, the paper also began being published as the Gem State Miner, serving Newport’s sister city of Oldtown, Idaho.

Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA