Sandpoint Idaho

by

Sandpoint Idaho is one of those places you just need to visit to appreciate.  Located next Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint, Idaho is full of awesome landscapes any time of the year.  

Black Rock of Sandpoint Idaho

Upon a recent visit to, Sandpoint, located in the pan handle of North Idaho, I was looking for remote places to take pictures of the lake near my hotel.  Google maps to the rescue and after a careful survey of the lake shore around Sandpoint, I found this wooded area across the railroad tracks.  I thought, this must be the place.  Little did I know what I would find here.  Covered in the trees and brush was an old smelter.  The black rock you see before you in the image is slag, a by product of refinement process for lead and silver.  Back then, slag was simply dumped into the lake.  Now a toxic waste site, ridden with lead and other heavy metals, the "black rock" as the locals call it remains.  

The Panhandle Smellting and Refining Company (PSRC) was conceived in 1902 as a lead and sliver smelter for local mines. The first lead bars were poured in June of 1907 and the smelter ran sporadically through 1909. Salvage crews dismantled the plant in December 1922. Only a few of the original foundations of the buildings remain today covered in graffiti along with brick piles and a large outcrop of smelter slag called "black rock" that juts out into the lake.

Black Rock of Sandpoint Idaho
  • Camera: Canon
  • Exposure Time: 1/50
  • Aperture: 166797/20000
  • ISO: 100
  • Focal Length: 10
  • Exposure Program: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -4/3
Figure 1 -

Sunrise Over Lake Pend Oreille

Sunrise near black rock, Sandpoint Idaho.  This beautiful place ironically is littered with slag from an old smelter that operated on this very spot.  The slag was simply dumped into the lake.  Now this area is contaminated with heavy metals.  Even the dust is dangerous to breath in.  

Sunrise Over Lake Pend Oreille
  • Camera: Canon
  • Exposure Time: 1/25
  • Aperture: 166797/20000
  • ISO: 100
  • Focal Length: 22
  • Exposure Program: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -1
Figure 2 -