Newport was officially incorporated on April 16, 1903.
The present city of Oldtown was originally platted as Newport, Idaho in 1893. The community served as a river port for the steamers operating between Albeni Falls and Z Canyon. Public docks, a ferry, a general store, a post office, a dry goods store, hotel and several saloons made the center of commerce for the city.
The ferry operated until the Pend Oreille River Bridge was opened in 1927. When the railroad came through, the original depot was located in a boxcar on a siding on the Idaho side of the line. When the boxcar caught fire and burned in 1894, the Great Northern built on land on the Washington side of the line.
A young man from the midwest by the name of Charles Talmadge, who was employed by the railroad as a depot agent, bought 40 acres of land from the railroad and platted Talmadge's 1st Addition to Newport, Idaho on the Washington side, adjacent to the depot. This addition has since become the main downtown area of Newport, Washington. The town began to slowly move to the area around the depot, and the post office moved soon after to the Washington side of the line.
Meanwhile, the "old" part of the town fell into disarray, was unincorporated and became the "wild side of town," with bars, gambling and houses of ill-repute, largely because of less strict Idaho state laws.
Because of the change in the liquor laws in 1946, which outlawed sales of liquor by the drink except by local authority, the Village of Oldtown was incorporated on April 21, 1947, when the first Board of Directors met at the Westward Ho, a local night club.
Oldtown became a city in 1967 by a mandate from the state, which eliminated villages. The city is now governed by a Mayor and City Council.
The city of Newport was the last County Seat created in the State of Washington. The county of Pend Oreille (pond-er-ay) was formed in 1911 by the splitting of Stevens County along a natural mountain ridge. The town of Oldtown (Newport) ID was created in the early 1890's by immigrants attracted to the area by the natural timber, mineral and agricultural resources of the region. The primary means of transportation was the large, north flowing Pend Oreille River via steamboats, which established the city of "New Port" on the river.
Newport is located at an elevation of 2,160 feet .
The town of Oldtown, Idaho is just to the east of Newport, and on the Pend Oreille River. There are no natural or physical barriers between the two towns, and it is strictly a political division, separated by the straight-line state boundary.
The topography of the Newport area is somewhat unusual. About one-half mile north of Newport, the Pend Oreille River enters Washington State and flows north to Canada. Very few rivers in the Northern Hemisphere flow north in a similar manner. In addition, the watershed of the Pend Oreille in the Newport area is extremely limited. The is due to a small depression of no more than 50 feet, which begins one-half mile to the west and south of the river. Unable to flow uphill, the waters (from natural springs, rainfall runoff, etc.) eventually form the Little Spokane River, and flow southwest towards Spokane.
Diamond Lake, WA (elevation 2,345 ft.) is about 7 miles to the southwest, and is also part of the Little Spokane River watershed (outflow only) via a creek runoff from the uninhabited far west end of the lake.
As of 2000 there were 760 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,709, and the median income for a family was $30,898. Males had a median income of $31,597 versus $20,469 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,900. About 22.0% of families and 23.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.4% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
- The Miner
The Newport Police Department and the Pend Oreille County Sheriff's Department serves the city and the county.
The Newport Community Hospitals serves the town, and much of the county, as well as adjacent Idaho communities.
Highway 2 is the major highway that runs through the community. Downtown Newport is along South Washington Avenue.