The original plat for Ponderay, Kootenai County, Idaho, was filed on May 5, 1904. Initially, the City of Ponderay was incorporated as the Village of Ponderay on May 27, 1947 and then became the City of Ponderay on November 26, 1968.
Ponderay was a "Company Town" in that it was built on the Panhandle Smelting and Refining Company's town site. (The company's slag pile is known today as "Black Rock") Panhandle Smelting and Refining Company also erected a substantial hotel, office buildings and residences for its employees.
Railroads and timber industries bolstered Ponderay's economy as well, along with boarding houses, saloons and a bank. The First State Bank of Ponderay ocupied a two-story building of processed white brick with granite trim; a building that is still standing today.
Another significant contribution was that of the Ponderay Transportation Company which carried mail to and from all of the post offices on Lake Pend Oreille. This was accomplished through the use of two powerful steam tugs, "The Ponderay" and "The Belle".
Today, Ponderay is the Gateway to Schweitzer Mountain and has become a one-stop shopping destination with plenty of free parking and one hundred seventy plus businesses including Walmart, Home Depot, Bonner Mall, various car dealerships and fast food restaurants. The city also has Deidrich Manufacturing, Cygnus Inc, along with various other manufacturing businesses and is the home of The Laughing Dog Brewery.