Northport was officially incorporated on June 1, 1898 but has a history stretching back to the 1880s when it was a port and shipbuilding centre for steamboat services running northwards into British Columbia during construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, related to its location at a stretch of the Columbia known as the Little Dalles, a rapids and narrows that was a barrier to navigation and which also was an alternate name for Northport itself.  Northport is located 7 miles south of the International Border and is the last community before Canada on Hwy 25.  Kettle Falls is located south of Northport at the junction of Hwy 20 & 25.

The International Border Crossing at Frontier on the US side and Paterson on the Canadian side are both 24 hour ports. Rossland, BC is 7 miles / 11 km north of Paterson.

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