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The town was founded by L. M. Ringer, who established a store in 1877. It was an important wheat-shipping point during the days of river navigation. It is on a prehistoric Native American site that the Nez Perce people called Allamotin or Almotine, meaning “torchlight fishing” or “moonlight fishing.” A distortion of this name, La Monte, was used in early days. A post office was established on July 19, 1878 and was closed on September 1, 1961.