The city extends along a valley below Silver Crown Mountain. The United States Customs and Immigration offices were housed here, located on Columbia Avenue in Northport, but today does not appear to be in use. Here the Long Lake Lumber Company felled and shipped thousands of pine and tamarack trees, which are excellent for ties and poles. The waters of the Columbia River, backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam, lie at the edge of Northport. North of Northport the highway crosses the Columbia River and runs through a narrowing valley into hilly terrain.
Early miners camped in Northport for several years before the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway reached it on September 18, 1892, which gave the town its name because Northport was destined to be the most northerly town on the railroad, south of the Canadian border. It was previously called Terminal City.