Coeur d'Alene Idaho

The Origins of History 1800’s Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

We have the extremely old History Coeur d’Alene Idaho 1800’s building long before the resort and golf course were built. It all starts with the first white people crossing the Rocky Mountains into the Inland Northwest in the early 1800s, which is when Coeur d’Alene Idaho got its start as a small trading post. They were the Fur traders and explorers, and they brought with them their loyal French-speaking Iroquois scout Indians, who accompanied them on their journey.

Entering the area of a native Indian tribe known as the “Schitsu’umsh” is a serious offense. This area was their ancestral home, situated in a wonderful green space where a river empties into a large body of water. Once the white man arrived, they immediately went about their business of trading with each other. The newcomers quickly discovered that they were dealing with a group of Indian traders who were as cunning as serpents in their dealings. And they gave the tribe known as the “Schitsu’umsh” the nickname “Coeur d’Alene,” which translates as “heart of an awl” or “pointy hearts,” and the name stuck. As more and more white lads moved into the area, they carried with them a slew of diseases specific to white men. A disease spread among the Coeur d’Alene Indians. It was estimated that tribal Indians had lost about eighty percent of their number by the middle of the nineteenth century. In the vision of Circling Raven, the Coeur d’Alene Chief, men in black robes appeared to him and his people, promising to cure their wounded spirits one day. After arriving in their black robes, Father Pierre-Jean Desmet and his group of Catholics met with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and organized a meeting for the next day. They meet up with the Indians at Yap-Kheen-um (also known as “the meeting spot”).

Afterwards, Father DeSmet determined that the group of Catholics should travel east, across the Coeur d’Alene River, to complete their mission. The Cataldo Mission, which is currently Idaho’s oldest standing structure, was constructed on this site. The Catholics began teaching the Indians various white-man things, such as “what Jesus Christ is all about,” to which they responded positively.
The Very Old History of the World Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, around 1800

Cataldo Mission (Cataldo’s Mission)

The Indians were getting agitated because too many white people were moving into their territory in the 1850s, and this caused a rift between the two communities. This was the point at which the United States government determined that it was necessary to pick up the Indians and place them on a reserve in order to keep them from upsetting all of the white people. In 1877, General William T. Sherman traveled from the east coast to Yap-Keehn-um and threatened the Indians that if they did not stay on their new reservation, they would be slaughtered by American soldiers. As a result of Sherman’s efforts, a group of his military troops arrived in Coeur d’Alene and constructed Fort Coeur d’Alene (which was eventually named after Sherman), which consisted of 52 military structures. The soldiers’ families began to arrive in the area not long after that. People were arriving by train at the Rathdrum train station, which was the closest to the venue. Afterwards, they would ride down to Coeur d’Alene for some lakeside recreation with a horse and carriage. Soon after, people became bored of the long horse and carriage excursions, and in 1886, railroad tracks were constructed from Rathdrum, near what is now Independence Point, to Coeur d’Alene Lake, providing a direct route to the lake. The year 1887 marked Coeur d’Alene’s first year as an incorporated city, with only about 40 individuals settling within its borders. In the same year, the city of Coeur d’Alene completed a number of significant new structures. The Fort Sherman Chapel, which is still standing and is utilized for historical tours, was Coeur d’Alene’s first chapel and was built in 1890. The first school in Coeur d’Alene was located in the back of the first chapel.

In addition, the city’s original sawmill, known as Saginaw Mill, was built in 1887 on the site where the Coeur d’Alene Resort is currently located. The Saginaw Mill was destroyed by fire after only two years and was quickly replaced by the Coeur d’Alene Mill, which was destroyed by fire after two years and was replaced by another mill that was destroyed by fire after two years.
On the other side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, steamboats were introduced in an effort to deliver vital items. Aside from transporting passengers, the Steamboats also provided an opportunity for them to rest, enjoy the sunshine, and take in the breathtaking surroundings.

In 1887, the Coeur d’Alene Tourism Industry was established. Mr. V.W. Sander was appointed Postmaster General of CDA in the same year, 1887, and also worked as a “trader in general commerce” in the city (dry goods, boots, hardware, groceries, ). The Painter’s Chair Art Gallery is located in the former Mr. Sanders goods store on the northwest corner of Sherman Avenue and Third Street, which is now the Painter’s Chair Art Gallery. Sanders Beach was established in honor of Mr. V.W. Sanders. It wasn’t long after 1887 that the town began to fill up with inhabitants, and strange things began to happen. The purchase of various bizarre concoctions sold as “Health Supplements” at the local pharmacy with the money gained from logging or mining was a popular activity among loggers and miners. But we’re just feel-good drugs made up of 50% alcohol and supplemented with nutrient-rich additives such as cocaine and opium, which are illegal in the United States. Mr. Silas Smith was the local pharmacy, and his store was located on the north side of Sherman Avenue, close to the fort, near the town square. His sales pitch was as follows: “A complete line of fresh, pure drugs is always on hand.” Do you have a slight headache? Do you have period pains? A little under the weather these days? Using the perfect dosage, Mr. Smith would sell you something that would make you feel so stoned that you would forget about your aches and problems. Mr. Smith would sell you something like this:

The whole population of Coeur d’Alene at the time (apart from those who worked at the military fort) had nothing better to do than get completely stoned and spend their money on hookers, cocaine, and other illegal substances. Robberies and murders are thrown in for good measure. It appears that the citizens of Coeur d’Alene had a great deal of stress as a result of nearly dying on the job on a daily basis in the logging and mining sectors prior to the establishment of OSHA. It’s hard to imagine anyone being surprised by their desire for an endless supply of booze, whores, and murder.
Carroll’s Variety Store was a retail establishment that was located on the northeast corner of Mullan and 4th, near the foot of Tubbs Hill, in the town of Mullan, Illinois (back when Mullan Ave ran through what is now McEuen Park). The tavern was staffed by A.J. Coffman, a bartender, and pianist James C Smythe, who worked for the establishment’s owner, James “Fatty” Carroll. He was practically the 1887 version of a piano-playing rock and roll star.

Fatty Carroll was a “slimy” figure in Coeur d’Alene’s early Wild West days, when the town was still a frontier outpost. He possessed a combination of entrepreneurial instincts and a criminal intellect, which he used to his advantage. Located in one convenient location, Carroll’s Variety offered a sinful feast of gambling, prostitutes, and alcoholic beverages. And it was the widespread use of cocaine, heroin, and other mood-altering narcotics that made his establishment so popular with the stressed-out residents of the neighborhood.

Fatty’s tendency of disposing of persons he didn’t like or who flaunted their wealth, which Fatty believed should have belonged to him, was well documented. In his room over the Spokane River, Fatty entertained guests. Rumor had it that some of those who accepted his invitation did not make it out of the building alive. The river room was where anyone who was causing trouble for Fatty or who had large sums of money was taken and lowered through a trap door into the water, never to be found again.

According to locals, a couple of Fatty’s despised clients were discovered behind another one of his former cathouses at the intersection of 4th and Sherman Avenue years later. The bodies were discovered as construction workers were preparing the foundation for Wilson’s Pharmacy. The decaying bodies of three unknown Indians, as well as the bodies of five soldiers from Ft. Sherman who had been recorded as deserters for years, were discovered inside a secret basement doorway that connected to an underused underground passage. Visitors to that basement still report feeling a shiver run down their spines when they explore the space with its rock walls intact today.
It was discovered that there were skeletons under the lumberyard near Tubbs Hill, where Carroll’s Variety once stood, in the early 1900s. During the grading of an area in preparation for a railroad station, human bones were discovered only 2 feet beneath Sherman Avenue, in the ground beneath Sherman Avenue. Despite the fact that Fatty was clearly a man who found murder to be a humorous sport, we are unable to cast the blame for the killings solely on Mr. Fatty because these types of instances were prevalent in the gun-filled, alcohol-fueled early days of Idaho.

Two factors contributed to the eventual closure of Fort Sherman. First and foremost, it was discovered that it was not necessary to protect the settlers from the benign Indians after all. The second reason was that soldiers were mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the night, only to be found dead the next morning by a Fatty henchman or other Wild West hooligans.

The new authority in Coeur d’Alene was not pleased with the wild west image that the downtown Coeur d’Alene neighborhood had acquired over the years. An incorporation charter for Coeur d’Alene was drafted, and it was chock-full of rules and legislation designed to put an end to these troubles.

The local authorities devised a strategy to put a halt to the gambling dens, opium dens, and other disorderly businesses in the area. They established regulations to prevent gambling and licensing to govern dram houses, tippling houses, saloons, gambling houses, theatrical and other amusements, touring shows, and circuses in the town. They also established regulations to outlaw gaming in the town.

This was a difficult undertaking for the city’s regulatory authorities. Alcoholic beverage outlets and dens of depraved activity could be found in abundance in Coeur d’Alene. Old Crow whiskey was sold by the wagon load at the Transfer Saloon (“The Most Popular Resort in the City”), which was located at the southwest corner of Sherman Ave. and 3rd St. (now Resort Plaza Shops) and was founded by Fort Sherman Major D.E. Ballard, with Stephen G. Whitman serving as bartender. Old Crow whiskey was sold by the wagon load at the Transfer Saloon (“The Most Popular Resort in the City”). There was a tavern called the Exchange Saloon on Sherman Ave. between 1st and 2nd Streets that was operated by John Dingwell and featured whiskey mixologist virtuoso Henry Farley behind the bar.

The Dividend Saloon, located on the north side of Lake View Dr. between 1st and 2nd streets further south, between 1st and 2nd street, was owned by John H. Brown and served as a bar for Samuel Barlow. The Rathdrum Branch Brewery, owned and run by W.A. Reininger, was located in the northern portion of town on Coeur d’Alene Avenue between the second and third floors.

It was described in the city directory as selling wines and liquors at the Arcade, which was located at the corner of Third and Sherman streets. Cooking for oneself was common practice in the 1880s, when a menu of roast beef and potatoes, boiling cabbage, fried fish, bread and butter, porridges and puddings was the norm. The main meal was a pig’s head, complete with all the trimmings. J.C. Chamberlain owns and operates the Palace Restaurant, which is located on the north side of Sherman between 2nd and 3rd streets. At the time, the only other restaurant was the Coeur d’Alene Bakery and Restaurant, which was located on the south side of Sherman between third and fourth streets and was operated by William Wagner.

Bender & Dillard Market (owned by William H. Bender and William Dillard) was located on 4th Street between Sherman and Front, and it was staffed by a butcher called William Hooper. Bender & Dillard Market was located on 4th Street between Sherman and Front. If you needed to leave your horse for the night or rent a horse and buggy for a trip out of town, you could do it at A.L. Davis’ livery stable, which was located on 4th Street between Sherman and Front streets. Horseshoes were required, and R.R. Mann was the local blacksmith who could provide them. The building is located on the southeast corner of 4th and Sherman streets (where the Sports Cellar used to be inside the Dingle Building).

Miss Tilla Ellis and Mrs. Owen Russie were the only two female business owners in town. Mrs. Owen Russie created clothes and built a store on Sherman Avenue towards the end of the street where it turned into Fort Sherman. In the 1890s, American women sewed costumes with draping, layers, and folds from bolts of thick, woolen fabric purchased at a fabric store. Bustles around the waist were popular, and they offered modern ladies a serious figure-hugging appearance. The most popular colors were black, grey, and black-grey; shirts were buttoned all the way up the front of the neck; and the collars were starchy white in color, as was the trend at the time.

For a hair “fixer-upper,” you would visit barber J.C. Scott on the east side of 3rd St. between Front and Sherman, who was located on the southwest corner of 1st and Sherman. W. Morris created shoes and boots in his store on the southwest corner of 1st and Sherman.

When it came time to get married, you would go to meet J.E. Russell, who served as the Justice of the Peace in the community (north side of Front Ave between 3rd and 4th, currently Quicksilver Photography). And there were only two photographers available in town to record the occasion. Henry Purcell’s studio was right across the street from the dressmaking ladies of Sherman Avenue, and W.N. Hall photographed the area from his home on Coeur d’Alene Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets in Coeur d’Alene.

While divorce was uncommon in 1887, if you needed one, you could turn to the one lawyer in town, Issac S. Daly, who would submit the paperwork and arrange the settlement on your behalf. Dr. J. McGrail was the only doctor in town, and because there was no clinic, he made house calls to everyone in the community.

boarding houses and hotels served as the primary residences for most city dwellers. Lake View Hotel was the main dwelling house and was located on the beaches of the lake, near to the place that is now the 3rd Street Boat Launch in McEuen Park. It was built in the early 1900s. This house was located on the north side of Sherman Avenue, between the second and third floors.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has seen significant transformation, and all for the better. Living and raising a family in our small lakeside town is a dream come true for many people. If you have never been to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we invite you to come and see what we are about. You’ll be glad you took the time to read this.

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