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Harrison lies along the southeast shore of Coeur d’Alene Lake and was part of the area’s Indian Reservation until 1889. At that point, regional timber companies requested that President Benjamin Harrison extract a mile-wide strip of shoreline from the reservation and deem it public use so that a sawmill and community could be established on the site. The President obliged them, and in return, the timber companies bestowed the honor of Harrison’s name on this small town.

The railroad arrived in 1890, boosting mining traffic significantly. By the turn of the century, Harrison was home to nearly 2,000 people and boasted eleven lumber mills, four shingle mills, over a dozen saloons, and a substantial red-light district full of several houses of ill-repute. But, the party ended in 1917 when a huge fire destroyed the town. Soon after, the steamboats were declared unnecessary due to the railroad’s presence, and the lumber industry died out. Today, Harrison is mostly a tourist town where fishing, boating, and sunsets on the lake beckon people to stay awhile. Interestingly, the first house built in town (1891) still stands and houses the Crane Historical Society Museum. Additionally, the Osprey Inn, constructed in 1915 as a lumberjack boardinghouse, still stands, now hosting tourists instead of laborers.

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