Paleo-Indian tribes first settled the region around Coeur d’Alene some 10,000 years ago, but the first European settlers didn’t actually arrive until much later. The area was part of New France, and was actually somewhat remote, only being ventured to during the 18th century. French-speaking fur traders named Coeur d’Alene Lake, and had established trade with the local indigenous population.

The area was part of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark ventured through what is today southern Idaho during their expedition. As American pioneers headed west some stopped and eventually settled within Idaho. In 1878 the US military established Fort Sherman, and the small settlement of Coeur d’Alene expanded quickly.

The town was incorporated in 1887 and was a center of mining, logging, fur trading and saw the beginning of the tourist trade with lake steamers and summer cottages. The timber boom of the early 20 th century caused a population boom. Since that time it has been transformed into a year round tourist destination with festivals, concerts and plenty to do in all seasons.