Crane Historical Museum
Harrison, Kootenai County
- Grants: 1998, 1999, 2009, 2019, 2021 (replace roof and remount gutters)
Location: 201 Coeur d’Alene Avenue, Harrison, Idaho 83833
From the Crane Historical Society:
“The town of Harrison was founded in 1891, incorporated into the village of Harrison in 1899 and named for the then current U.S. President, Benjamin Harrison. The site was on land settled by S.W. Crane and his sons William, Edwin and Addison Crane. Harrison was a busy thriving little town. At one time it was considered for the County Seat. The population fluctuated between 1,000 and 2,000 people depending on the number of mills running at the time.
Between 1880 and 1920 there was more steamboat trade on the Coeur d’Alene Lake than on any other west of the Great Lakes. The big paddle-wheel boats took supplies, workers and sightseers up the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene Rivers. Most of the boats only drew around three feet of water, so they could navigate the twisting channels of the rivers. Harrison was an important stopping point for them.
The railroads, completed in 1890, made the steamboat business unprofitable. Many of the beautiful big boats were set on fire and sunk in the lake.
The Crane House Museum operated by the Crane Historical Society is the first house built in Harrison. The house was built by the Silas Crane family who established the town of Harrison. The Crane Historical Society was established April 25, 1984. The purpose for this Society is to discover and memorialize the history of the city of Harrison and the surrounding area. Our goal is to educate visitors and groups about the rich history of the Harrison area. We have published brochures and pamphlets about early life working and living in the area. We work with local schools and other organizations to share our enthusiasm about our history.”