History Hour Lecture

In this monthly lecture series, join us in the Community Room at the Library for a special presentation with the Museum of North Idaho, featuring a local author or historian who will talk about Idaho’s fascinating heritage. 

History Hour Lecture – Wednesday, May 8 (5:30 pm) 

Ed Pulaksi and the Big Burn 

In the summer of 1910, the largest forest fire in American history burned through North Idaho. The fire burned millions of acres, created heroes, and changed the way forest fires are fought. Join local historian Dave Eubanks as he shares the history of the Big Burn, the heroic story of Forest Ranger, Ed Pulaski, and the lasting impacts of the fire. 

Past events:

Wednesday, April 10 (5:30 pm)Wilderness Cathedral: The Story of Idaho’s Oldest Building  – Join local historian and author Jake Eberlein as he discusses a transitional period in the history of the Cataldo Mission drawn from his book, Wilderness Cathedral: The Story of Idaho’s Oldest Building. The pivotal 1910s saw the Mission transition from being a productive farm to becoming a tourist destination. During those years, a series of contentious conflicts with various mining corporations over waste deposits in the Coeur d’Alene River led the Jesuits to demand that the corporations pay for damages. Eventually, the corporations purchased the farm as part of a settlement. While all of this was happening, the Cataldo Mission was restored and recognition of its historical significance drew thousands of visitors over the following years. The current property where this Idaho state park stands is just a small portion of the land that once comprised more than 300 acres known as the Old Mission Ranch. 

Wednesday, March 13 (5:30 pm) Cougar Bay Nature Preserve: Saving Coeur d’Alene’s Natural Gem – Join local author Theresa Shaffer as she discusses her new book Cougar Bay Nature Preserve: Saving Coeur d’Alene’s Natural Gem. This lecture will cover the history of Cougar Bay, followed by the 13-year battle to keep it from being developed. Remarkably, most of Cougar Bay’s shore was preserved as public land by an improbable combination of determined local activists, a Hawaiian developer, a cantankerous Cougar Bay landowner, Kootenai County, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Crown Pacific Lumber Company and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). 

Wednesday, February 7 (5:30 pm) – A Journey Through Time and Space: Tectonic and Geologic History of the Coeur d’Alene Area– This lecture will cover the diverse and fascinating geologic history of the northern Idaho vicinity. Speaker Russ Difioro will march us through time starting in the Proterozoic and ending in the present – we’ll discuss the awesome processes that have and continue to shape this beautiful part of the country. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 (5:30 pm) – Join local historian Jonathan Mueller as he discusses the history and extent of the Inland Empire Railroad park system as it was developed by Jay P. Graves, Aubrey White, and Frederick Blackwell. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2023 (5:30 pm)Since the beginning of humanity, humans have always honored the passing of loved ones through various customs and rituals. In this one-hour lecture, local historian Britt Thurman will present on the death and mourning rituals common in America during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This lecture is open to all ages but sensitive topics such as death and burial preparations will be discussed. 

Wednesday, September 13 (5:30 pm)North Idaho’s Silver Valley is known for its record breaking silver mines and the long history of labor strife that came along with the mines. Join local historian, Tom Richards, as he discusses what led to the labor strikes and all of the trouble that followed. 


May 08 2024


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm