Harrison developed from a squatters homestead to a thriving village in about twelve years.
A branch of the O.R. & N. Railroad from Tekoa, Washinton, to Harrison was completed in 1890 and
was a prime factor in the development of Harrison.
In 1891 Silas W. Crane
settled on a timbered tract which joins the present city on the south and east. He built the first house in Harrison which
remained in the Crane family until 1936. The building is now used as the Crane House
Museum. The same year Fred Grant purchased the Fisher Brothers Sawmill in St. Maries and moved it to Harrison. Known as Grants Mill it had a capacity of 60 thousand feet per day.
In 1892 S.W. Crane opened
a General Store. In 1893 the first Post Office was established, the name was chosen and W.E. Crane became the first postmaster. W.S.
Bridgeman opened a Gen. Merc. in 1893, another General Store was opened in 1894
by W.A. Reiniger.
The first newspaper called
the Signal was established in 1895, later it was known as the Mountain Messenger and in 1900 became known as The Searchlight. A paper with that name is still published annually by the Oldtime Picnic Committee.
In 1895 a Methodist Church
was erected and School District #29 was formed. The first year of school was
taught by Mr. Edelbute in the Methodist Church. The first school was erected
in 1896 and by 1903 there were 59 students.
The original townsite was
in the form of a triangle and covered approx. 23 acres. The Village of Harrison
was Incorporated on July 21st, 1899. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees
for the Village of Harrison was held July 24, 1899 George W. Thompson was elected
as chairman of the Board of Trustees.
In August of 1901 a Spokane
Company was granted a franchise to put in a water system with a pumping plant at a cost of $20,000. An electric light plant was also installed in 1901 by Kimmel Brothers at a cost of $8,000.
following year came the telephone, connecting Harrison with points up the St. Joe and Coeur d’Alene rivers. Rocky Mountain Bell