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News & Press: Community Spotlights

AIC Shines Its Community Spotlight on Hayden

Friday, June 3, 2016  
Posted by: Gay Dawn Oyler
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Stoddard Park, Hayden, Idaho 

Hayden lies on the eastern edge of the fertile Rathdrum Prairie. The southeast corner of the city extends to the shores of the beautiful, crystal-clear Hayden Lake. The Coeur d’Alene National Forest begins several miles west.

The city’s boundaries abut those of the cities of Hayden Lake on the east and Dalton Gardens on the south. The Coeur d’Alene Airport abuts the city’s western boundary.

Historical Tidbits

For centuries, nomadic bands of American Indians—principally of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe—occupied the land around Hayden.

About 1879 four settlers, including Matt Heyden, established homesteads on the southwestern shore of what is now Hayden Lake. Historical accounts describe how Heyden and another settler named John Hager played the "seven-up" card game to determine who would have the honor of naming the lake. Heyden won and named the lake after himself. Years later, the name was misspelled Hayden by government personnel and that spelling stuck.

In 1883 A.J. Prichard disclosed his discovery of placer gold about 40 miles due east of Coeur d’Alene near what is now Murray. Ten thousand fortune seekers converged on what is now the Silver Valley area by the end of 1885, scouring the mountains and streams in search of precious metals.

The flood of miners sharply increased the demand for fresh foods. Area homesteaders planted crops to supply commodities to the fort and the miners. Fruit trees and berries were among the most prominent agricultural commodities produced near what is now Hayden. Historical accounts credit Matt Heyden for planting the area’s first fruit orchard.

In 1889 James Casey began operating the first sawmill on Hayden Lake. Soon other sawmills began operations.

Four steamboats would eventually operate on the lake—principally serving the timber businesses and prospectors who had achieved limited success in finding placer gold in the area.

Around 1900 railroad interests built an electric powered train from Coeur d’Alene north to the community of Bonzanta Tavern and the lumber businesses operating on the west shore of the lake. In 1907 the Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad acquired the railroad properties.

About the same time, a man named Justice built the first store in the area. He named his store "Monahan’s," and it housed the community’s first post office. The post office name of Monahan only lasted for a few years until it became necessary to move the post office to a new facility. At that time, postal authorities approved changing the name from Monahan to Hayden Lake.

By 1924 the mills began to close as they had exhausted most of the nearby merchantable timber. Recreation and tourism joined agriculture as the dominant industries. The Great Northern, the then owner of the railroad, shut down its rail service and sold its mill property at the lake to the Coeur d’Alene Country Club.

By that time, motor vehicles were becoming the preferred mode of transportation. Retail businesses and a residential community began developing along Government Way, an arterial road that parallels what is now U.S. Highway 95 and extends north from Coeur d’Alene to Idaho Highway 53.

On June 27, 1955, Hayden Village became incorporated as a village. Postal authorities moved the post office to Hayden in 1959. In 1967 Hayden became a city as required by a change in Idaho municipal law and they dropped the word "Village" from the city’s name.

Fort Coeur d'Alene 

In 1877 reacting to concerns about Indian conflicts, General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union Civil War hero, made an inspection tour of military forts in the Northwest. He traveled over the 624-mile-long Mullan Road, a military road between Fort Benton, Montana, and Fort Walla Walla, Washington. Captain John Mullan and 230 soldiers and workers completed the road in 1860. Through Idaho, the road generally followed what is now the I-90 corridor.

When Sherman passed along the northern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene, he was so impressed with the setting that he recommended to Congress that they authorize construction of a new military post on the north shore of the lake.

Congress approved Sherman’s recommendation and in 1878 authorized construction of Fort Coeur d’Alene on 999 acres at the headwaters of the Spokane River. The name of the fort was later changed to Fort Sherman. The military also commissioned Captain C.P. Sorensen, a boat builder from Portland, Oregon, to build an army steamboat to patrol the 30-mile-long lake.

Civilians employed to build the fort and other settlers started a small tent and log cabin village near the fort and called it Coeur d’Alene City.

Amenities and Attractions Today 

Hayden has over 57 acres devoted to parks.

Finucane Park, donated by the Finucane family, is a 10-acre park located on the northwest corner of Prairie Avenue and Fourth Street. The park includes three baseball/softball fields, covered gazebos, a concession stand, playground equipment and public restrooms.

City Park is located next to City Hall. Park amenities include playground equipment, horseshoe pits, a gazebo, green space, a baseball field, a bandstand and a basketball court.

Croffot Park encompasses 25-acres and includes three little league baseball fields, two softball fields, two soccer fields, two basketball courts, horseshoe pits and a tot lot.

Broadmoore Park is a 10-acre neighborhood park. This park includes a tot lot, a walking path, water fountains and ball field. When completely developed, it will also include gazebos, basketball courts and additional walking paths.

Honeysuckle Beach is a city-owned beach, one of two public accesses to Hayden Lake. The beach is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the summer and has certified lifeguards. Amenities include a volleyball court, picnic areas, public boat access, parking, public restrooms, a concession stand and a public fishing dock.

City Park is the home of many of the community’s celebrations including Hayden Days, Concerts in the Park and the annual Hayden Business Fair. Other annual community events include Hayden Chamber of Commerce’s H.A.Y.D.E.N. Awards on the third Saturday in March. On the third Saturday in April is the family oriented Hayden City Kite Festival. In early May, the community turns out for the Hayden Boat and Water Sports Show. At the end of June is the Ford Ironman. The Hayden Village Art Festival takes place in July, as does the Hayden Olympic Triathlon. Hayden View Triathlon is on August 1. The Veteran’s Day Parade is on the Saturday after Veteran’s Day in November. In early December, the community welcomes the holiday season with the Christmas Lights Parade.

Hayden is rapidly moving forward in the development of interlocking bike trails and bicycle lanes throughout the city and surrounding area. Bicyclists preparing or participating in events—such as the Coeur d’Alene Ironman, Hayden View Triathlon and Hayden Olympic Triathlon—or just out for a ride are a common sight on Hayden streets.

Located on Hayden Lake and in close proximity to Lake Coeur d’Alene and Lake Pend Oreille, the Greater Hayden area offers the ultimate in water sports—from simply relaxing cruises to motor boating, waterskiing, wake boarding and more. Public boat launches are located at Sportsmen’s Access at the north end of the lake. Tobler Marina is located two miles north of Hayden on U.S. Highway 95.

There are over 50 golf courses within a one hour drive of the city. Hayden is home to the Hayden Lake Country Club and Avondale Golf Course. Avondale is an 18-hole course that is open to the public. The Hayden Lake Country Club is a private club with an 18-hole golf course and driving range.

Hayden GEMS Senior Center, located in the heart of downtown Hayden, offers an exciting schedule of activities for the older adult.

Many city residents enjoy the many amenities and events available in the much larger city of Coeur d’Alene.

The beautiful nearby forested mountains, lakes, rivers and streams offer excellent opportunities for backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, trail riding, swimming, fishing, hunting, kayaking, sailing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing—an extraordinary recreational destination for almost all types of outdoor sports and activities.

Four state parks lie within 30 miles of the city—Farragut at the base of Lake Pend Oreille, Round Lake located south of Sandpoint, Hayden at the base of Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Old Mission west of Coeur d’Alene.

Silverwood Theme Park lies 17 miles north near Athol. The park offers numerous rides and attractions including a roller coaster, steam engine train and various rides on the water.

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