Tubbs Hill – Then and Now

Tubbs Hill is one of downtown Coeur d’Alene’s biggest attractions. Situated right next to the CDA resort on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Tubbs Hill is a popular destination among families and outdoor adventurers seeking a fun day outside, with challenging hikes and stunning views. 

Before it became a special landmark, though, it actually had other functions besides outdoor fun and exploration. To learn more about Tubbs Hill then and now, keep reading below!

Tubbs Hill Then

Tubbs Hill got it start back in 1884, when a local man named Tony Tubbs purchased the property. He was prominent in the area as a land salesman and was known for buying and selling property all over town. This is how the Tubbs Hill we know and love came to be today.

History

Purchased by Mr. Tubbs in 1884, Tubbs Hill was originally supposed to become residential property. In the 1800’s, it was common for people to purchase land without seeing it first. It was also common for sellers to present the land for purchase as flat and buildable to attract other buyers. Mr. Tubbs did exactly this when trying to re-sell the land for profit. However, there were certain circumstances involved with Tubbs Hill that made residential use impossible.

For example, the land is solid rock that made it impossible to build on in the late 1800s. It also has a large change in elevation (the hill is over 375 feet tall with an 8-30 degree grade.) This means that building homes and businesses on it would be impractical.

Due to these circumstances, Mr. Tubbs sold off portions of the shore and as much usable land as possible. The south shore and east half of the hill were originally sold to Washington Water Power Co for a water system. The rest of the waterfront was purchased by CDA Lumber Co for a saw mill. 

After many years, the Hill saw plenty of transformation. Among its time as a water system and saw mill plant, Tubbs Hill was also used for:

Entertainment

During the 1920s, a viewing stand was built on Tubb’s Hill for sailboat and hydroplane races until the city decided it was giving the area a bad reputation. It was dismantled in the 1960s.

War

During WWII, the land surrounding Tubbs Hill (now McEuen Park) was used as housing for Farragut Naval Station. After the war, this station was closed and the city turned it into a public park. Later on, the rest of the hill was then purchased and restored for public use.

Tubbs Hill Now

Fast forward many decades and Tubbs Hill is now a completely recreational area for families to gather and enjoy nature along the picturesque Lake Coeur d’Alene. While this isn’t what Mr. Tubbs had intended for the land, Tubbs Hill is being used exactly how it should. Coeur d’Alene would be nothing without it and it’s now one of the best activities to enjoy in town, in addition to boating on the lake and exploring shops and restaurants. 

CDA Boat Rentals

Speaking of boating on the lake, it’s a great way to view Tubbs Hill without hiking the trails! If you’d like to enjoy the water on Lake Coeur d’Alene during the summer and get a beautiful view of Tubbs Hill, consider renting a boat with Resort Boat Rentals. We have pontoon boat rentals, sport boat rentals, jet skis, paddleboards, and more. 

Don’t miss out on one of the best things to do in Coeur d’Alene. Rent a boat with us today and see what all downtown Coeur d’Alene has to offer!