Originally a logging town, McCall has not had a sawmill since the last one close in 1977. Today McCall has become all about tourism, helping locals and visitors to explore the great outdoors. McCall is best known for its Winter Carnival, beautiful Payette Lake, and its 1,000-acre Ponderosa State Park.
Prior to settlement by whites, McCall was home to three tribes of Native Americans: Tukudika, Shosone, and Nez Perce. They utilized the McCall area during the warmer months and migrated when the weather became frigid.
Thomas and Louisa McCall first established McCall around 1889-91. They purchase 160 acres of land by trading a team of horses to Sam Dever, who held the property because of squatter rights. They lived in a cabin located lakes shore near present-day Hotel McCall. Thomas established a school, hotel, post office, saloon, and purchased a nearby saw-mill.
After the Second World War a group of doctors and businessmen from Lewiston, 150 miles to the north, chose McCall as a recreation site. In 1948 the historic Shore Lodge opened and stood as a centerpiece for the town over the next 51 years. Though it became a private resort for ten years, it re-opened to the public in 2008.