Diver finds century-old artifacts at the bottom of Lake Coeur d'Alene

LAKE COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho --- Below the surface of Lake Coeur d’Alene, are hundreds of items lost by those who came before us.

One man, Tim McCall, has made it his mission to bring as many of those lost possessions to the surface as he can.

“There’s a lot of history on the bottom,” McCall explained on Wednesday afternoon. As the owner of the “Tom’s Diving Adventures,” he can be considered something akin to an unofficial historian of the lake bed.

Some of the things found at the bottom of the lake highlight parts of the area’s history that many of us have forgotten.

Things like a 1930s-era slot machine and an actual Model T car.

“They pretty much outlawed gambling,” explained McCall. “Took all the slot machines on a big barge on the boat, tossed them in the lake."

McCall said he found the Model T about seven or eight years ago, but wouldn’t say exactly where on Lake Coeur d’Alene, and did not have a photo.

“I’d kind of like to keep that one a secret,” he said with a laugh.

McCall’s predecessor at the shop, the original owner “Tom,” for which “Tom’s Diving Adventures” is named, found many of the artifacts. He donated several of the items to a local museum.

To this day, McCall says he is still finding new treasures under the water. He recently found a century-old shovel that was once on a steamer.

"It throws a lot of emotion, there's a lot of feelings,” he said. "It's probably been there 50, 60, 80, maybe even 100 years."


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