Newman Lake was named after William Newman who settled on the southern portion of the lake around 1860. Many explorers and traders from the Hudson's Bay company constructed gardens at Newman Lake more than 145 years ago, just as they did on the west side of Liberty Lake.
Early inhabitants of the area were Indians who roamed the lake and hillsides for berries and game. In the 1880's, pioneers caught trout in Liberty Lake and transplanted them to Newman Lake. A federal government fish tank railroad car was parked at Moab, on the Northern Pacific main line. In 1887, residents carried carp to Newman Lake in buckets.
Excursion trains from Spokane use to run to Moab, where busses and stages took passengers three miles to the lake. At one time on the lake there were four hotels, each one doing a brisk business. The earliest was W.J. Day's place at the south end of the lake. E.J. Chingren bought the Gillett Park hotel in 1912 and subsequently sold it in 1933 after making some add-ons to the place. The Day place was still standing in the late 50's as a farmhouse, but today it is history. Chingren built an extension of the old road from Sutton bay to Gillett Park, as well as about 15 cabins. His hotel and cabins were sold to F.W. and Robert Kolbe in 1933. In the late 1950's they were owned by the Evangelical United Brethren church, which built a chapel in the grove in the rear of the property.
On the east side of the lake in the 1920's were the Newman Lake hotel and the 26-room Taylor hotel near the eastern extremity, which burned in 1934. A rancher named G.L. O'Neil, from the north end of the lake bought the location now called Honeymoon Bay for a down payment of $45. He later sold it for more than $35,000 to Ray Hathaway, who later developed and ran the spot, with its dance hall, restaurant, store and cottages for some 15 years. Hathaway later sold it to Ed Letzring who operated it in the 1950's.