The McCall settlement was founded by Tom and Louisa McCall sometime between 1889-91. During this time, the McCalls established a school, hotel, saloon, and post office in the town. It was early on that the settlement was labeled as a "pleasure resort" by the Idaho Statesman due to the vast recreational activities that occurred on nearby Payette Lake.
Tourism was booming by the early 20th century; the Boydstun Hotel in nearby Lardo opened in 1902, the Sylvan Beach Resort camping area opened in 1906, and the Lardo Inn opened in 1907. McCall's reputation as a tourist destination was secured in 1914 with the arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, and the community was incorporated as a village just three years later.
McCall maintains a variety of attractions including: