"Dutch" Jake Goetz, Harry Baer and the Coeur d'Alene Hotel

"Dutch" Jake Goetz and his partner Harry Baer embodied the gold rush and pioneer attitude. After receiving two hundred thousand dollars in 1888 for their role in discovering the Bunker Hill mine, Dutch and Baer moved to Spokane Falls. There the partners constructed a hotel saloon called the Frankfurt Project, named after Goetz's German birthplace. The Saloon was completed in 1888 and burnt down in the great Spokane fire of 1889. After the fire, the Frankfurt Block was included in a list published in the New York Times among the more important buildings lost in the Spokane fire.

Dutch and Baer were not deterred by the fire, in fact after their establishment had burned, they erected a large tent to serve as their temporary housing while they maintained operations and raised money. In 1894 the Coeur d'Alene hotel was built.

The Coeur d'Alene Hotel was described as the greatest variety, greatest extravagance, and greatest overall place in Spokane by Jim Wardner. Jim Wardner had a part in the Bunker Hill mine, was the namesake of Wardner, ID and traveled extensively between Arizona, California, Utah, Wisconnsin and Washington following the mining booms. Wardner marveled at the use of an electronic Keno game, that kept the game square, and other gambling activities such as Roulette and Stud Poker. Aside from gambling the Coeur d'Alene Saloon had multiple bars, lunch counters and lodging for its guests. The Hotel also was home to a theatre, a dance hall, Turkish bath and the finest whiskey. Jim Wardner explained:

"A person can get anything he wants in this place of business - drink, bath, meal, bed, shave, go to the theater, dance hall or gambling room."

The building was heated by steam and lit by gas and electricity. Although Dutch is admittedly running a casino, his moral standards are praised by Jim Wardner, who explains that Jake encourages moderation by his guests in all of his many amenities. Goetz is also described as a philanthropist as it was said at the Coeur d'Alene Hotel that even the homeless could come in for a meal, rest and a bath at no charge. Goetz was described as a fair employer as well, paying his employees an average of four dollars per day while spending $576 per day on his combined staff salary. It is no doubt that the Coeur d'Alene Hotel was a busy and exciting place near the turn of the century.


Jake Goetz and Harry Baer
by Zachary Wnek
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