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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Dutch Jake vows to respect prohibition

From our archive, 100 years ago

Dutch Jake Goetz, Spokane’s most famous saloon and hotel proprietor, was planning to “steer the old ship to dry land,” he said.

Dry land was statewide prohibition, and the ship was his Coeur d’Alene Hotel, which featured the replica of a ship’s deck on the roof.

His bar would close on New Year’s Eve and would reopen the next day as “something like an ice cream parlor,” for “ladies and children and all classes of people.”

He said that he and his business partner Harry Baer vowed not to have “a drop of any kind of intoxicating liquor on the premises of the Hotel Coeur d’Alene, and neither will we have any in our homes.”

This was front-page news, considering that Dutch Jake was famous for his raucous birthday parties, in which he supplied free beer from a wagon.

But now, he and Baer vowed to stand with the people who backed prohibition.

“Whatever the majority of the people want, we are with them, and respect our government,” Dutch Jake said.

The bar at the Coeur d’Alene Hotel had been serving liquor for 25 years. Before that, Dutch Jake was known for his saloon/casino in a giant canvas tent, erected in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1889.

Dutch Jake reminisced fondly that his tent housed “all kinds of amusements.”

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