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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago: ‘Miss Spokane’ steamboat propeller, thought lost, recovered through marvelous coincidence

After the steamboat “Miss Spokane” lost its propeller, most assumed it would lie forever on the bottom of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Not so. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Miss Spokane, a steamboat on the Red Collar line on Lake Coeur d’Alene, was making a run from Harrison to Coeur d’Alene when it dropped one of its propellers, right in the middle of the lake.

Company officials assumed the propeller went straight to the bottom, which is very deep at that point. The Miss Spokane was a twin-screw steamer, so it was able to continue on its trip.

Then, three weeks later, steamship officials found out they were wrong about that propeller. A large log was found on Kidd Island, about 4 or 5 miles from where the incident occurred.

Buried in one end of the log was the propeller, embedded by one of its three flukes.

“The propeller wheel was intact, and had to be chopped out of the log,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

From the war beat: The casualties from the European war continued to climb as both sides launched massive spring campaigns.

There was new concern that the Germans were launching a drive toward Paris.

“American Troops Holding Their Ground,” said a front-page headline. An inside story listed dozens of new casualties.

Meanwhile, Spokane was expecting a quiet Fourth of July celebration in the summer of 1918.

Fireworks were going to be scarce, because powder was reserved for war munitions. Most local organizations were scaling back or canceling the fireworks portion of their Independence Day plans.