Mission Landing was as far up the Coeur d’Alene River as you could get with a big boat. Supplies for the mines were off-loaded here onto a narrow-gauge railway (just visible in the lower right) that took them to the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, Kellogg, Wallace, and Murray. Ore went the other direction, down the railway to the landing and by boat from there.
What I hadn’t noticed before, until I read the picture description furnished by the Idaho State Historical Society, was that the “dock” the Georgie Oakes is tied up to is the cannibalized hull of the steamer Coeur d’Alene, the boat it replaced on the river.
Today we have a romanticized view of those often-elegant looking boats that plied the waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene, and the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe rivers. In their day, they were working boats that held little charm for most people. None of the many steamers that worked the waters are around still today. No one bothered to save even one. Most burned accidentally or were scuttled. One went down as the center point of the Fourth of July celebration in 1927. People looked on while the burning boat sank into the lake, sputtering and smoking until it was only a memory. That was the fate of the grand lady of the lakes, the Georgie Oakes.