This iconic landmark has survived for half a century and is still going strong.
The maiden voyage of the big boat from the Spokane River to Lake Coeur d’Alene took place nearly 50 years ago this month. Since then, the boat has established itself as a necessary piece of equipment on the sea. Residents and visitors will recognize the tan exterior and vivid blue trim on one piece of history that is currently hard at work on the lake.
Each of the boats in the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises fleet has its own unique history and set of amenities. Some are larger and designed to accommodate large groups of people, while others are shorter and ideal for smaller gatherings.
Since its construction in 1968 near Post Falls, the 65-foot-long Mish-an-Nock has provided guests with a unique opportunity to view Lake Coeur d’Alene and its surroundings. Howard J. Dolph, a well-known tugboat builder, and his brothers Scott and Rich worked together to construct the ship, which weighed 58 tons and was constructed of steel.
According to a book written by the Kalispell Tribe, the boat was named after a piece of art that translates as “dawn star.”
After being launched from the Dolph Boat Works dock in Post Falls, the boat was driven by twin 125-horsepower Caterpillar engines at the time of its initial descent into the water. “The Mish” has been updated and is now powered by dual D6 Volvo engines, and it can accommodate up to 356 passengers.
During a restoration project in 1996, the boat was restored by Fred Finney, who was also responsible for the construction of other local cruise ships, including The Coeur d’Alene, The Spirit of Coeur d’Alene, and The Osprey. The boat has grown to be 107 feet in length.
It made 525 journeys around Lake Coeur d’Alene and the adjacent waterways in 2017, transporting more over 63,000 passengers in the process. According to Captain Carl Fus, Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises intends to continue renovating and preserving “The Mish” for many more years of parties, sunsets, and firework performances to come in the future.