Dutch Jake

Jacob Johann Goetz is a well-known figure in Spokane’s History.  “Dutch Jake” wasn’t the father of Spokane, but he may have been its fun loving uncle.  

Below are a few of the highlights from his life:

  • Drove a Mule Team from Cheyenne, Wyoming to the Silver Valley in Idaho.
  • Received over $200,000 for his share of the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine, after staking the mine’s founders.
  • He invited every miner in the Silver Valley to his 1886 wedding – and 678 of them showed up.
  • He owned several cannons, which he loved to fire off from the roof of his downtown Spokane hotel.
  • He held a birthday picnic every year that lasted two days, attracted hundreds of his closest friends, featured mock sea-battles and was fueled by wagons full of free beer.
  • The roof of his Hotel Coeur d’Alene featured “The Deck of a Modern Steamship on Top,” complete with lifeboats.
  • The hotel also featured his favorite piece of art – a painting of a jackass. The jackass was involved in the discovery of the strike that became the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mine.
  • Dutch Jake was well known for his charitable nature.  He never let a fellow, down on his luck, go without a hot meal or a hot bed.

The Coeur d’Alene Hotel, was known as the “Hotel With A Personality.”  “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,” wrote old friend and prospector Jim Wardner, in his 1900 autobiography.

The building still stands.  The Frankfurt Building, named after Dutch Jake’s birthplace, overlooks Riverfront Park and the Looff Carousel.  Having a pint at O’doherty’s, Spokane’s Best Irish Pub and located in the Frankfurt building, looking out into Riverfront Park is easily one of the best views in town.