Not-so-sunken treasure: The history of the Mish-an-Nock

After half a century, the Mish-an-Nock is still going strong.

Nearly 50 years ago, the mighty boat took its first cruise from the Spokane River to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Since then, the boat has become a staple on the water. Locals and tourists alike will recognize the tan exterior and bright blue trim on one piece of history still hard at work on the lake.

The boats in the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises fleet all have their own history and features. Some are bigger, and made to host lots of people, while others are shorter and great for smaller parties.

The 65-foot-long Mish-an-Nock has always served as a way for passengers to see Lake Coeur d’Alene since it was built in 1968 in Post Falls. The ship was crafted from 58 tons of steel by Howard J. Dolph, a well-known tugboat maker, along with help from brothers Scott and Rich.

The boat was named for a work that means “morning star,” according to a book by the Kalispell Tribe.

When the boat first slid into the water from Dolph Boat Works dock in Post Falls, it was powered by twin 125-horsepower Caterpillar engines. Today, “The Mish” has been upgraded, powered by twin D6 Volvo engines; it can hold up to 356 people.

In 1996, the boat was refurbished by Fred Finney, who also built other local cruise ships, including The Coeur d’Alene, The Spirit of Coeur d’Alene and The Osprey. The boat is now 107 feet long.

In 2017, the Mish-an-Nock took 525 trips around Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding waterways, carrying more than 63,000 passengers. According to Captain Carl Fus, Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises plans to continue upgrading and maintaining “The Mish” for many more years of parties, sunsets and firework shows!

What’s your favorite memory on the Mish-an-Nock? Or maybe one of the other boats in our fleet? Let us know!

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