Coeur d’Alene’s ‘City Within A City’ - Part 2

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  • This map of Fourth Street on the right intersecting with Appleway Avenue in 1958 shows many of the old businesses that will be featured in this history series. A. Stackhouse Bros Mobile; B. Maries, originally Hardware store and Tom’s Electric; C. Appleway Food store; D. Skyline Motel; E. original site of Marie’s; F. Sunset Bar; G. Wiloacres; H. Elsies Dakota Cafe; I. Abbeys/Mathews Chevron; J. Drive Thru grocery store; K. Elkhorn; L. Johns Bargain House; M. Mack’s Tire service; N. Lake City Motors; O. Mike’s Place; P. North Star Service Station; Q. Leahy’s 300 Club.

  • 1

    Marie’s Coffee Stop Cafe, circa 1965

  • 2

    Shell station, 1965

  • 3

    Looking west at the Skyline Motel, 1966

  • 4

    The Hacienda Motel, 1965

  • This map of Fourth Street on the right intersecting with Appleway Avenue in 1958 shows many of the old businesses that will be featured in this history series. A. Stackhouse Bros Mobile; B. Maries, originally Hardware store and Tom’s Electric; C. Appleway Food store; D. Skyline Motel; E. original site of Marie’s; F. Sunset Bar; G. Wiloacres; H. Elsies Dakota Cafe; I. Abbeys/Mathews Chevron; J. Drive Thru grocery store; K. Elkhorn; L. Johns Bargain House; M. Mack’s Tire service; N. Lake City Motors; O. Mike’s Place; P. North Star Service Station; Q. Leahy’s 300 Club.

  • 1

    Marie’s Coffee Stop Cafe, circa 1965

  • 2

    Shell station, 1965

  • 3

    Looking west at the Skyline Motel, 1966

  • 4

    The Hacienda Motel, 1965

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories about the history of present-day Appleway Avenue and the businesses on Fourth Street leading to it.

The route of the Apple Way — also known as the Yellowstone Trail or, from 1926, U.S. Highway 10 — from the Spokane Bridge to Coeur d’Alene, was established in 1914 by the commissioners of Kootenai County.

First paved in 1922, U.S. 10 followed Fourth Street north and then curved along Appleway heading west to the state line.

It was a main travel route through the area and once bustled with businesses: cafes, mom and pop restaurants, motels and bars.

With the creation of Northwest Boulevard in the 1930s and later, in the 1950s, the development of Interstate 90 around the city, traffic patterns changed and the landscape shifted.

This series explores those old businesses. So far, five businesses have been discussed: 1. Willow/Aurora Motel; 2. Silver Spruce Motel; 3. Mac’s Motel; 4. The Sunset Motel; and 5. The Log Cabin Beer Parlor.

Continuing on along old Appleway:

6. Arnold’s/Collin’s Cabin Camp – 202 West Appleway, southwest intersection of Appleway and Government Way.

Sadly, there is nothing left of this motel, just a large area occupied by Tire Rama, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and lots of parking. Sad, because it was one of the oldest, built in 1928 by George Arnold. At the intersection of the North South Highway and the North Pacific Highway (U.S. 95 and U.S. 10), it was the perfect place for lodging and Texaco gasoline. Mr. Arnold and his wife, Bertha Mae, started construction in 1928 but a harsh winter halted that, so it was not ready until the following year. They ran it for many years until selling to Jack and Anna Collins in 1947. Renamed as Collins Coeur d’Alene Camp and Texaco, it was sold a few years later to Joseph L. Hansen and renamed the Junction 10 and 95 Motel. In 1959, Rolland E. and Mary Megordon bought it and decided on Scotty’s Economy Motel as a new name. By 1971, it was gone.

7. The Junction Bus Terminal/Why Not? Drive Inn – 201 West Appleway, northwest corner of Appleway and Government Way.

This property is near and dear to my heart for two reasons. First, it was a challenge to track down its history and second, it is a great Exxon station. Around 1940, the bus depot for the Coeur d’Alene – Wallace line was at this spot and it was also a lunch counter. In July of 1946 the Junction Bus Terminal was bought by Howard Hayes, owner and operator of the Terminal Café and Fountain at 224 Sherman. He rebranded it as the “Why Not?” Drive-In. It also included slot machines as did many places back then. The place did not last too long as it was vacant by 1952. At some point the building was either demolished or rebuilt, because by 1959, a Shell station was there and the property has been a gas station ever since.

8. The Gem Motel – 2713 North Government Way.

Although the Gem motel was not on Appleway, it was just a bit north on Government Way and was a popular motel for people travelling east-west or north-south. It was built in 1952 by Robert Stackhouse who lived on the property and owned a gas station at the northeast corner of Appleway and Government Way, on the curve. He operated the motel until 1970, when it was purchased by Roberta Wilson. It remained a motel until the early 1980s and was replaced by a pawn shop. The area is now a parking lot, just north of Auto Zone.

9. The Hacienda Motel – 2925 North Government Way.

Like the Gem Motel (but a little bigger and fancier), the Hacienda was a little north of Appleway but still popular with travelers. Built in 1942 by Milo and Dorothea Anderson, it consisted of 22 units in a classic “L” shape. They operated the motel until about 1955, when it went through a series of owners. In 1960, a heated swimming pool was added. A few years later, Mr. and Mrs. John Heyne bought the place, running it for a while. In 1975 it was remodeled as a drive in restaurant, becoming Garcia’s. By 1978 it was gone.

10. Gas Station – 121 Appleway, northeast corner of Appleway and Government Way.

The fascination of this (now gone) gas station was its location in the triangle formed by the curve from Appleway up to Government Way. If you look at current aerial photos of the area, you can clearly see the curve running under the parking lot of the Coeur d’Alene Mall, just to the east of the FedEx store. FedEx is exactly where the gas station was located for many years. One of the oldest businesses along the Appleway, the service station was in operation by 1920, owned and operated by E.H. Breats who died in 1931. At some point, the station was bought by Chad Sorenson who sold it to the Stackhouse brothers, Frank and Bruce, in 1945, who sold Mobil gasoline. In 1960 it was renamed North Side Mobil Service. It was there until about 1963 when the station was vacant. By 1966, when the Coeur d’Alene Mall was opened, it was abandoned.

11. Idaho Hardware and Variety/Marie’s Coffee Stop/ The Four Seasons – 112 East Appleway, southeast corner of Government Way and Appleway.

Wells Fargo Bank now sits where a fondly remembered café — Marie’s Coffee Stop — was. But before that, it was a hardware and electric supply store. In May of 1950, Paul Poredda asked the city council for a permit to construct a hardware store by building a cement block room onto his current building. That business remained until 1958, when Marie’s Coffee Stop moved (see Skyline Motel later in this article) there. Marie’s had been in its previous location since 1949. It is uncertain if they remodeled the building or built a new one. Many folks fondly recall the amazing food and buffet, quite the smorgasbord! It was a great place for a family meal or a place to go to after drinking and dancing late at night. Marie’s remained there, operated by Marie McLeod, until the business was bought by Frank and Ruth Susedik in 1967, after Marie died. She had owned her café for 18 years. The Susediks kept the name Marie’s for a number of years, but by 1971 it was called the Four Seasons. By 1975, it was gone.

12. Appleway Food Store and Grocery – 104 West Appleway, just east of Marie’s.

If you stand now in the parking lot just west of Carl’s Jr, you stand in the location of the Appleway Food and Grocery store started in 1946 by Al and Minnie Edwards who advertised plenty of parking (just west of the store). They converted it into the Health Bakery in 1954. That only lasted a few years. In 1957 it was Pinelands Sports and Archery, 1959 saw it as Nip and Kurl beauty salon and in 1960 Kootenai Saw and Marine was in this location. By 1966 it was the Sunset Heights Building Supply and later was demolished.

13. Cottage Drive-In/Skyline Café/Skyline Motel – 202/102 Appleway, just east of Appleway Food Store.

In July of 1946, Ed Anderson asked the city council for a permit to build a drive-in restaurant. It was granted and, in September, they opened the Cottage Drive-In. Big changes came in October 1947, when they sold it to Carl and Berva Stark who were also building the Skyline Motel just south, behind the restaurant. In 1958, the motel opened and the Cottage became the Skyline Café.

Perhaps it is best to pause at this point, since more research needs to be done on the Skyline and the other properties which continued east along Appleway. Many readers will no doubt have memories or even corrections to this history, and they are more than welcome. I would love to have those so that we can preserve this part of our history. In a later article, I will look at those places that continued along the Appleway to the North Fourth curve – Wiloacres, Sunset Tavern (which is the only remaining original business), Elsie’s Dakota café, Abbey/Mathews Chevron, and the Elkhorn, to name a few. Stay tuned!

•••

This story and photos were first published in the Museum of North Idaho’s 2017 newsletters and are shared with Coeur Voice readers courtesy of Tom Flanagan and the Museum of North Idaho, 115 Northwest Boulevard, Coeur d’Alene. For more information about the museum, visit www.museumni.org.

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