- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Jazz Singer Mildred Bailey posing for a portrait at the Aquarium in New York City.
The Coeur d’Alene Reservation is situated on the shared border between Washington and Idaho and is governed under the sovereign authority of the Schitsu’umsh people.  This reservation has remained a place where members continue to celebrate ancestral traditions and uphold cultural practices such as Schitsu’umsh language, music and dance. Born in 1903, Mildred Bailey was no stranger to the traditions of her ancestors.
Bailey grew up in Tekoa, Washington, just outside of the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. Both of her parents were proficient musicians, so their household was always filled with song. Her great-grandfather, Bazil Peone, was the head speaker and song leader of the Schitsu’umsh people, and his musical innovation became the foundation of young Bailey’s vocal development. Peone created a style of song that mixed European hymns brought by Jesuit missionaries who settled in the area with the language and melodies of Schitsu’umsh song.  Throughout her upbringing, Bailey sang these hymns whenever her family visited the reservation for ceremonies. The Schitsu’umsh song tradition of syncopated rhythms and slurred notes influenced Bailey’s vocal technique and set her apart from many singers at the time.
Bailey would go on to become a star in the jazz music scene during the emergence of the genre itself. Throughout the 1920s, her voice could coax the attention of a crowd within any Prohibition-era speakeasy, and her personality and musical virtuosity began to garner admiration from fans and musicians alike. This was also around the time when Bailey began her life-long friendship with Bing Crosby, who she met before he became a household name; in fact, she was instrumental in launching his career. By the 1930s, Bailey was being broadcast nationally on the radio as a soloist and was performing with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, making her the first woman to front a big band. Her success in the jazz scene continued well into the 1940s. Unfortunately, health complications prohibited her from performing and eventually lead to her death in 1951. Mildred Bailey’s singing career took her to Los Angeles and New York City, and to clubs across the country. She brought the unique melody and rhythm of the Schitsu’umsh style to the ears of millions, ultimately contributing its unmistakable style of swing and gliding notes to the jazz lexicon. 
Around 1907, the Tekoa Grain Company cooperative built a flathouse—a storage facility for grain—along the anticipated (but not yet constructed)...
An hour’s drive from the Great American Rail-Trail™, the Appaloosa Museum in Moscow, Idaho, is filled with artifacts and stories that tell the history...
Take an hour-long drive off the trail to visit the McConnell Mansion in Moscow, Idaho, and tour themed period rooms that show what life was like here...
The Great American Rail-Trail promises an all-new American experience. Through 12 states and the District of Columbia, the trail will directly serve nearly 50 million people within 50 miles of the route. Across the nation—and the world—only the limits of imagination will limit its use.Learn More
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails conservancy
(a non-profit) and we need your support!