Dates in Spokane River history:
About 10,000 years ago: Missoula Floods scour the region, laying the gravels of the Spokane River and an interconnected aquifer.
1810: Explorer David Thompson helps establish the Spokane House, a fur-trading site at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers, a traditional gathering spot for tribes.
1911: Little Falls Dam is built at one of 11 primary American Indian fishing spots along the Spokane River.
1933-’34: Riverside State Park opens.
Late 1930s: Construction of Grand Coulee Dam blocks salmon migration from the upper Columbia River basin, including the Spokane River.
1957: The city of Spokane’s first wastewater treatment plant goes into operation.
1972: Construction of Riverfront Park begins in preparation for Expo ’74.
1988: First Spokane Canoe Classic race.
1990: Opening of the Centennial Trail’s first paved segment.
1995: Spokane Regional Health District issues a “statement of concern” over PCB levels in fish and sediments in the upper Spokane River.
2004: American Rivers ranks the Spokane River sixth on its “10 Most Endangered Rivers” list.
On the Web
Explore an interactive map of the river packaged with this story at s-r.com/ riverproject,
and find a link to a recording of Pauline Flett’s 1998 appearance on public radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”