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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 50 years ago

A celebration was being planned to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of Spokane House, at the confluence of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers.

Spokane House, a fur-trading outpost established by two representatives of the Northwest Co., Finan McDonald and Jaques Finlay, became the first commercial enterprise in what is now Washington state.

The Northwest Company merged with Hudson’s Bay Co. in 1821, and a representative of that firm was scheduled to appear at the Spokane House celebration. Spokane House was abandoned in 1826.

The celebration was expected to draw many dignitaries both foreign and domestic, including the British consul general from Seattle and the Washington state treasurer.

“A colorful touch will be bagpipe music recalling the era 15 decades ago when returning fur brigades were welcomed back to the post with such music,” The Spokesman-Review gushed five days before the event.

Brief speeches and introductions were planned, the paper reported, because “the only seats available are logs marking the location of the old palisade.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1959: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order making Hawaii the 50th state.

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