December 26, 2011 in City

Then & Now photos: Millwood, oldest city in Valley

Town grew around paper industry

1941: The view looking north from Millwood was far less congested than it is now.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

The town of Millwood was orignally named Woodard Station for a train stop on the Coeur d’Alene Spokane Railroad at the edge of Joseph and Seth Woodard’s land. The Woodards were settlers who gave the right-of-way for a new electric train around 1903. A new north-south road, now Argonne Road, and a bridge over the Spokane River allowed people and agricultural goods to reach the train into Spokane. In 1911, the Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Co., of Appleton, Wis., built a mill by the river and began producing paper. The town exploded with the new industry, adding businesses and homes to serve and house the mill’s employees. Its name was changed to Millwood to honor both the mill and the Woodard family. The community of almost 2,000 was the first to incorporate in the Spokane Valley area, in 1928. This year, Inland Empire Paper, owned by the Cowles Co., celebrates 100 years of operation.

On the Web: Find more historical photos with present-day comparisons at

– Jesse Tinsley

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