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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s underground water supply is “practically inexhaustible,” reported a pleased Spokane city commissioner.

He said that, even after pumping out 30,000 gallons a day, the water level in the “subterranean stream” did not fall a single inch.

The word “aquifer” was never used in the story, possibly because city officials did not yet know the nature of the water supply. They called it “a mysterious stream, the extent of which has never been measured.”

From the logging beat: Ward Fancher, a young Spokane man, embarked on his own wild flume ride – but not in an amusement park.

The Milwaukee Road had just finished making a huge log flume on Rochat Creek, just east of St. Maries. Young Fancher, who apparently worked on the project, decided to test it by making a small boat and launching himself down the flume.

“In spite of the frequent curves, the trip was made in 10 minutes,” reported the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

That means he raced down the four-mile flume at a hair-raising average of 24 miles an hour.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1537: Jane Seymour, the third wife of England’s King Henry VIII, died 12 days after giving birth to Prince Edward, later King Edward VI. … 1940: The 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. … 2001: The House narrowly passed a $100 billion economic stimulus package.