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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., Aug. 23, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The following words, uttered by Marguerite Motie (Miss Spokane) ushered in a new era for Spokane’s loftiest landmark:

“You, our mountain, have been a true friend to Spokane. Our act this day cannot be more than a weak recognition of our love for you. You shall have the best we have to give, our name itself. I christen thee beautiful Mount Spokane.”

With that, the mountain shed its former names, Old Baldy and Mount Carleton.

Miss Spokane was standing at the summit, 5,883 feet, surrounded by dignitaries including Gov. M.E. Hay and Mayor W.J. Hindley.

Also present was Francis H. Cook, who had no such lofty title, but he was more important than anybody else in making sure Mount Spokane would be preserved for posterity. He owned the summit and much of the slopes, and he dreamed of making it into a park one day.

Not everyone was happy with the name change. The friends of the late pioneer J.J. Browne, who named it Mount Carleton after his son, Guy Carleton Browne, were “inclined to resent the rechristening.”

But the new name made good sense from a public-relations standpoint.

Spokane’s Chamber of Commerce planned to use the new name extensively in promoting the charms of Spokane.

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