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Then and Now photos: Church’s Seed Store

Onetime store now a lighting showroom

In the early days of Spokane, farmers and rural residents visited Church’s Seed Store at 915 W. First Ave. for seed, animal feed and equipment. Henry Church’s store later became Inland Seed, which was bought and moved by Portland Seed Co. in the 1920s. In 1929, Ruth Sampson, daughter of Swedish immigrants and a gifted singer, opened Ruth Sampson Sheet Music. She moved into the old seed store building in 1953, and with husband Stephen Ayers operated Sampson-Ayers House of Music – one of the largest sheet music outlets in the country. She ran the business for 50 years and died in 1991 at age 92. The building was later purchased by Carr Sales, an electrical supply company next door, and now serves as showroom and warehouse space. Carr Sales was founded by businessman Don Barnett in 1946 and is operated today by his son, Rod Barnett. – Jesse Tinsley


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