September 10, 2012 in City

Then and Now photos: Opportunity hall

Century-old former township center now houses Valley museum
The Opportunity Township Hall, a Spanish colonial-style building at 12114 E. Sprague Ave., turns 100 years old this year, and its current occupant, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, will celebrate the centennial on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. with a program and the burial of a time capsule. Townships, a form of local government found across rural America, were common a century ago. The township of Opportunity, a name suggested by local resident Laura Kelsey, was formed in 1908, when the area was mostly farms and orchards. Three years later, the new hall, designed by architect C. Harvey Smith, was built along a dirt track called Appleway (later Sprague Avenue). Over the years it has served as offices, a meeting hall, a library and a venue for social events. The Legislature took away taxing authority of rural townships in 1969, and Spokane County voters dissolved local townships in 1974. The empty building went to the city of Spokane Valley when it incorporated, and it was later passed to the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. – Jesse Tinsley

1915: The Opportunity business district included Opportunity Township Hall, right.

Jesse Tinsley photo Buy this photo
Present day: The former Opportunity Township Hall, right, is now the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum.

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