Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Stephen Whitford, 4, was chasing frogs in the Liberty Park pond when he began to sink into the treacherous silty bottom.

He grabbed a plank and began shouting for help. Yet he continued to sink in the mud, until the water was up to his ears. He could barely get his mouth above water to shout.

Finally, an older girl, Helen Graham, rushed over and held him up until a park employee came over. The two of them were able to pull the boy out.

Stephen was cold but otherwise unharmed.

From the drama beat: Meanwhile, a less harrowing event also took place at Liberty Park. A group of children, led by director Miss Henrietta Flournoy, staged a pantomime version of “Cinderella” outdoors at the park.

The production featured a phonograph to provide orchestral accompaniment and a stage setting under a tree.

There was a slight delay because it took a while to get the phonograph working and “it took even longer for the juvenile enthusiasts in the front row to sit down and stop hollering at their friends on the stage.”

Apparently, all of the parts were played by girls.

“Miss Gladys Safverin, who was the biggest girl in the cast and played the Prince, was actually greeted with a cheer when she first appeared, just like any leading lady,” The Spokesman-Review said.

Miss Flournoy said this was the first pantomime performance in a Spokane park.



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