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Washington Voices

Valley museum series features talks by local historians


A new speaker series explores Spokane Valley’s history and culture as settlers founded their new homes along the Spokane River.

The set of monthly presentations begins with the Jesuit missionaries, miners, fur traders and the Army following their path through the Valley in the mid-19th century.

“There was a lot of activity in the area,” Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum said. “It was transitioning from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s ancestral homelands.”

The community’s past is her focus as she starts the museum’s first series of discussions from local historians.

“People are doing so much searching, either on their homes, property, celebrating a centennial or just wanting to know more about their community,” Singleton said.

Some of the presentations will point history buffs in the direction of self-guided research on the state’s online database of digital archives or making history more accessible to people through mobile technology.

The monthly series continues the museum’s mission to share and exhibit history, Singleton said.

Although the first presentation highlights life and culture in Spokane Valley after it was settled, a later event will feature a representative from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe sharing stories passed down through generations.

“We’ve inherited this community,” Singleton said, “and I like to think about what we’ve inherited.”

Series schedule

• Spokane Valley History, Chapter 1, Wednesday

Jayne Singleton, director of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, shares the Valley’s story before Spokane was founded.

• Eastern Washington Archives, March 6

Tracy Rebstock, digital access archivist, will explain how to navigate Washington’s online database of school and government records.

• Accessing History Electronically, April 3

Larry Cebula, a history professor at Eastern Washington University, will show how to use today’s technology to search personal history.

• This Valley was our Homeland, May 1

A representative of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe will share the region’s historic events and stories passed down through generations of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Indians.