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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., June 16, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane Pow Wow, the city’s official “play week festival,” opened with a combination of genuine and not-so-genuine Indian ceremonies.

The latter was presided over by Chief Big Noise, actually a chamber of commerce man named R.E. Bigelow, who was elected as the Pow Wow’s “big chief.” He issued a proclamation to his “loyal subjects” in which he urged everyone in the Inland Empire to “be merry, be happy and thank your lucky stars that you live in the real playground of the whole world.”

The genuine Indian ceremonies were presided over by a band of Blackfeet Indians from Glacier National Park, who were invited to the Pow Wow and formally initiated Chief Bigelow into their tribe and gave him the name of Big Noise.

The Blackfeet Indians danced, sang and smoked the peace pipe with Chief Big Noise and other Pow Wow officials. The event was to last all week.

From the hospital beat: The investigation into the Medical Lake Insane Asylum was disrupted by a “violently insane man who waved a big brass nozzle about his head and threatened the life of any person who came near him.”

He was finally subdued when attendants dropped a big mattress onto his head. Officials dropped it from the gallery of the theater where the hearings were taking place and “the weight of the mattress bore the crazed patient to the floor” while attendants rushed in and subdued him.

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