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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., Oct. 27, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Harry F. Giles, Washington’s assistant secretary of state, was also the state’s unofficial tourism booster.

He visited Spokane to gather material for two books he planned to write, one a guide for new settlers and home-seekers, and the other a tourist guide for the “thousands of tourists now going to Europe and southern California.”

He said that once they heard about Washington’s “untold and indescribable beauties,” those tourists would flock to the state.

The tourist book, titled “The Beauties of the State of Washington,” subsequently came out in 1915.

Here’s how Giles described the Spokane country: “The hills nearest Spokane are covered with a dense growth of pine. Farther away are forests of pine, fir, cedar and tamarack, concealing many lakes teeming with trout and black bass. … Towards the east the Apple Way, one of the most remarkable roads in America on account of the high class material of which it is constructed, enters the Spokane Valley, crosses the state of Idaho and connects with roads leading to the National Parks in Montana.”

He added that from the summit of Mount Spokane, “one may look out into the three northwestern states of Oregon, Idaho and Washington, and into the province of British Columbia; and count seventeen different lakes and rivers.”

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