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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Two new scenic drives were nearly complete, one a “high drive” above the Hangman Bluff, and the other along the Spokane River to Downriver Park.

The Downriver drive was near river level and was intended to connect Downriver Park with other sections of the park system. A bridge was also being erected to connect the new drive with Fort George Wright.

The “high drive” above Hangman Creek was already usable from Cedar Street to Grand Boulevard. The paper called it “one of the best from a scenic standpoint of any of the park drives.” 

Today, it is officially called High Drive.

From the mystery file: Police were investigating a mysterious death at the Spokane Club. Charles Hawxhurst, an insurance agent, was found dead by gunshot in his room by a club porter.

The porter said he had gone up to the room to take a drink order earlier in the evening. The porter said that Hawxhurst was on his bed in his pajamas and that another man, E.G. Ford, an insurance agent, was also in the room. Everything appeared to be fine.

When the porter returned with a gin fizz, he found Hawxhurst on the bed, laboring to catch his breath and with blood spattered on the pillow. The porter put a towel to Hawxhurst’s head and reported the incident.

When police arrived, Hawxhurst was dead. They found Ford in his own room, intoxicated. Ford said he was unaware that any shot had been fired.

Police suspected the gunshot might have been self-inflicted. However, they were investigating if it was an accident or suicide, and what role, if any, Ford had played. There were reports that Hawxhurst had threatened suicide for several days because of financial woes.