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Tuesday, February 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A fire began in a Northport stable-garage and within 90 minutes, two-thirds of Northport’s business district was destroyed.

Scores of citizens rushed to aid the volunteer fire department. By late evening, they were still attempting, with bucket and hose, to extinguish smoldering hot spots. Firemen from Colville arrived by auto to help. The cause of the fire was not known, although several autos were being kept in the building and “much gasoline had been spilled around.”

No lives were lost, but the economic loss was estimated at $100,000. The list of destroyed buildings included the brick warehouse of the Kendrick Mercantile Co., the Great Northern Depot, the brick New Zealand Hotel, the post office and three saloons.

From the picnic beat: The Shriners’ annual picnic at Liberty Lake featured a fascinating event called the Fat Man’s Race. One man won a heat by “the simple expedient of grabbing (his opponent’s) suspenders and being towed” most of the way.

In the main event, a number of men tried “the crouching start.” However, they found that “once crouched, they had to stay that way, and so were unable to do any running.”

The overall winner was Harry Fenstermacher, who “achieved fame at other times during the afternoon” by “being thrown into the lake with all his clothes on.”

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