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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The city’s library board awarded a contract for the city’s third branch, the North Monroe branch. It would be built of “colonial brick, similar to that used in the Spokane Club,” and would hold 6,000 volumes. The branch, at Monroe Street and Montgomery Avenue, was to be built with funds furnished by the Carnegie Foundation.

From the claustrophobia file: A custodian at the Spokane County Courthouse jokingly pushed a vault door shut on a title worker, who was in the vault copying records.

Panic ensued when the custodian dialed the combination lock and realized there was something wrong with the mechanism. The door wouldn’t open.

The vault was only 6 feet square and air-tight. The custodian tried the combination again and again, and the imprisoned worker had to press his face close to the hinge to breathe. The vault became unbearably hot and stuffy.

After a half-hour, the custodian had nearly given up and gone for help when the combination clicked into place, freeing the sweaty and, justifiably, angry victim. 

Jim Kershner will present a free program titled “Spokane in the Great Depression” at 6:30 p.m. today at the Argonne branch of the Spokane County Library, 4322 N. Argonne Road, and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the North Spokane branch of the Spokane County Library, 44 E. Hawthorne Road.