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100 years ago in Spokane: Parks leader suggests folks not freak out about dandelions

Spokane Parks Superintendent John W. Duncan told people not to worry so much about dandelions, and the Strand Theater was offering an “all-girl show,” The Spokesman-Review reported on May 5, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Parks Superintendent John W. Duncan told people not to worry so much about dandelions, and the Strand Theater was offering an “all-girl show,” The Spokesman-Review reported on May 5, 1916. (The Spokesman-Review)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane Parks Superintendent John W. Duncan (of Duncan Gardens fame) said that one of the most common questions he received this time of year was, “What am I to do with the dandelions? They are about to overrun my place.”

Duncan gave a commonsense reply.

“Don’t worry, they will run their course in about three weeks more and then disappear,” he said, referring to the blooms.

He said that dandelions were common in his parks as well, and yes, dandelions can be a “pest.”

Yet he pointed out dandelions were not all bad.

“Dandelions serve useful purposes,” he said. “I have seen children pick them by the hour and weave them into garlands with pretty effect. Then some people like the old-fashioned dandelion greens, which are said to be fine for a spring tonic.”

And dandelion blooms make good wine, as well.

From the vaudeville beat: The Strand Theater was offering something different: “an all-girl show.”

The Spokesman-Review called it the most unusual bill “ever offered in a Spokane theater.”

“The girls are all good-looking, young and able in their respective lines.”

The acts included the Nine Colonial Maids, a song-and-dance group with a historical theme; the Five Roses, an instrumental quintet; Marie Genaro, a contortionist; and Cecil Jefferson, a “blackface comedienne.”


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