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100 years ago in Spokane: Downtown Steam Plant had a challenging first year of operation

Wed., Jan. 11, 2017, 5:30 a.m.

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane Heat, Light and Power Co. – known today as the Steam Plant – was nearing the end of a challenging first year of operation.

This twin-stacked steam heat plant supplied heat and power to a large part of downtown Spokane. The company had just added four new trustees and $300,000 of new investment money.

“After carrying on an active construction program for many months, with many hard problems, it is naturally gratifying to me to have our Eastern associates, who are visiting the city, pleased with the results thus far,” said president Harry A. Flood.

One of those Eastern associates, R.E. Field from Cincinnati, said he was “greatly pleased with the construction of the plant,” and he foresaw that “the present equipment will have to be at least doubled.”

By 1919, the company would be acquired by the Washington Water Power Co. (today’s Avista).

From the booze beat: The Orpheum Bar, a “soft-drink bar,” was apparently selling more than soft drinks.

Police arrested the proprietors on bootlegging charges after a raid uncovered whiskey bottles in the back room. They also arrested two customers, a carpenter and an engineer, on charges of drunkenness.

Police said the Orpheum was using its small back room a whiskey bar.

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