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Friday, March 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Five-year-old actress survives five-story drop down elevator shaft

A young actress survived with a broken arm after falling five feet down an elevator shaft. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A young actress survived with a broken arm after falling five feet down an elevator shaft. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Virginia Getty, 5, “Spokane’s tiniest moving picture actress,” survived after falling five stories down an elevator shaft.

She was riding in the elevator with her father to his office on the sixth floor of the Hutton Building. She ran out of the elevator door before the elevator car had fully stopped and her foot got caught, swinging her under the elevator and into the shaft.

Her father raced down to the first floor and found her with a broken arm and leg, and a head injury. He carried her next door to the office of several doctors, who began working on the girl. She regained consciousness and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where “she has a fair chance to recover.”

Little Virginia had recently been filmed by the Washington Motion Picture Corp. studio in Spokane, where she “took a leading part in the school scenes” for a feature film. Virginia had also won the 1913 Better Baby contest at the Interstate Fair.

From the native beat: Chief Red Fox Skiuhshu of the Northern Blackfeet tribe gave a stirring address at two Spokane churches.

“We, first Americans of this land everywhere, welcome those that became Americans,” he said. “Let all Americans remember this: Hostility did not come until the white man wronged the red man by broken treaties, cheating and stealing Indian claims by influence of his dirty whisky. Today there are serving the colors 7,000 young (Indians), who volunteered their blood for the cause of America.”

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