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Stories tagged: spokane history


Then and Now: 1972 International House of Pancakes

Thing were changing quickly in the early 1970s in Spokane. Civic leaders were planning for Expo ’74, and businesses were changing the look of downtown Spokane. On the corner of …


Then and Now: Spokane’s first auto mechanic

George Ethan Bartoo was one Spokane’s first mechanics and car dealers. As a young man in the 1880s in Indiana, he and a friend built a simple steam-powered cart which …


Then and Now: End of the streetcar era

On December 17, 1886, J.J. Browne, Henry C. Marshall and A.J. Ross incorporated the Spokane Street Railway company to build the rails and operate streetcars. The first priority was to …


Then and Now: 915 and 919 W. First Ave.

Two buildings, both built in 1906, on First Ave. in Spokane have been important places of business to both farmers and urban residents.


Then and Now: Saad Shoe Repair

In 1909, 15-year-old Eli Saad arrived nearly penniless in Spokane. His older brothers Paul and John had started the Saad Bros. Shoe Repair, Pool Room and Cigars in 1906, and …


Then and Now: McGoldrick Lumber

James P. McGoldrick, born in 1859, started in the timber business in Minnesota. Seeing that most of the lumber he sold came from the Northwest, he moved to Spokane in …


Then and Now: Spokane Buddhist Temple

Spokane Buddhist Temple started 1945 with a rented apartment and a group of six dedicated Buddhists.


Then and Now: Spokane’s Tallest Buildings

Since James Glover rode up to the Spokane Falls in 1873 and made a deal to buy out the two squatters on the land around the falls, there has been …


Then and Now: Agnes McDonald and the electric car

Agnes McDonald (1865-1961) was one of Spokane’s most colorful characters. She was only 35 when her husband, a wealthy mining investor, died, leaving her with two sons to raise. His …


Then and Now: Spokane in 1910

1910 was a watershed year for Spokane.


Then and Now: Temple Court building

Brothers Albert P. and William M. Wolverton, ages 25 and 31, arrived in the frontier town of Spokane Falls in 1880 and paid $350 for a lot on the northeast …


Then and Now: The steel Monroe Street Bridge, 1892-1909

The first Monroe Street bridge, built by Spokane Cable Railway and partners, cost $42,000 and opened in 1889. Two other iterations followed, the last being the concrete bridge we see …


Then and Now: Cannon Mansion

Anthony McCue Cannon, born in 1837 in Illinois, was a restless young man in search of business ideas. He made and lost fortunes in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Portland, …


Then and Now: Pilot Nick Mamer

Nick Mamer, born in 1898, learned to fly at 18 in San Diego and served in France in the U.S. Army Air Service during WWI. He shot down three enemy …


Then and Now: Coeur d’Alene Hotel

A partnership between “Dutch” Jake and Harry Baer led to the construction of a legendary hotel in the early 1900s.


Then and Now: The Harlem Club

Ernest James “Jim” Brown, born around 1891 in Tennessee, arrived in Spokane in the mid-1920s as the chauffeur for H.D. Lee, the businessman responsible for Lee overalls. By the early …


Then and Now: Sacred Heart School of Nursing

In the late 1890s, Spokane’s three hospitals – Deaconess, Sacred Heart and St. Luke’s – had a shortage of trained nurses.


Then and Now: Umatilla Hotel

The Umatilla Hotel, on the southeast corner of Main and Bernard, survived the 1889 fire, which stopped at Washington St., but couldn’t avoid it 55 years later.


Then and Now: Washington Market

The Washington Market, built in 1911, was a clothing store before turning over groceries around 1914. Typical of the era, space was leased to a mix of independent dealers selling …


Then and Now: Golden Gate building

The Golden Gate building, erected in 1892 and named by two brothers named Stebbins from Oakland, California, on the northeast corner of Riverside Avenue and Lincoln Street, was a bustling …


Then and Now: Motorhomes and Trailers

Even after our region’s first settlers built towns and cities, some would still head to wilder areas to practice “woodcraft”, as camping used to be called.


Then and Now: Bernards and Zukor’s

There was an era in Spokane when women dressed fashionably to shop downtown. Suits, dresses, hats and smartly tailored coats, often trimmed in fur, were important accessories.


Then and Now: U.S. Pavilion at Expo

Originally built in 1974, the Pavilion is facing a redesign, although the final design still being debated.


Then and Now: University District

Until Expo ’74, the University District was a maze of railroad tracks and warehouses. Today it is being transformed into a combination of modern college campus, scientific business incubator and …


Then and Now: Perry Block

It’s hard to believe that the wood-framed 1887 Perry building survived Spokane’s great fire because the raging inferno started just a couple hundred feet away at Lincoln Street and Railroad …


Then and now: Consolidated Freight Lines

Leland James, a Portland, Oregon, truck driver, built a trucking empire. He started by buying Portland-Spokane Auto Freight and a handful of other firms in 1929. He called his new …


Then and Now: Sprouse Reitz Variety Stores

Starting around 1940, Sprouse Reitz variety stores began popping up around Spokane. For housewives, there were household and craft supplies. For kids, there was candy and small toys.


Then and Now: Cannon House

One of the grandest homes in the Rockwood National Register Historic District was erected for pioneer attorney Edward J. Cannon and his wife, Helen, in 1911. The brick home in …


Then and Now: Opportunity Township

Townships were a way for rural areas to have a local government of their own, outside of cities and outside of county government. In Washington, only Spokane and Whatcom counties …


Then and Now: Looff Carrousel

The Looff Carrousel in Riverfront Park has its origins in the craftsmanship of Charles Looff, a German woodworker who emigrated to the United States in 1870.