Then & Now galleries

Slideshows that compare historical photos with modern images.

Riverside Ave. at Howard St.

A distinctly American retail phenomenon, the “five and dime” store, began in the 19th century, but became wildly popular in the post-World War II era. The formula was low prices, literally just nickels and dimes, for dry goods like razor blades, bobby pins, and shoelaces sold from countertop bins, plus a lunch counter where pocket change could buy a grilled cheese sandwich and a malt. Many stores also sold small pets, like goldfish, and had booths where you could get your picture taken. Woolworth’s and Newberry’s, which took over a Britt’s variety store in 1930, were fixtures of downtown Spokane for several decades.

September 2, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Former Armour Plant

Philip Danforth Armour, born 1832 in upstate New York, was an industrious youth who started, with his brother Joseph, a meat packing business at Chicago’s Union Stockyards in 1867. He designed an efficient assembly line for slaughtering animals and built a large fleet of refrigerated rail cars. Armour tried to use every part of the animal and sold byproducts for glue, cosmetics, medicines and fertilizer. The Armour company quietly bought up shares of Spokane’s E.H. Stanton meat packing plant at 3300 East Sprague and took over in 1917.

August 26, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Crescent Store

The Crescent, Spokane’s homegrown department store, disappeared in 1988 when it was combined with the Frederick and Nelson brand, but it started off with a bang and is remembered fondly by older Spokanites. The store, originally called Spokane Dry Goods, was housed in the gently curving Crescent building located where the Spokesman-Review building now sits.

August 2, 2013 5:14 p.m.

The Fire in 1889

It was a long hot summer. Forest fires raged around the region and Seattle had a catastrophic fire earlier that summer. But the bustling boom town of Spokane Falls, with 19,000 people, hardly slowed down for the heat. Around 6 p.m. Sunday evening, fire broke out in rooming house along Railroad Ave. between Lincoln and Post.

July 29, 2013 12:00 a.m.

North Monroe near Indiana

Not much is left from the early development at the intersection of Monroe St., Indiana and Northwest Blvd. Sturdy brick buildings have been replaced by restaurants and fast food joints, shops and wood-framed retail shops. The hold-out is the Boulevard Blvd., at far right, which has housed a hardware store from 1912 until last year.

July 22, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Old Homes of Spokane

Combing through the Spokesman-Review’s archives has turned up photos of old houses from around Spokane. It was a common practice in the early 20th century for newspapers to write a story when a prominent home changed hands. Here is a then-and-now presentation showing how the homes, the streets and the surrounding landscape has changed. These photos were taken from a video that appeared at in 2010. - Jesse Tinsley

July 12, 2013 4:07 p.m.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Joseph Cataldo was in frail health throughout his life, but he built an immense spiritual legacy across the Inland Northwest. Born in Sicily in 1837, the studious young Jesuit with a gift for languages arrived in America at age 25 and finished his studies in California. He was sent as a missionary priest to Indian tribes in Idaho, establishing multiple new parishes along the way. He learned the Nez Perce language and helped make peace with the Nez Perce and the U.S. government. As the Jesuit Superior for the Rocky Mountain region, he founded a tiny congregation in a renovated carpenter’s shop in the budding city of Spokane Falls in 1881.

July 8, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

More than 200,000 people, including 20,000 re-enactors, are expected to visit the small Pennsylvania town for events through Fourth of July weekend to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s pivotal battle.

July 4, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Schade Brewery

The 1903 Schade Brewery was one of several that popped up around the turn of the twentieth century to slake the thirst of working men in Spokane. German immigrant Bernhardt Schade arrived in 1892 and began working for other brewers and dreaming of his own business. His building, with architectural features from his homeland, opened in 1903, even as the temperance movement was growing in influence.

July 1, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Spokane’s streetcar era

Spokane’s streetcar era started in 1888 with the first horse drawn cars riding on tracks to a new neighborhood, Browne’s Addition. Developers hoped new service would encourage families to move a long mile’s walk from downtown. For nickel fare, workers could commute, housewives could get home with their groceries and maids and servants could get to the grand mansions of Spokane’s millionaires.

June 24, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Mule train

Although the first transcontinental railroad connected through Spokane in 1882, north-south travel was still laborious and slow, by saddle or in wagons for long trips to places like Colville and Northport. Keen businessmen were eager to supply the hardy settlers in those places and many tons of freight inched along dusty trails.

June 17, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Col. Wright’s horse slaughter camp

In 1858, Eastern Washington was still officially closed to white settlement, but hardy trappers, prospectors and traders traversed the region. After Indians killed two prospectors, Lt. Col. Edward Steptoe was sent to investigate, sparking a running 10-hour battle with Indians near modern-day Rosalia. Steptoe and the remnants of his unit survived only by retreating under cover of darkness. In retaliation for the humiliation, Col. George Wright took revenge against the Indians, including the Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and the Palouse Indians, who kept a large herd of horses, numbering 800 head or more, along the river east of Spokane. Wright sent two companies of soldiers to slaughter the animals and destroy the shelters and feed stored for the animals, which took two full days in September.

June 5, 2013 4:47 p.m.

Riverside Avenue

The 1908 photo shows the Granite Block at far left, next to the newly completed August Paulsen building. Paulsen,a Danish immigrant, arrived in Spokane in 1892. He immediately began dairy farming to raise money to invest in a mine. He bought a 25 percent share in the Hercules Mine for $850, and a rich ore body was found in 1901.

June 3, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Memorial Day Preparedness Parade

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, Americans began debating the idea of preparedness. Some, like Theodore Roosevelt, advocated expanding the military in anticipation of the spreading conflict. President Woodrow Wilson was determined that America’s position would only be “armed neutrality.” Parades for and against military involvement were held around the nation, including San Francisco, a stronghold of the anti-war movement and labor unions.

May 27, 2013 12:00 a.m.

North Division

Before bridges crossed the gorge in the 1880s, the Spokane River was a challenging obstacle for people on the north side of the Spokane. Some hardy homesteaders lived on the north banks but there were few businesses.

May 20, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Riverside Historic District

Imagine a newcomer to Spokane stepping off a train in 1928 and turning east onto Riverside Ave. at Monroe St. and taking in the panoply of buildings that rival the storied cities of Los Angeles or Chicago. Then it was called the “civic center”, and today is the Riverside Avenue Historic District.

May 13, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Market Street in Hillyard

In 1892, James J. Hill, the architect and president of the Great Northern Railroad, arrived in Spokane. He told a newspaper reporter: “I am coming here to get your business and to carry your freight.” He was anxious to complete his company’s tracks through Spokane, already an important train hub of the northwest.

May 6, 2013 12:00 a.m.


Ever since a human managed to shinny up on the back of a horse, someone wanted to race. Endurance racing, flat track, harness racing and steeplechase racing became popular in many different cultures around the world.

April 29, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Otis Orchards

Settlers William and Johanna Pringle homesteaded in Eastern Spokane County in 1883, near a railroad stop called Otis. In 1903, Mark Mendenhall and Laughlin MacLean contracted to use a drainage ditch to bring water from Newman Lake to Otis, which they promoted in Chicago, a major hub for apple auctions, with pamphlets titled “Irrigation is King.” The name was changed to Otis Orchards.

April 22, 2013 11:50 a.m.

Rookery Block

Francis Cook, the publisher of the Tacoma Herald newspaper, was lured to Spokane in 1879 by the offer of free land from city father James N. Glover. He could have the corner of Riverside and Howard St. if he would open a newspaper to serve the growing town. Cook began publishing The Spokan Times. But the massive 1889 fire destroyed Cook’s two-story wood-frame building and in its place rose the Rookery, a block of four buildings that housed banks, lawyers, dry goods and many other business activities in the heart of the city.

April 15, 2013 12:00 a.m.