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 Spokesman.com in 2010. - Jesse Tinsley
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There were cars before the advent the gas station. Earliest fuel stops were general stores where a motorist could fill a gas can. Harold Dockendorf sold Ford cars for Bronson Motors before opening Doc’s Snappy Service at the corner of Sprague Ave. and Mullan Rd.
When white immigrants began settling permanently in the Spokane area in the 1870s, it was a particularly hard scrabble group who chose the rural Spokane Valley to try and eek out a meager subsistence raising vegetables, cattle, tree fruit and wheat. Land was cheap, but the tiny settlements like Dishman, Opportunity, Veradale, Greenacres and Otis Orchards were isolated far from the city lights of Spokane.
The corner of Howard St. and Spokane Falls Blvd. was the where Spokane’s story began. Original settlers James Downing and Seth Scranton drove the first surveyor’s stake there in 1871. It was where city founder James Nettle Glover built his store and livery stables, seen at right in the photo above, in 1877.
Kelly Olynyk was described by this newspaper in 2009 as “a versatile Canadian capable of playing several positions.” It was but one line in a look ahead to the 2009-10 team after a successful run to the Sweet Sixteen that year. Fast forward to 2012. Olynyk, who returned from a redshirt year, has added 30-plus pounds and a couple inches to his now-7-foot frame. He’s stronger and can jump higher. He’s the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a candidate for the prestigious John R. Wooden Award.
The invention of the automobile changed everyday life in small and large ways. Independent travel, instead of horses, buggies or trains, became the norm. Travelers needed gas, convenient food and drink and places to spend the night. The drive-in restaurant appeared in the early 1920s, when drivers in Ford Model Ts would pull in and “tray boys” would hop on the running board and take orders to expedite service and guests would eat in their cars.