Then & Now galleries

Slideshows that compare historical photos with modern images.

Doc’s Snappy Service gas station

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.

April 8, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Pines and Sprague

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.

April 1, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Howard Street

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.

March 25, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Kelly Olynyk

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.

March 18, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Panda Drive-in

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.

March 11, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Steam Plant stacks

The twin stacks of the Central Steam Plant were completed in 1916 by the Merchants Central Heating Company. The 225-foot stacks used 333,340 bricks and extend above the elegant facility designed by Kirtland Cutter and Karl Malmgren.

March 4, 2013 12:00 a.m.

View of Spokane from Paulsen Building

Prominent in the1929 photo, taken from the Paulsen Medical and Dental Building, are the elevated rail lines leading to Spokane’s Union Station, an elegant brick edifice finished in 1914. Behind that is the tower of the Great Northern Depot, which was also a grand marble-floored hall built by railroad baron James Jerome Hill in 1902.

February 25, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Operation Walkout

In 1954, the nuclear bomb was on everyone’s mind. Would the Russians attack without warning? Spokane was chosen as the first city in the nation to attempt a complete evacuation of its downtown area, about 70 square blocks.

February 18, 2013 12:00 a.m.

The Mint

During Spokane’s boom era of the 1880s through the early 20th century, downtown Spokane was packed with workers, mainly men, living in single resident occupancy buildings, called SRO hotels, when not at their jobs in construction, factories, retail, hospitality and service businesses. Cooped up in tiny bedrooms, they sought out entertainment after work, often a beer from a Spokane brewery and a locally-made hand-rolled cigar, like the ones produced by the Cuban Cigar Co. or Havana Cigar Manufacturing.

February 11, 2013 12:00 a.m.

STCU moving into historic Hutton Building

Levi Hutton and his wife, May Arkwright Hutton, financed the Hutton Building in 1907 with proceeds from their Hercules Mine in Idaho.

February 8, 2013 11:45 a.m.

Hazelwood Farms

Spokane’s Hazelwood Farms was a leading Northwest dairy business when its founders, David and George Brown and John L. Smith, decided to subdivide and sell off their land holdings on Spokane’s West Plains in 1906.

February 4, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Sunset Hill

In 1905, Washington formed a state highway department. As the automobile became more popular, the good roads movement gained steam. In 1907, the University of Washington established a highway engineering program, the first in the nation. The main route from Seattle to Spokane, which ran through Wenatchee, was called the Sunset Highway and, later, U.S. 10. That road, dubbed State Highway 2 in 1923, wound through Davenport and Reardan before coming down the hill into Spokane, then out Sprague Ave. and Appleway to the Idaho border.

January 28, 2013 12:00 a.m.

U.S. Pavilion

Spokane’s Expo ‘74 continues to recede in the rear view mirror, but the silhouette of the former United States Pavilion reminds us of that one glorious summer of exhibitions, concerts, rides, famous faces and international visitors with its spider web of cables rising above Riverfront Park.

January 21, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Coeur d’Alene waterfront aerial

The natives of the region, who called themselves the Schee-Chu-Umsh, lived and camped around Lake Coeur d’Alene for many generations before the first white men, likely French explorers or trappers, approached Lake Coeur d’Alene in the early 1800s. Those first visitors nicknamed the locals “Coeur d’Alene”, those who have a “heart like an awl”, for their sharp skills as traders. Today, the town of the same name has grown into a tourist destination over the last century.

January 14, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Post Street tightrope walker

Spokane business leaders hired Charles Blondin, the celebrated acrobat and tightrope walker, and challenged him to stretch a rope across Spokane Falls on the Fourth of July. Blondin had walked across Niagara Falls in 1859 and several times since. Crowds packed around the falls to watch Blondin, born Jean-Francois Gravelet in France in 1824, walk the rope that was strung near the Post St. Bridge.

January 7, 2013 12:00 a.m.

Broadview Dairy

Allen H. Flood, the grandson of Revolutionary War soldiers who was born in 1854, moved to Washington state from Maine in 1889 and went to work. He drove oxen in lumber camps, laid out roads as a surveyor and worked on farms. He started is own dairy herds in 1893, which eventually became the Broadview Dairy, with several hundred cows on farms in Marshall and Rosalia.

December 31, 2012 12:00 a.m.

Liberty Theater

The building on the 700 block of Riverside was once the Liberty Theater, built in 1914, and which served as a movie theater until 1954. An extensive remodel modernized the front of the building when it became a Lerner’s clothing store in 1955.

December 3, 2012 12:00 a.m.

Old National Bank

The Old National Bank was founded in 1891 and opened its signature building at Stevens St. and Riverside Ave. in 1911.

November 26, 2012 12:00 a.m.

Central Valley High Football

Education in east Spokane County began in one- and two-room school houses dotted among the farms and settlements in the Spokane River valley, beginning in the 1880s. The many one-school districts slowly merged and organized into the West Valley, East Valley and Central Valley School Districts.

October 29, 2012 12:00 a.m.

East view from courthouse

This photo, dated circa 1901, was shot from the tower of the Spokane County Courthouse looking east. Prominent in the center middle distance is the peaked roof of the Galland-Burke Brewing Company on the southeast corner of Broadway and Lincoln.

October 22, 2012 12:00 a.m.