Then & Now galleries

Slideshows that compare historical photos with modern images.



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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Elks Club building

A century ago, the elk population in Spokane was booming. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, commonly known as the Elks Club, had almost 8000 members in Spokane, rivaling the largest groups in the country.

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Opportunity Township Hall

The Opportunity Township hall, a Spanish colonial-style building at 12114 E. Sprague, turns 100 years old this year and its current occupant, the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, will celebrate the centennial on Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. with a short program and the burial of a time capsule.

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Downtown Coeur d’Alene

Until the 1960s, the waterfront in Coeur d’Alene served as a steamboat landing, a lumber mill, a sea plane dock, a train yard, an area of industrial warehouses and a log storage area. In the 1960s, the transformation to a tourist destination began in earnest.

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Cashup Davis Hotel on Steptoe Butte

James “Cashup” Davis, born in England in 1815, came to America 1840 to seek his fortune. His early success in the hospitality business led him to dream of a hotel perched atop Steptoe Butte, a rocky hill in the middle of the Palouse.

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