Courtesy of the Northwest Room, Spokane Public Library
1891 was a banner year for the town of Spokane Falls. Spokane Falls voted to change its name to just “Spokane,” perhaps to sound more sophisticated and less rustic. Electricity was flowing from a new dam on the river thanks to Washington Water Power and by the end of the year, the horse-drawn street cars were replaced with electric models. The U.S. Congress created the Coeur d’Alene reservation with a new treaty.
The annual Spokane Derby horse race was held for the first time on the track that is now Corbin Park.
The Spokane Public Library was founded, the Old National Bank was chartered and the Salvation Army set up a mission. A new steel bridge carried Monroe Street across the river. The 165-foot Review Tower—the distinctive cupola can be seen in the photos on the far left—had just been completed. The Review’s newspaper competitor, the Spokesman, had just recruited a young reporter named W.H. Cowles from Chicago to help run the operation. After a few years of furious competition, the two newspapers were combined and Cowles later became the publisher.