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Then and Now

The New York Brewery

In the days before refrigerators, beer had to be made locally, often in the back of a saloon where it was sold. One of the first big breweries in Spokane was the New York Brewery, which opened in 1886 on the northwest corner of Washington and Front St., now called Spokane Falls Blvd.


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Image One Photo Archive The Spokesman-Review Image Two Dan Pelle The Spokesman-Review

In the days before refrigerators, beer had to be made locally, often in the back of a saloon where it was sold. One of the first big breweries in Spokane was the New York Brewery, which opened in 1886 on the northwest corner of Washington and Front St., now called Spokane Falls Blvd. The brewery gave owner Rudolph Gorkow with a healthy profit and in 1894, the 61-year-old businessman, described in the newspaper as “broken down in health and desired a wife”, married 22-year-old Helene Edmunds, an actress and variety performer. Barely nine months later, he sued for divorce, claiming that immediately after the wedding she “began a systematic course of neglect” while she claimed Gorkow was “”miserly” and the whole tale played out in local newspapers. Gorkow died in 1896 and an illegitimate son sued the wealthy estate, leading to a landmark ruling that children out of wedlock were entitled to the same rights as every other child. The brewery closed in 1903.


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