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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley

Facebook page tracks Spokane Valley History

David Sean Brown runs a Spokane Valley history page in Facebook  (Pia Hallenberg)
David Sean Brown runs a Spokane Valley history page in Facebook (Pia Hallenberg)

David Sean Brown was born and raised in Spokane Valley. Back in 2010, he joined Facebook and quickly made contact with people he'd gone to school with or shared interests with. 

"I've always been interested in the history of Spokane and Spokane Valley," said Brown over coffee at The Rocket Bakery on Argonne. And that's how he got the idea for the Facebook group: The History of Spokane Valley - 1960 to Present. 

Brown, who's close to 50, said most of the history books he came across were written about long ago history. 
"That's great - I admire the work people like Florence Boutwell did here in the Valley," Brown said. "But I wasn't finding any recollection of history after, say, the 1950s." Boutwell was well-known for her research and writing about Spokane Valley; she passed away at the beginning of 2014.
Brown quickly attracted an audience: almost 900 people have joined Brown's Facebook group where they share pictures and memories of Spokane Valley. When Brown started the group, he went around and took pictures of old buildings - or places he remembered from growing up - then relied on the archives at The Spokane Valley Herald for old newspaper stories and photos.

"I did a bunch of then and now posts," Brown said. "And people started showing up on the page."
Since January, when the page really took off, some days have brought between 10 and 15 requests to join. Brown checks everyone out before he allows them into the group. 
"I want to make sure they have a real connection to the Valley and that they aren't out to sell cheap sun glasses," Brown said.
Facebook groups can be difficult to moderate, but Brown said he very rarely has to intervene.
"Everyone seems to be getting along just fine," Brown said. "Maybe it's because they are all interested in Valley history?"

Pia Hallenberg
Pia Hallenberg joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. She is currently a reporter for the City Desk covering Spokane Valley city hall and community news. She also writes news features about people and events.

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