This photo from the mid-1880s shows downtown Spokane from the wooden planks of the Howard Street bridge, built in 1881. To the left is the California House hotel. To the right are the Glover stables, operated by storekeeper and city founder James Glover
In 1883 a fire destroyed five buildings in downtown Spokane, a harbinger of the disaster to come in 1889. Goods salvaged from the blaze can be seen, piled in an empty lot. The large home at upper right belonged to city founder James Glover.
This picture of Riverside Avenue, looking east from Post Street, was taken just a few days before the fire of August 4, 1889. The fire destroyed nearly every building in the photo.
Possibly the only photograph existing of the great Spokane fire of August 4, 1889, this view looks north on Howard Street from Railroad Avenue, about one block east of where the fire started. The street was cluttered with furniture and goods that had evidently been cleared from the buildings that stood in the fire’s path. Because the water system had sprung a leak, people could only watch the flames engulf the city.
Remains of the Glover/Pioneer Block smolder after the 1889 fire, at Howard Street and Front Avenue in downtown Spokane.
Aftermath of the 1889 fire that destroyed downtown Spokane.
The Spokane Chronicle published its newspaper from this tent after the fire of Aug. 4, 1889.
A produce stand operates from a tent in days following the great Spokane fire of 1889.
A drug store operates out of a tent after the great Spokane fire of 1889.
1890 - While most buildings are still coverd with scaffolding, the Ziegler Building, seen at left with awnings on the windows, was completed within months of the massive 1889 fire that destroyed most of downtown Spokane, including the original Ziegler hardware store. Owner Louis Ziegler was proud that it bore the date 1889, though it may have taken until 1890 to fully complete the entire structure. At five stories plus an elaborate cornice, it was the tallest building in town until the Review Tower was completed in 1891. It was torn down in 1952 to make way for the Fidelity Savings building. Original caption: Spokane Falls businesses made great progress in rebuilding the downtown area just a year after the devastating fire of 1889. The Ziegler Building, pictured on the left with awnings, was the tallest high-rise built immediately following the fire. It stood on the northeast corner of Riverside and Howard.
THEN AND NOW Louis Ziegler faced many fiery trials. He arrived in the United States from Germany in 1852 at 15 and became a wagon maker in Kentucky. He opened his own wagon shop in Chenoa, Illinois in 1863 and did well until a massive fire claimed his buildings in 1870. Discouraged, he went back to his Bavarian home for a few years but returned in 1873 and bought into a flourmill back in Chenoa. It did well until another fire in 1876. With great resolve, he rebuilt and started over, but another fire in 1878 left him penniless. During this trying time he served as Justice of the Peace and the towns mayor. He also joined the local Masonic lodge, which would become a large part of his life. After the last fire, Ziegler and his wife Margaret headed west and settled in Spokane in 1879. He built a wood frame commercial building at Riverside and Howard and opened a hardware business. He also helped found Spokanes first Masonic lodge in 1880. He fervently believed in the Masonic philosophy of high moral conduct and self-improvement. The Zieglers Lutheran home welco
Photo Archive Sr
Snapped by Charles Oudin, who escaped Spokane’s Pacific Hotel before it burned to the ground in the great fire of Aug. 4, 1889, this rare amateur photo shows one of the first local stores to re-open, in a downtown tent.
After the 1889 fire Spokane updated its fire department. This hook-and-ladder wagon operated during the 1890s out of the city’s No. 2 station at Main and Washington.
Two days after the 1889 fire, Louis M. Davenport started “Davenport's Famous Waffle Foundry” under a makeshift building with a canvas roof. Within a year he had expanded to a thriving new restaurant. In 1914, he opened a hotel that was designed by Kirtland Cutter. Its original lobby, shown here, was illuminated with Tiffany glass skylights and adorned with tropical plants, singing birds, and glass pillars filled with swimming fish.
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