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Friday, April 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was entering what society columnist Betty Graeme called “a gay whirl” of a week, with three gala events. They were:

• The driving of the “golden spike”: This was the formal opening of the new joint line of the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation railroad and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, known as the Milwaukee Road. Graeme noted that this particular event would “take place in mid-air above the lower falls,” meaning, on the elevated rail line alongside the Spokane River. A number of railroad officials had arrived in Spokane to preside over the driving of the golden spike.

The formal opening of the Davenport Hotel: The hotel had been open for a couple of weeks, but this was to be the formal dedication, filled with “pomp and ceremony,” followed by “mirth and frolic.” The final event would be a massive dinner-dance in which the evening gowns would “glimmer and gleam like the Milky Way.”

• The Interstate Fair: This was taking place all week and would feature the usual festivities and fair attractions. However, the big “society” event would be the Polo Championship. Horsemen and fans of the “sport of millionaires” would be converging from all over the Northwest.

Graeme compared the week to a “wedding, a christening and a wake, all rolled into one.”

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