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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Earthquake shakes South Hill as saloons prepare for alcohol-free era

From our archives,

100 years ago

A sizable earthquake shook the South Hill, especially the Cannon Hill and Rockwood areas.

The shaking was so strong that many people believed their furnaces had exploded.

One woman said she “rushed out of the house, thinking it was falling down.”

“A peddler was at the back door and he inquired what was the matter with our house, as he had seen it shaking,” said the woman.

The seismograph at Gonzaga University recorded the quake, but there was no immediate measure of its severity. No one was injured and damage was negligible.

From the prohibition beat: The “wets” saw their final hopes smashed by the Washington State Supreme Court.

The justices ruled that the statewide prohibition law was constitutional. As a result, the entire state was scheduled to go “dry” on Jan. 1, 1916.

A front-page editorial cartoon depicted a bottle, labeled “John Barleycorn,” sinking beneath the ocean waves and shouting “Good night!”

Meanwhile, area bars and saloons were pondering various strategies for the future. Many were converting their spaces into cigar stores or card rooms. Some, including the Ridpath Hotel’s bar, were planning to become billiards parlors. One saloon was planning to go a different direction entirely and become an ice cream and candy store.

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