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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Washington state Senate and House both passed a resolution calling for a investigation into “grave allegations of irregularities” in the construction of two state institutions: The Cheney Normal School and a state school for mental patients at Medical Lake.

The allegations about the Cheney Normal School (which has evolved into today’s Eastern Washington University) were about “serious defects in material and workmanship” at the school’s new building.

The building’s well-known Spokane architect, Julius Zittel, said he welcomed an investigation, because he believed that he and “everyone connected with the school is entitled to the vindication that will come with an investigation.” He had repeatedly stated there was “no inferior materials and workmanship” in the building. This building, constructed after the school’s main building burned down in 1912, is known today as Showalter Hall.

The Medical Lake allegations were of a different nature. Questions had been raised about why the new residential school was built “a mile and a half from the old buildings” against the wishes of the superintendent. This is the place known today as Lakeland Village.

From the crime beat: Some men in a sleigh “distinguished themselves”  by snatching two sleds from the hands of two unhappy children. Then they tied the stolen sleds to their sleigh and drove off while laughing loudly, reported the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Yes, the paper intended the words “distinguished themselves” to convey sarcasm and disgust. 

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