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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

A party of 11 British “colonists” arrived in Spokane to settle on farms in the Spokane Valley.

They had been recruited by F.N. Walker, who owned a real estate firm with land in the Spokane Valley. Walker had spent five months in England and Wales, where he “preached the opportunities of the Inland Empire.”

The new settlers spent their first day in Spokane driving around the city, marveling at “the mellow sunshine,” and being treated to an honorary dinner at the Davenport Hotel.

Perhaps they were lured by the charms of Spokane, but they were also evidently anxious to escape the rigors of wartime Britain. 

Walker reported that conditions were “terrible” in England and Wales, with high food prices, high taxes and continuous efforts to stimulate enlistments. He predicted a large exodus of people with the means to leave.

The new settlers included families named Tyson, LaMercier, Williams, Morris and Wichman.

From the nature beat: An editorial urged Spokane’s citizens to get outside and enjoy the spring wildflowers.

In fact, the anonymous editor had harsh words for those who didn’t.

“He who spends no time out of doors at this season of the year is damned, body and soul,” the editorial said.

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