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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Crowds line Monroe Street Bridge to see illuminated falls

From our archives, 100 years ago

Crowds lined both rails of the Monroe Street Bridge to see a new and exciting spectacle: the electrical illumination of the Spokane River waterfalls.

A searchlight was set up in Peaceful Valley and trained on the roaring cascade.

“The powerful white rays of the light flashed like a long finger beneath the center arch of the bridge and illuminated the seething torrent, bringing out sharply each boiling furrow and crest.”

It became even more spectacular when colors were added.

“When the red and green lens was put on the searchlight, the mists that hang below the falls were shot full of glistening rubies and emeralds.”

From the juvenile crime beat: Six boys, ranging from 9 to 13 years, were arrested for stealing cars and joyriding.

Police said the boys drove the car until the gasoline ran out. Then they used used hammers and wrenches to break the windshield of a Dodge auto, smash the running lights and puncture the tires.

One of the boys was found to be in possession of keys for “six different makes of cars.”

Surprisingly, considering the damage done, a Spokane police detective released the boys with a “warning to sin no more.”