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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Boy gang’ attempts to dynamite Stevens School

The Spokesman-Review archives (S-R archives)
The Spokesman-Review archives (S-R archives)

The janitor of the Stevens School made a shocking discovery when he went to open up the school on a Monday morning: Several sticks of dynamite had been planted on the steps of the school.

Police went on the hunt and soon arrested five members of a “boy gang,” one of whom confessed to planting the dynamite.

The boy said he had been in trouble with the principal and wanted to scare him.

Detectives accompanied the boy to a vacant house at North Perry Street, where “the boys make their headquarters.” There, police found a great deal of loot, most of it stolen from the warehouse of a local road-paving company. There were sacks full of tools, a pump, a headlight – and some more sticks of dynamite.

Meanwhile, another member of the teen gang took detectives up a ladder into his home and extracted more of the hidden loot from a stove hole in the chimney. He brought out several more sticks of dynamite, a revolver, cartridges, percussion caps and fuse.

If a stove pipe sounds like a bad place to store dynamite, consider this: “Sparks from a roaring fire” were blowing through the chimney at the time.

Three other boys, including a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old, were also found with items from the warehouse. All of the boys were turned over to juvenile authorities and detectives said they expected to arrest other members of the gang.

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