Millwood has the advantage of being both a distinct neighborhood and a city that incorporated 90 years ago.
Millwood was founded as a company town that housed the families of workers at the Inland Empire Paper Mill. The mill is in operation today and its piercing whistle still sounds three times each workday: at 7 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m. The mill is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.
Part of the city’s cohesiveness is due in part to its long-term mayors, said current Mayor Kevin Freeman. There have been only nine mayors, including Bill Clearwater, who served for nearly 26 years. Jeanne Batson, who held office for 15 years, died last month, Freeman said.
“We’ve had quite a bit of continuity,” Freeman said.
The city has a park, which is home to the popular Millwood Daze event, as well as an historic business district and close proximity to schools. In recent years the city has been improving roads, sidewalks and parking. The goal is to make the city more attractive to both families and businesses, Freeman said.
“You actually feel like you’re in a neighborhood-driven area,” he said.
It was that neighborhood feel that drew Jeff and Julia Postlewait to Millwood to open their first Rocket Bakery on Argonne Road in 1992. The business was a big success and now has six other locations in the Spokane area.
“It has a neighborhood feel,” Julia Postlewait said. “There weren’t very many businesses there at the time.”
Since then the city has become more vibrant, Postlewait said. New businesses are coming in and there’s a weekly farmers market every Wednesday just off Argonne.
“These older neighborhoods, it’s lovely to see their rejuvenation,” she said.
Being in a neighborhood allows the business to be involved in community activities like Millwood Daze, Postlewait said.
“It’s what makes business fun,” she said. “It’s just been a wonderful, supportive community. We love all our customers.”
Freeman wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s a wonderful place to be,” he said. “We’ve got great people.”
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