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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Lucky find unearths major cargo of liquor

A cargo of contraband booze, billed “the largest consignment ever captured in Spokane,” was found in a junker car consigned from a Montana town to the Puget Sound region. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A cargo of contraband booze, billed “the largest consignment ever captured in Spokane,” was found in a junker car consigned from a Montana town to the Puget Sound region. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A cargo of contraband booze, billed “the largest consignment ever captured in Spokane,” was found in a junker car consigned from a Montana town to the Puget Sound region. Containing 80 12-bottle cases, its price was estimated at $2000 in Montana – and $11,520 at a bootleggers price in the state of Washington.

From the cinema beat: Spokane investors were in the grip of motion picture frenzy, harboring dreams of making a fortune with the Washington Motion Picture Company, a new movie studio nearing completion at Minnehaha Park.

A full-page ad urged people to purchase shares in the company, which was fronted by silent movie star Tyrone Power.

“Individual Investors Made Wealthy,” said one of the ad’s headlines. An application for purchasing shares was accompanied by this exhortation: “MONEY is not made by those who hesitate – it is made by those who have the power of decision – who act without delay.”

For those who were hesitating, the ad sought to soothe their fears. It said the construction work on the new studio would be finished by March 15, and “in April we we expect to be actively engaged in the making of motion pictures.”

Everyone was invited to come out and see for themselves.

Unfortunately, the promise of wealth and glamour would go unfulfilled, as we will discover as the story plays out over the ensuing year.

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