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

100 years ago in Spokane: City considers blimp passenger service

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce discussed blimp service for passenger flights to Seattle, Tacoma and Portland, The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 24, 1919. The newspaper also reported on the death from the Spanish flu of Mrs. Joe Lee, an attorney, police judge and justice of the peace in Deer Park; on the Matt Haupt Sidehill Tractor Company, which secured a patent; and the death of John W. Heimbacker, who was struck by a Northern Pacific switch engine. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce discussed an exciting new possibility – a Spokane “airship charter” for passenger flights to Seattle, Tacoma and Portland.

The idea probably seemed far-fetched in 1919, but T.S. Lane told the Chamber that air passenger service was already a reality in some places. “Airships” were carrying passengers between Paris and London and Paris and Rome, and “it is only a question of a short time before regular passenger service may be expected between the larger cities of America.”

The chamber appointed a committee to look into it.

From the park beat: Spokane’s civic leaders proposed a fitting tribute to the late President Theodore Roosevelt.

They proposed naming a new park – with a zoo and aquarium – after Roosevelt.

“There is a fine location in Indian Canyon for a zoo and, in view of Roosevelt’s great love for animals, it would be most appropriate if a plan could be launched to move the animals from their present cramped quarters in Manito Park,” said Aubrey L. White, president of the park board.

Other backers of the idea suggested that the proposed Roosevelt Park include an aquarium “large enough to hold a specimen of every fish native to the Northwest.”

Nothing ever came of these proposals. There is no Roosevelt Park in Spokane, and the zoo animals remained in Manito Park.