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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Museum hopes to find mastodon skeleton on ranch

Spokane’s fledgling history museum was preparing to excavate the skeleton of what it hoped would be “one of the largest mastodons ever unearthed,” on Hangman Creek, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 28, 1919. a memmoth skeleton earlier unearthed in the area had gone on display at the Academy of Sciences in Chicago and had been purchased by the Field Museum in Chicago. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane’s fledgling history museum was preparing to excavate the skeleton of what it hoped would be “one of the largest mastodons ever unearthed,” on Hangman Creek, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 28, 1919. a memmoth skeleton earlier unearthed in the area had gone on display at the Academy of Sciences in Chicago and had been purchased by the Field Museum in Chicago. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane’s fledgling history museum was preparing to excavate the skeleton of what it hoped would be “one of the largest mastodons ever unearthed,” on Hangman Creek.

Several skeletons had already been unearthed in 1876 at the same site, the Coplen Ranch near Latah and Rosalia. They were actually mammoth skeletons, not mastodon. The biggest had gone on display at the Academy of Sciences in Chicago and had been purchased by the Field Museum in Chicago.

The Spokane museum was hoping that another skeleton, just as big, was still in the ground.

“When the skeleton of this large animal was found, there were several smaller ones found at the same time,” said W.S. Lewis, the museum secretary. “No one has ever made an effort to see if there were any more left. I am of the opinion that more skeletons are to be found and I believe that with a little effort we can secure one for our own museum.”

As it turned out, this endeavor would not go as hoped. The excavation uncovered some fossils, but nothing on the scale of the big mammoth.

From the beer beat: Alcoholic beverages had been banned for years under statewide prohibition, but two former Spokane breweries were granted permission to resume making “near beer,” containing only a tiny amount of alcohol.

The Inland Products Co. and the Spokane Brewing and Malting Co. were given the go-ahead by the federal government to resume brewing near beer, after its manufacture had been banned during the war as a food conservation move.

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