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Saturday, October 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Child labor abolished; gold struck

Child labor was abolished in Inland Northwest mills, logging camps and box factories, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle Archives)
Child labor was abolished in Inland Northwest mills, logging camps and box factories, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. (Spokane Daily Chronicle Archives)

Child labor was abolished in Inland Northwest mills, logging camps and box factories, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported.

It had long been the practice to employ young boys and girls younger than age 14 in the region’s box factories. But the Timber Products Manufacturers Association, meeting in Spokane, voted nearly unanimously to abolish that practice, largely to comply with new federal child labor laws.

The ruling would also affect logging camps, which had long utilized “water boys” to carry drinking water to the men.

This did not affect boys and girls over 14. However, the lumbermen also voted to restrict the hours of children between 14 and 16 to no more than eight hours a day and 48 hours per week. They would not be allowed to work before 6 a.m. and after 7 p.m.

From the gold rush beat: The Chronicle excitedly reported the possibility of a second central Idaho gold rush, “to almost rival the rush of 1884,” on the South Fork of the Clearwater River.

The Center Star Mine reported a strike of about “five feet of gold ore.”

“The strike is big and rich,” reported a mine owner in the district. “There is great excitement down here among the prospectors and everything is being staked for miles around the Center Star.”

About 26 claims had already been staked at the mouth of the Crooked River.

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