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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: With soldiers back from World War I, city experiences shortage of housing – and jazz musicians

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 17, 2019, 8:11 a.m.

The president of the Spokane Musicians Union said the union had a record 235 members, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Sept. 17, 1919. But with soldiers back from World War I, he said the supply was still not sufficient to keep up with the demand. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The president of the Spokane Musicians Union said the union had a record 235 members, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Sept. 17, 1919. But with soldiers back from World War I, he said the supply was still not sufficient to keep up with the demand. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane was experiencing an upsurge in demand for professional musicians, especially those who could play jazz.

The president of the Spokane Musicians Union said the union had a record 235 members, and the supply was still not sufficient to keep up with the demand.

“Now that the boys are practically all back and heavy loads have been lifted from the minds of the people, they are seeking amusement,” said the union president.

He said the union was receiving requests for jazz dance orchestras from as far away as Idaho and Montana, and an eight-piece jazz orchestra was currently touring those states.

From the real estate beat: Spokane’s housing crunch was making it hard for people to find suitable dwellings for the winter.

Rental houses and apartments were especially scarce, and those who could not find places to rent “are going into the small places or living in hotels.”

“We have no desirable houses for rent right now,” said one real estate agent. “Recently we had a waiting list of 87 renters for two weeks without a single house to offer.”

The situation would not get any better without an increase in home building, said the rental agents.

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