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100 years ago in Spokane: Temperance union wants Nat park monkeys to kick the habit

UPDATED: Tue., July 21, 2020

From the July 21, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (The Spokesman-Review)
From the July 21, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (The Spokesman-Review)
The local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union strongly condemned the use of tobacco by monkeys. The Spokesman-Review

The local chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union strongly condemned the use of tobacco by monkeys.

“It is a crime against dumb animals to allow them to use the ‘filthy weed’ in any form,” said the organization.

What? Was monkey weed an actual problem in Spokane?

Surprisingly, yes. The monkeys on display at Natatorium Park in Spokane were addicted to tobacco. It began when they begged the ashes from their keeper’s pipe. Since then, they had begged old cigarettes and cigars from visitors. The monkeys “sort over the strands of tobacco, eating some and storing some away.” They averaged about “two or three packs of Chesterfields a day,” not to mention cigars and chewing tobacco.

If the W.C.T.U. succeeded in its anti-tobacco campaign, taking the weed away “will not be an easy task,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle. The monkeys were known to scratch and bite anyone who tried.

From the Deer Park beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle aimed its spotlight on Deer Park, a “humming farm community” experiencing a boom in prosperity.

Farmers were thriving. Orchards and mills were providing steady employment.

“The people here have more money than they ever had before and are spending it not altogether for luxuries, but in improving their homes and setting up a better standard of living,” said a correspondent.

Deer Park had a new high school and grade school with 12 teachers and about 250 students.

The town was well situated for those seeking both rural and urban delights. Deer Park residents could take the highway north and find many beautiful lakes and fine fishing.

If they tired of the “limitations of a small town,” they could “jump on a train, an auto stage or in a car and in an hour’s time be in the center of the Inland Empire – Spokane.” There, a visitor could “secure his fill of the city’s attractions” and be home again the same evening.

Among Deer Park’s recent improvements: A new train depot and a Standard Oil Station.

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