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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Rumors swirl of Spokane-based bootlegging scheme in Canada

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 3, 2020

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A Cranbrook, British Columbia, man corroborated a sensational claim that “wealthy Spokane men” were operating a million-dollar bootlegging scheme over the border.

Spokane Daily Chronicle reporters interviewed the man in an East Port, Idaho, boarding house, where he said that a wealthy man “from the States” offered him $1,000 for every load of 20 cases he carried across the border into the U.S.

“That is a mighty attractive proposition when you come to think about it, but I’m not flirting with the penitentiary,” the man said. “A fellow may not be caught the first few times, but it is easy money and he does it just once too often. … I know two young men personally and know of many others who have made small fortunes in their game. The two young men that I speak of didn’t have a nickel two or three years ago and now they are settled on a dandy little farm in British Columbia.”

The landlady of the East Port boarding house said it was common knowledge that bootlegging took place across the border every night.

“Many of the bootleggers carry the liquor down the track in sacks on their backs,” she said. “Just the other night, a big hole was punched through the fence at the automobile gate, in order that the cases might be handed through.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1922: The entrance to King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered in Egypt.

2001: NBC’s “The West Wing” took eight honors at the twice-delayed Emmy Awards, including best dramatic series; HBO’s “Sex and the City” won best comedy series.

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