Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now

This column reflects the opinion of the writer. To learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column, click here.

Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Some saw a silver lining to a prize fighter’s latest match being somewhere else

UPDATED: Thu., April 1, 2021

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

With heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey performing his vaudeville act in Spokane, talk had circulated that the hotly anticipated Dempsey-Carpentier fight might be held at the Alan Race Track, just east of Spokane. Dempsey even took an excursion to the site to look it over.

Tex Rickard, the promoter, promptly dashed those hopes, saying the fight “will be held someplace else.” (It turned out to be Jersey City, New Jersey.)

The Spokane Daily Chronicle editors said it was “all right” with them. Although the editors admitted that it would have meant “money coming to the city,” the event would also have had its downside.

“A great prize fight always brings a certain following of ‘undesirables’ to the city where it is staged,” said an editorial. “And that city takes on the reputation of being a prize fight city – a reputation that is not attractive and is hard to lose.”

In short, Spokane might have had cause to “regret it deeply.”

From the Arctic beat: Three Spokane men, working on a Riblet Tramway Co. project on an island in Alaska’s Bering Sea, were marooned on the island for four months.

A storm caused them to miss the last boat. They were stranded at a mining camp with 18 other men.

“It was pretty hard to miss the boat and face a long, hard winter, and it turned out harder than we expected,” one of the Spokane men said.

“All we had to do was read and build fires. It frequently got as cold as 50 below. It was constantly blowing and snowing, and to make matters worse, Sam, our cook, went insane.”

More from this author