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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Oil-drilling dreams near Latah Creek turn out to be a pipe dream

A picture of an oil rig near 21st Avenue and Hangman (Latah) Creek may have conjured images of potential riches, but rumors of oil beneath the ground in Spokane in August 1921 were just that – rumors.  (S-R archives)
A picture of an oil rig near 21st Avenue and Hangman (Latah) Creek may have conjured images of potential riches, but rumors of oil beneath the ground in Spokane in August 1921 were just that – rumors. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Daily Chronicle ran a photo of an oil-drilling rig, ready to go into operation “a few yards from Hangman Creek.”

Spokane residents were not immune from the oil fever which was sweeping the rest of the country. Rumors of massive oil deposits had been circulating around the South Hill and the areas west of Spokane.

This rig, owned by the new Latah-Texas Oil and Gas Co., was at about 21st Avenue and Hangman (Latah) Creek.

How did this all work out? Let’s just say it was wishful thinking. Spokane never became an oil boom town or anything like it.

From the bootlegging beat: Mrs. Sophia Broadoavich died of severe burns while tending her liquor still in her cellar on Main Avenue.

Broadoavich was attempting to pour gasoline into a gas stove, when she spilled some of it.

“It ignited as it came in contact with the flame below, causing her clothing to become ignited,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

She climbed out of the cellar aflame, and her neighbors put out the fire. But it was too late.

She and her six children had just moved to Spokane from Butte. This was just the latest misfortune to befall the family. Two of the children died of unspecified causes in the three months since arriving in Spokane.

Also on the date

(From the Associated Press)

1945: Three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, a U.S. B-29 Superfortress code-named Bockscar dropped a nuclear device (“Fat Man”) over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.

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