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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Why the S-R believed the city had ‘reason to be optimistic’

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

A Spokesman-Review editorial was titled, “Spokane Has Reason to Be Optimistic.”

The editors admitted that conditions were rough for the two main industries in Spokane: lumber and mining.

“Lumber is not as attractive as it has been … Mining has been through the same readjustment as lumber.”

The editors, however, said the lumber industry’s outlook was improving because the wartime building slump was over and “thousands of homes are needed to house the growing population.” The editors were more cautious about mining, but believed it, too, would “gradually improve.”

The biggest reason for optimism was in the agricultural outlook. The wheat crop was looking bountiful, and the fruit crops promised to be the largest on record.

Spokane, the editors said, was “coming back more rapidly than most other cities in the Pacific Northwest.”

From the auto beat: The Spokesman-Review extolled a touring route of “exceptional charm”: Spokane to Rockford Bay and Coeur d’Alene.

The route began on Grand Avenue and went down the Palouse Highway, “which has been much improved by widening and grading,” then headed east down dirt roads.

“The road leading down to Rockford Bay is like a logging road, with dense timber on both sides, but the grade is good and is perfectly safe at low speeds.”

Then the route headed back toward the main highway to Coeur d’Alene. From there, “we traveled through a farming and stock country, crossed a high range of hills and then dipped down into a beautiful little valley which leads to the city of Coeur d’Alene.”

“The trip can be made with ease in six or eight hours, but is well worth a day.”

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