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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: The food was so bad that it apparently bothered inmates more than hard labor

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

The city rockpile was intended to force prisoners to work for their room and board – but now, the prisoners were saying, “Nope.”

The rockpile prisoners suddenly went on strike, “claiming that the food served to them is not fit for human consumption.”

They were risking even more severe discipline, but they claimed it was worth it. They said they “preferred any disciplinary measures to having to work on the food given them.” They spent the day sitting in jail.

Authorities took their complaints seriously enough to have the food tested in the health department laboratory, but the results showed the food was not “unwholesome.”

The prisoners also claimed that the quantity of food was “insufficient for men doing hard work,” which seemed to undercut their argument – the food is terrible and furthermore, there is not enough of it! But clearly they just meant they wanted wholesome food in bigger servings.

Officials were investigating the matter further.

From the sledding beat: Two children were badly hurt in sledding accidents. Esther Mauch, 9, slid into a telephone pole at Trent and Freya and fractured her skull. She was in the hospital in serious condition.

Donald Long, 8, skidded into the pillar of a railroad bridge and fractured his right arm.

From the narcotics beat: Police raided the Star Hotel at Howard Street and Main Avenue and seized 120 ounces of cocaine.

Or at least they thought it was cocaine. Subsequent tests showed it to be quinine.

The man in custody told police he was a stock dealer, and the quinine was horse medicine he was planning to use for two carloads of horses.

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