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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Sledding was becoming a major hazard in the city, but kids weren’t deterred

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

A front page photo of four boys sledding on North Post Street carried the caption, “They Laugh At Danger.”

But this was no laughing matter. Five sledders had been taken to the hospital that winter, and one had died after hitting a telephone pole.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle reported that hundreds of Spokane children were still “coasting” (sledding) down Spokane’s steep city streets, “in spite of the attendant dangers.”

On the North Post Street hill, those dangers included a double line of streetcar tracks and a telephone pole out in the street itself.

The sledders shouted, “Clear the track, I’m coming!” However, as the Chronicle noted, “Telephone poles don’t move.”

The city attempted to solve this problem by creating a few designated coasting hills, which included South Cowley Street, South Elm Street and Spring Hill, near Downriver Park.

From the jail beat: Spokane jail prisoners called off their one-day strike and returned to work on the city’s rockpile.

This came after they had all been placed in the “tank,” or dark cell, as punishment. The police chief said he had not caved to their demands for more and better food. However, he did admit that some unsavory onions might have been used “in flavoring the hash” the previous day.

From the arson beat: Several insurance companies reached a compromise settlement in the D.C. Corbin house fire. They agreed to pay $3,500, about half of the cost of the damage.

The companies had initially refused to pay anything, because Anna Corbin confessed she and her caretaker, Louis Lilge, had conspired to burn the house down to collect insurance.

However, Lilge was acquitted of arson charges and Corbin was committed to the state hospital at Medical Lake, in lieu of standing trial.

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