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100 years ago in Spokane: Riblet planned to use 46 miles of wire rope to build a tramway in British Columbia

 (S-R archives )

The Riblet Tramway Co., an innovative Spokane firm, was awarded a contract to build what Royal Riblet estimated would be “the longest single section of tramway ever constructed.”

The tramway at a mine in Stewart, British Columbia, would run 11½ miles. It would require a wire rope or cable nearly 2 inches thick and 23 miles long. In all, the project would require 46 miles of wire rope.

A crew was getting ready to clear the right-of-way. Spokane foundries would supply most of the materials.

The Riblet Tramway Co. would later become famous for building ski chairlifts.

Today, Riblet is remembered for the lofty Riblet Mansion, now the Arbor Crest Wine Cellars Cliff House. It was originally served by a Riblet tramway from the Spokane River to the hilltop

From the AWOL beat: Major Roy A. Brown, former post surgeon and senior hospital corps officer at Fort George Wright, had “absented himself” from his post and “probably deserted,” according to army officials.

His absence was particularly suspicious, because it followed an investigation into the disappearance of a $500 Liberty bond (war bond), which was part of Fort George Wright’s hospital funds.

Major Brown had been transferred a month earlier to an aviation school in Sacramento, California. As he prepared to leave, he turned over the hospital funds to his successor. The bond, however, had disappeared “in some mysterious manner.”

Major Brown was not allowed to leave for four days while an investigation took place. The board was unable to fix responsibility for the disappearance, so Major Brown was allowed to go to Sacramento. Yet the $500 bond was still missing.

Then, word came from Sacramento that Major Brown had left his post and disappeared. The search was on.

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