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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Some South Hill residents refused to believe they weren’t about to get rich from oil

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

A group of Spokane residents refused to give up on the idea that it was sitting on an oil gusher on the South Hill.

The group formed a corporation called the Eastern Washington Oil Company, with the intention of developing oil production.

Members were inspired by the fact that a quantity of oil and gasoline had seeped into a South Hill basement. They were apparently not discouraged by later reports that the oil probably came from a leaking tank at a nearby gas station.

From the jail beat: New rules were instituted at the Spokane County Jail:

  • Wednesdays and Saturdays would now be mandatory bath days.
  • “Singing, playing the phonograph and dancing” would be allowed only between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • All visits were limited to 15 minutes.
  • “If troubled with vermin, prisoners are required to scald their clothing before entering a cell.”
  • Swearing and vulgar language would not be permitted.
  • Smuggling opium, morphine or tools into the jail would be punished by arrest.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1972: A fire at the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg claimed the lives of 91 workers who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

2018: Two Black men who’d been arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything settled with the company for an undisclosed sum and an offer of free college; they settled with the city for $1 each and a promise to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.

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