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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Armory set to be expanded and upgraded

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 18, 2021

By Jim Kershner For The Spokesman-Review

Bids were being solicited for the vastly expanded and remodeled Spokane Armory at Second Avenue and McClellan Street.

The new three-story building would fill almost an entire block, and would be sufficient to “house an entire regiment of national guards.”

“An entire new and artistic front will be put on the Second Avenue facing of the building, finished in army battlements,” reported the Spokane Daily Chronicle, which featured an architect’s rendering on the front page.

The paper said it would be “one of the finest armory buildings in the state.” It was designed by well-known local architect Julius A. Zittel.

From the oil frenzy beat: Spokane’s wildly optimistic bout of oil fever reached a new level when a Missouri oilman reported that he found several promising seepages of oil and gas in the bed of the Spokane River.

He said that at two locations in central Spokane, 10-foot poles inserted into the riverbed brought up “quantities of gas bubbling to the surface,” which “flared into flame when touched with a match.” “Blue oil” also came to the surface.

The Missouri oilman promptly filed claims on the sites.

The Chronicle reported some doubters maintained it was simply bog or marsh gas, and that any oil slick was probably “waste from some of the manufacturing plants along the river.”

From the bootlegging beat: Spokane authorities hoped they had finally found a lead in the case of the two rival bootlegging gangs who had engaged in a running gun battle near Colville a few weeks earlier.

While investigating a traffic accident in Spokane, police arrested three men who showed injuries that might have originated in the shootout. One man had a broken arm, consistent with a gunshot wound. Another had only one hand, and a third had a broken nose.

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