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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Central Washington: Movie company making newsreel on Columbia Basin Project

 (Spokesman-Review archives)
(Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Pathé motion picture company was filming the Columbia Basin irrigation story, “starring” Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Interior Frank M. Goodwin.

Pathé was famous for making newsreels, shown before feature films.

“We are covering the Columbia basin irrigation project from the standpoint of Pathé news, with the idea of national circulation under a Spokane caption, to show the people of the country some first-hand sights of the project and the men working on it,” said C.M. Van Horn, the local Pathé manager. “… It may be released in 10 days or two weeks.”

One of the first scenes showed the project’s committee workers posing on the roof of the Davenport Hotel.

The main subject was Goodwin, who was in Spokane to make a report on the feasibility of the giant project. The film crew planned to show him touring the basin lands.

“I suppose if they will shoot me jumping across a ditch, I can qualify as a rival to Douglas Fairbanks,” joked Goodwin, referring to the silent-film action star.

In a related story, Goodwin said he was convinced of the feasibility of the irrigation project.

“There is no question that the project looks good,” he said.

Also on this date


2005: Hurricane Katrina forms over the Bahamas, later becoming a Category 5 hurricane.

2008: The star-studded American women’s basketball team, led by the likes of Lisa Leslie, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, wins the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics 92-65 over Australia.

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