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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Geological expert downplays possibility of South Hill oil

F.C. Calkins of the U.S. Geological Survey said efforts to seek oil beneath the ground on the South Hill should continue only until reaching granitic rock.  (S-R archives)
F.C. Calkins of the U.S. Geological Survey said efforts to seek oil beneath the ground on the South Hill should continue only until reaching granitic rock. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A U.S. Geological Survey expert poured ice water on Spokane’s oil fever.

“It would be unscientific to pretend that an enthusiastic view of the oil possibilities here is justified by the facts now known,” he reported.

F.C. Calkins had studied geologic structures underlying the South Hill and the Latah Creek area, and he concluded that “no favorable structures have been known to underlie the Spokane district.”

He did, however, recommend that the current drilling operations might as well be continued until they either reached oil or hit granitic rock.

This prompted the Spokane Daily Chronicle to strike an optimistic note in its headline: “Should Keep Up Oil Drilling.”

Yet Calkins qualified this recommendation by saying that “if they all reach granitic rock without bringing in oil, it would obviously be a waste of time and money to continue them.”

From the Prohibition beat: Households in “full accord” with Prohibition would soon begin placing little blue stars in their windows, provided by the local Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

These stars would signal the owner’s “interest in the uplift of humanity.”

On the other hand, the notion that such a display was necessary hinted that Prohibition remained controversial and was proving difficult to enforce.

Also on the date

(From Associated Press)

1961: President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his farewell address in which he warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

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