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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: The great railway worker strike commenced, and participation was at 100%

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

About 1,250 railroad shop workers in Spokane went on strike, along with tens of thousands of rail workers from all over the country.

“The walkout was an orderly affair,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle wrote. “There was no indication of discord among the men at any of the four shops. As the hour of the strike drew near, the men in the shops began to lay aside their tools, and at 10 o’clock quietly ‘rung out’ on the time clocks – possibly for the last time in weeks or months.”

There were four major railroad shops in Spokane, including the huge Great Northern shop in Hillyard. The workers were protesting pay cuts and various working conditions. Participation in the strike was at 100% among Spokane union employees.

Nobody was left in the shops except the foremen.

From the fishing beat: Dr. J.R. Corkery was fly-fishing in a boat on Newman Lake when he hooked a big one – a particularly stinky big one.

Corkery saw a skunk ambling along the shore and he tried to scare it away by whipping his fly line at it. Instead, Corkery hooked the skunk through the tail.

Corkery, his fly rod bent almost double, dragged the skunk off the shore and into the deep water, where the skunk drowned.

“I believe it is the first instance in which a skunk was caught on a fly rod and fish line,” the doctor said.

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