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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in eastern Washington: A pivotal first step happened that would eventually lead to Mount Spokane and Steptoe Butte getting state park designation

 (S-R archives )
(S-R archives )

H.W. Rutherford, superintendent of Washington State Parks, was on the way to Spokane to scout for new state parks in Eastern Washington.

He was accompanied by the head of the Natural Parks Association, a statewide parks advocacy group, which said that a number of state parks had been established on the west side of the state, but precious few on the east side.

“The only Eastern Washington state park, named after its donor, W.H. Crawford, is located clear up near the Canadian boundary in Pend Oreille County,” said the association spokesman, referring to what is today called Crawford/Gardner Cave State Park. “And since it is accessible only by trail, it has received no attention.”

Rutherford planned to inspect Mount Spokane and Steptoe Butte – both of which would eventually become state parks. He also planned to visit Deep Creek Canyon, which would become part of Riverside State Park.

From the education beat: Educators who “openly favor dancing, card playing and smoking” were condemned in resolutions adopted by the East Washington chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

These “vices” were in addition to the main targets of the group, which were liquor, gambling and narcotics.

The district convention was held at the Westminster Congregational Church in Spokane. The Spokane County sheriff addressed the group and promised to enforce the liquor and gambling laws.

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