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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: The idea was hatched to turn Mt. Spokane into the state park that it’s now long been

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

C.L. Babcock, state treasurer and chairman of the State Parks and Highway Committee, made an intriguing proposal to the citizens of Spokane.

He offered to make Mt. Spokane a state park. He was already in contact with Louis Davenport, who was a trustee for the Mount Spokane property.

“If Spokane citizens agree to make Mt. Spokane a state park, we would strive to maintain it as a beauty spot of the Inland Empire,” Babcock said. “We would spend some money next season, give it a police protection, a caretaker and otherwise cooperate to improve the mountain.”

It would take four more years, but in 1927, Mt. Spokane State Park was dedicated.

Babcock also offered to turn the old Fort Spokane site, on the Spokane River near its confluence with the Columbia River, into a state park. Today, Fort Spokane is part of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and is overseen by the National Park Service.

From the bank robber beat: A 50-man armed posse was scouring the hills and forests near Rosalia, Washington, for a second day, seeking J.W. Cress, a paroled convict suspected of attempting to rob a bank in Rosalia with an unknown accomplice.

The robbers wrecked their getaway car in a wheat field, and a suitcase embossed with Cress’ name was inside. The car was also licensed to Cress, who had opened his own Spokane Valley tailor shop after serving 10 years in Walla Walla on a second-degree murder charge.

Police believed either Cress or his accomplice had been wounded during the robbery, since one of them yelled, “Dad, I’m hit!” when Rosalia citizens opened fire and foiled the robber attempt. Also, bloodstains were found near the wrecked auto.