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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Then and Now: Echo Roller Mill

Samuel G. Havermale, for whom the island in Riverfront Park is named, built the first roller mill in Washington Territory in 1883. It was torn down in 1927 to make way for the railroad.

Then and Now: Jacobsen’s Bakery

Olaf A. Jacobsen was born in Norway in 1860 and arrived in Spokane in 1888. He started a bakery on the corner of College Avenue and North Ash Street in 1889. The building was also listed as the residence for Olaf and his wife, Mary. For almost a century, Spokane ate bread from the one-story baking plant on the north side.

Then and Now: Spokane Steam Laundry

The plentiful flow of the Spokane River gave the first settlers, S.R. Scranton and J.J. Downing, the idea to build a simple sawmill as early as 1871. Another early settler, Frederick Post, built a grist mill in 1876 to produce flour. Another flour processor, the Echo Mill, was built in 1883.

Landmarks: Remnants of historic flour mill now part of Camp Dart-Lo

When Lafayette Dart walked to Spokane Falls from Walla Walla in 1879, he met up with his brother Herb, who had preceded him, and the two went to work at the Frederick Post flour mill in the young city. Before long the enterprising pair built their own mill on the north bank of Little Spokane River, just a half-mile downstream from what is now the Wandemere Golf Course on the far north side of Spokane.

Then & Now: Sperry Flour Mill

Austin Sperry founded the Sperry Flour Company in Stockton, California, around 1850. At that time, the gold rush miners were fed with flour shipped from South America and the East Coast. Sperry got his mill up and running and farmers there began to plant wheat. Sperry died in 1881, but the company continued to expand with his partners at the helm. Expansion slowed somewhat as capacity caught up with demand around 1910.