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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Then and Now: Transcontinental railroads

Since the 1890s, Spokane was often touted as a hub for four transcontinental railroads, the implication being that it was a good place to do business and ship goods across the U.S. continent.

Then and Now: The Milwaukee Road freight office

In 1909, The Milwaukee Road became the third transcontinental railroad to connect through Spokane to Seattle. Expansion of its electric routes in the West cost the railroad company dearly and led to multiple bankruptcies, including its final such filing in 1977.

Then and Now: Union Station

Historian Robert Hyslop, in his book “Spokane Building Blocks,” explains why Spokane’s Union Station, shown under construction in 1913, was called a station and not a depot. There had already been a Union Depot in Spokane serving the OR&N, the Union Pacific and the Great Northern in Spokane’s earliest days. In addition, people thought the word “depot” was old-fashioned and “station” was more stylish.

Then and Now: Union Station

Bob Strahorn planned the downtown Spokane Union Station, opened in 1914, to compete with the Great Northern depot, built in 1902.

John Wayne rail-trail bike trip delightfully uncrowded

While the Eastern Washington portion of a cross-state rail trail continues to be snubbed for funding by the Washington Legislature, a few folks continue to explore this world-class route in the rough. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail has rough sections, it has closed sections and it also has stretches that are easy-wheeling for fat-tire bikes.

Town of Tekoa condemns proposed closure of John Wayne Trail stretch

Well, pilgrim, we’ve got ourselves a bit of trouble in this here town of Tekoa. A part of the John Wayne Trail might be closed and some folks hereabouts are pretty riled up. That may be how the cross-state trail’s namesake would describe a controversy in Tekoa, where local officials recently learned the state might abandon a section of the trail from the Columbia River to Malden. Tekoa Mayor John Jaeger said the plan came as a complete surprise and the City Council passed a resolution this week to send a message of “Whoa!” to a chief supporter of the closure, Rep. Joe Schmick.

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago One of the “great engineering feats performed by man” – the Snoqualmie Tunnel of the Milwaukee Road – was completed and ready for traffic.

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago Spokane was entering what society columnist Betty Graeme called “a gay whirl” of a week, with three gala events. They were:

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago The Spokesman-Review editorial page was celebrating a new “epoch for Spokane” with the formal opening of a new transcontinental rail line through Spokane. It was a “union” line, a joint venture of the Oregon-Washington Railway & Navigation Co. and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, known as the Milwaukee Road. 

Palouse section of old rail line to get master plan for trail

MALDEN, Wash. – A narrow, treeless corridor runs along scenic Pine Creek next to this tiny town in northern Whitman County. It maintains a level line as it moves off into the distance in both directions. Broken and abandoned structures stand as ruins in what was once a railroad switching area.