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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: Bloomsday race

Bloomsday started in 1977 with a field of 1,198 runners. Before that, runners competed in the 6-mile Spokane Road Race on the hilly roads of Glenrose and Moran prairies. This year will mark the first time Bloomsday has not taken place on the first Sunday in May, with the road race pushed to Sept. 20 due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Then and Now: Union Pacific rail yard

Now the site of the Kendall Yards mixed use development, the area northwest of downtown Spokane and the river was once home to the Union Pacific rail yard. The railroad moved out of the area in 1955, but development of new housing, retail and commercial businesses did not proceed in earnest until after the economic downturn of 2008.

Then and Now: J.I. Case building

The J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co. bought the building at the corner of Boone Avenue and Monroe Street in 1909, and would remain there until moving operations to the West Plains in 1967. Today, the building houses outdoor retailer REI.

Then and Now: Spokane County Courthouse grounds

The size of Spokane County’s jail has been a political question since at least the late 1930s. The current Public Safety Building was built in 1970 to relieve the stress on the old county and municipal jails.

Then and Now: NorthTown Mall

Eastern Washington’s largest mall began as a cluster of shops surrounding an Albertson’s grocery store in the 1950s. Today, it houses a movie theater and several remaining department stores after years attracting businesses away from the downtown core.

Then and Now: The Chemical Block

Named for a pharmaceutical warehouse built on the corner of Sprague and Howard in the 1890s, the Chemical Block was home to several businesses before being demolished in 1960 to build a parking garage for a nearby bank.

Then and Now: Jensen-Byrd warehouse on Main Avenue

The Jensen-Byrd warehouse on Main Avenue was first built as a storage facility for the Marshall-Wells Company in 1909. Today, it’s part of the WSU campus in the University District.

Then and Now: The Spokane streetcar barn

Spokane’s streetcars wound their way through town from 1887 to 1936. Today, the old barn at Boone and Cedar is part of the maintenance facilities for Spokane County.

Then and Now: Thor/Ray arterial

City Engineer A.M. Eschbach called Freya on the South Hill as “one of the most excessive grades in the city.” The solution was to use Thor Street and tie it into Ray Street between 11th and 14th Avenues, which was completed in 1966.

Then and Now: Velox Naval Supply Depot

The Velox Naval Supply Depot got its name from a famous racehorse in the 1890s, Harry Velox. Now the 530-acre property, near Sullivan Road and Trent Avenue, is a business park.

Then and Now: Federal Building and Post Office

The expansion of federal government agencies during the Great Depression prompted a search for more office space in Spokane. The 1909 Post Office was expanded in 1941.

100 Years Ago in Spokane: Miners get more pay

Miners in the Coeur d’Alene mining district got a boost in pay from $4.25 to $4.75 per shift. The move was announced at a meeting of the principal operators in Wallace, Idaho.