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Saturday, December 7, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: spokane history


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 …


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 …


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 …


UPDATED: Sun., July 28, 2019

Historians persuade Spokane police to correct error on their uniforms – date of department’s founding

Spokane police patches and badges sport the date 1884, but a town marshal, Eugene Hyde, was on duty three years previously. It’s taken a dedicated band of historians, including the …


UPDATED: Thu., July 11, 2019

Tony Bamonte, sheriff and Spokane historian who exposed corruption in law enforcement, dies at 77

Tony Bamonte, a prolific local historian and the three-term Pend Oreille County sheriff who unearthed evidence of a police cover-up in the murder of the Newport town marshal 54 years …


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 …


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.


Then and Now: Western Dairy Products

The second-largest dairy in the country began in Spokane with the 1888 arrival of two brothers, George and David Brown.


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 …


UPDATED: Mon., May 13, 2019

Then and Now: Millwright Frederick Post’s influence felt at Post Falls Dam

A key chapter in the history of Post Falls Dam begins with Frederick Post, a German immigrant who trained as a millwright and settled in Idaho in 1871.


100 years ago in Spokane: Teamsters, chauffeurs call end to strike

The strike of 500 Spokane teamsters and chauffeurs is off. An agreement to end the week-old strike means the men will return to work the next day.


UPDATED: Mon., May 6, 2019

Then and Now: Ridpath Motor Inn

A motor inn catering to America’s generation of car travelers opened in 1963 on the site of what used to be the historic Spokane Hotel. The Ridpath Motor Inn had …


UPDATED: Mon., April 29, 2019

Then and Now: The Monroe Street Dam

Washington Water Power’s first major power project, which began producing power in 1890, was located at the lower falls near Monroe Street. An 18-foot dam of rocks and timbers pooled …


Then and Now: Granite and Paulsen buildings

A tale of two neighbors: The Granite Block was the result of a massive rebuild after the Great Fire of 1889; the Paulsen Building had roots in the sudden wealth …


Then and Now: The Lang Building

The Lang Building was erected on Washington Street in 1891. Most of the downtown buildings in that era were built for ground floor retail space, with a hotel or residence …


UPDATED: Wed., April 10, 2019

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum exhibit will celebrate legacy of Spokane aviation hero Nick Mamer

The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum is planning a notable exhibit in July featuring documents and photos from the late Spokane aviator Nick Mamer.


Then and Now: Maple Street Bridge

The Maple Street Bridge, which opened to traffic on July 1, 1958, is 1,716 feet long, towering 125 feet above the Spokane River, and its road surface is 50 feet …


UPDATED: Mon., March 25, 2019

Then and Now: Single-room occupancy hotels rose to fill Spokane’s growth needs

Single-room occupancy hotels accommodated downtown Spokane’s booming early 1900s, including the Albany, Regal and Stanford hotels. Rooms had a bed, sink, wardrobe and little else.


Then and Now: The Palace and J.C. Penney

The old Palace building got a complete makeover in mid-century style, for the incoming J.C. Penney store.


Then and Now: Ford pavilion at Expo ’74

The first corporate exhibitor to sign on for Expo ’74 was Ford Motor Co. The commitment was made in January of 1973, just 17 months before the opening ceremonies in …


Then and Now: George Washington Carver USO Club

Rosa D. Malone arrived in Spokane as a Works Progress Administration supervisor and founded the Booker T. Washington Community Center in the basement of Calvary Baptist Church in 1937.


UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 10, 2018

Then and Now: Buchanan Chevrolet

R. G. “Buck” Buchanan, born in 1901 and raised on a cattle ranch in New Mexico, started in the car business in 1918 as a driving instructor in Missoula, Montana, …


Then and Now: Spokane’s rocky landscape

When Spokane city father James Glover arrived in 1874, science had yet to explain the rocky buttes and basins of Eastern Washington or the other varied landscapes of the Washington …


Then and Now: Blalock Building

John B. Blalock, born 1856 in Sevier County, Tennessee, was one of Spokane Falls’ early settlers, arriving in 1879, after stops in Oregon and Walla Walla.


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 …


Then and Now: J.J. Newberry store

In the late 1800s, America entrepreneurs have created a revolution in retail business by appealing to the thriftiness of the shopper and offering a wide variety of merchandise to save …


Then and Now: 1972 International House of Pancakes

Thing were changing quickly in the early 1970s in Spokane. Civic leaders were planning for Expo ’74, and businesses were changing the look of downtown Spokane. On the corner of …


Then and Now: Spokane’s first auto mechanic

George Ethan Bartoo was one Spokane’s first mechanics and car dealers. As a young man in the 1880s in Indiana, he and a friend built a simple steam-powered cart which …