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All Stories: 513

As a college town, Cheney has no shortage of apartment buildings, but few have stood the test of time as gracefully as the Philena Apartments. Built in 1929 by Archibald Rigg and Roland Vantyne, these apartments were financed by Clarence Martin, the…

Between 1876 and 1915, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone lines went from reaching just 100 feet, to over 3,400 miles. The first call between Bell and Watson merely spanned adjacent rooms; while their call in 1915 spanned New York to San Francisco.…

Missionaries conducted their final service at St. Paul’s Mission on August 14, 1875. Without the stewardship of the clergymen and parishioners the building quickly fell into disrepair. But although the church was no longer in use, locals continued…

“Everything you need to know about life is in the Coyote stories- if you just listen carefully.” Flathead elder, Joe Cullooyah The Salish-speaking Spokane Indians occupied a wide territory, much of it along the drainages of the Spokane and…

In the early 1900s, tuberculosis was known as the “great white plague,” and at the turn of the century it killed around 450 Americans every day. An infectious disease of the lungs, tuberculosis spreads through the air, usually via coughing fits.…

For centuries, Kettle Falls was a fishing spot and a gathering place. When Grand Coulee Dam began construction in 1933, thousands of years of history and tradition suddenly changed. By 1940, the waters of Lake Roosevelt began to rise, slowly…

In 1915 tuberculosis struck the Spokane Indians. Four died and fifty more were suspected of having the disease. In response to the outbreak, the Indian Service used the site of the former boarding school to create a sanitarium for local Indians…

Soldiers need weapons, and in the era of combustible black powder, a safe place to store weapons and ammunition was especially important. Powder magazines like this one were present on every military base. Black powder is inherently dangerous and…

Soldiers packed their bags and wrote farewell letters to their families. The call for war had sounded, and the elements of the 16th infantry regiment stationed at Fort Spokane had been activated for deployment. The year was 1898 and the Spanish…

Beneath the blue-green waters of Lake Roosevelt lie a half-dozen drowning victims: the towns that were flooded by the rising waters behind the Grand Coulee Dam. Gifford, Washington, was one of those towns. James Gifford, the town's founder, was…

In 1880, Fort Spokane was a long way from the centers of white population. The fort was situated on the edge of the Indian reservation to keep Indians on the reservation and keep white encroachment off. Fifty-five miles from the nearest railroad, and…

Between 18,000 and 13,000 years ago, glaciers advanced and retreated over eastern and central Washington. This ice formed a fragile dam on the Clark Fork River, which slowly filled with water, forming glacial Lake Missoula. The lake spanned hundreds…

What happened to the houses, stores, and buildings that were threatened by the rising water of Lake Roosevelt in 1941? Some were torn down and their materials reused. Some were burned. Others, if in good condition, were actually picked up and moved.…

Starting in 1902, the Indian children at the Fort Spokane boarding school tended this orchard. As part of “civilizing” the natives, the school taught native children to farm. The children, some as young as six years old, had to grow potatoes,…

For years, the term "Indian Agent" was synonymous with corruption, and Albert M. Anderson made a perfect example. At the turn of the century, the “spoil system” was in full effect: the Bureau of Indian Affairs turned a blind eye to agents who…

The tribes that lived near the Columbia River were enthusiastic about the "blackrobes" and their teachings. So much so that Father DeSmet, a Jesuit priest from Belgium, wrote his superiors in 1840 that he needed more priests to minister to the local…

Short on clothes but long on intrigue, Willie Willey and his choice in dress (or lack thereof) made an impression on twentieth century Spokane. Born in 1884, Willis (Willie) Willey grew up in Iowa but moved to Spokane in 1905. As a young twenty…

Hillyard began as a working men’s railroad town with a rough-and-tumble reputation. But families quickly followed and the addition of women and children softened the image of the town. Schools provide the mark of a civilized society, and more than…

Hillyard has always been proud of its history and heritage, as demonstrated in the many painted murals throughout the neighborhood. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Hillyard murals. Hillyard's first mural no longer exists. In 1978, a…

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