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All Stories: 513

The large tree that stands before you, with its distinctive curve, once provided shade to a trading post for Native Americans and the Hudson Bay Company. Baptiste Peone, the chief of the Upper Spokane, chose the location in the 1840s, and it became…

Visitors to Hillyard will see the name Kehoe prominently displayed -- on the Kehoe Building, park, and apartments. These are monuments to Agnes and Thomas Kehoe, pioneer citizens of Hillyard. In 1894, Agnes Kelly married Thomas Kehoe, a…

James J. Hill lived the late nineteenth century American dream. Through hard work, perseverance, and sometimes sheer luck, Hill amassed a fortune in the railroad industry though his company Great Northern. Hill was born in a rural community west…

The Great Northern railroad is the soil on which the town of Hillyard grew. James J. Hill chose this location for his railroad terminal in 1892. The small town rapidly expanded around the railroad industry. The initial population was composed of…

The year 1889 brought a new religious experience to Spokane. The Church of Christ, Scientist, was described by one adherent as “similar to Protestantism,” with having the added benefit of scientific belief. Founded a decade prior by Mary…

Commercial buildings often live multiple lives, changing with their neighborhoods. Such is the case with the Dishman Theater. Dishman Theater opened its doors on November 6, 1938. It was to be the first and only theater in the Spokane Valley for…

The name Kirtland Cutter is important in the history of Spokane, yet few know of his history in Connecticut. Cutter’s great grandfather, Jared Potter Kirtland, became the first medical student enrolled at Yale at the time the School of Medicine…

Preservation is important to small communities in keeping their heritage and remembering their history. The Metaline Falls School, constructed in 1912, was designed by Kirtland Cutter. It was the first school in the region and the only school in…

The Great Depression plunged the United States into an economic downturn unlike any it had seen before. Spokane was not immune. Workers lost their jobs quickly and the local unemployment rate shot up to twenty-five percent. Even though the local…

In 1878 just fifty-four citizens called Spokane home, including two young entrepreneurs who would leave a mark on the city. John Browne and Anthony Cannon made great fortunes in real estate and business and became Spokane's first millionaires. In…

In 1952, Spokane opened its fourth drive-in movie theater at the North Division Y. It was just a few years after the first drive-in on East Sprague opened in 1949. In the 1950's business was good for drive-ins. At theaters like the Y, theater…

Spokane's first bank once stood on this site. Located on the northwest corner of Howard St. and Spokane Falls Boulevard (formerly Front St.), approximately where the Fountain Cafe is today, first stood the Bank of Spokane Falls. Pioneer and…

Banking has a long history here on the northwest corner of Wall St. and Riverside Avenue. Where Sterling Bank is today, once stood the Marble Bank, considered by some the most beautiful bank building west of the Mississippi River. In 1892,…

Before the invention of the refrigerator, Americans relied on the iceman. His frequent deliveries were similar to the milkman. He started his route at a local ice-warehouse where he loaded ice blocks onto a horse-drawn wagon. Ice was crucial for…

In 1887, Norwegian-born Helga and Ole Estby purchased 160 acres of land in “Little Norway,” an enclave in the town of Mica Creek, 25 miles southeast of Spokane. Shortly after the Panic of 1893, Ole injured his back and was unable to work the…

White Americans of the early 1900s were often obsessed with concepts of race and whiteness. But what did they mean by "white?" In 1912 a recent immigrant from India to Spokane would put the idea to the test.Born in Calcutta in 1880, A. K. Mozumdar…

If ever Robin Leach from the hit TV show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" could time travel back to the late nineteenth century and do an exposé on homes of Spokane, he would certainly visit that of Anthony McCue Cannon, one of the city's…

Before the advent of the electric trolley in 1889 or Ford’s Model T in 1908, Spokanites got around by foot or by horse and buggy. The height of the carriage era lasted from 1850-1910, a time when horse-drawn carriages were as common as automobiles…

One of the early twentieth century's premier artists called Spokane his home for a short while. Julian Edward Itter, internationally renowned for his Impressionism-style landscape paintings, came to Spokane in 1912 and resided here for more than a…

A forgotten founder of Spokane, Francis H. Cook was one of the most influential people in Spokane’s History. Little is known about Cook’s childhood other than in 1851 he was born a twin to Silas and Catherine Cook in Ohio. He made his way out…

The cornerstone for the current Mount St. Michael was laid in 1914, but the history of this Catholic church is much older. Father Joseph Cataldo arrived in the Inland Northwest in 1865 as a missionary to the Spokane Indians. In 1866 he…

If you’ve never seen a city taken over by almost sixty thousand runners, visit downtown Spokane on the first Sunday in May. Since 1977, the Lilac Bloomsday Run has been a major event for the city. Throngs of runners take on the 12-kilometer course,…

Cigar smoking, whisky drinking, mining tycoon John A. Currie built one of Spokane’s most distinctive homes in 1889. Currie, a real estate and mining tycoon, built his three-story home for an estimated $7000. Located near the Gentleman’s…

This block, spanning Chestnut from College to Broadway, is where Jacob Goetz's lifelong friend and business partner Harry F. Baer built his home in 1888. We know the two friends spent plenty of time at this location in the 1910s and 20s. Baer's…

For the first decades of Spokane’s history, its citizens got around on foot or on horse. In a very few places downtown, horse rings can still be found in the granite curbs. Here, on the corner of Main and Stevens in downtown Spokane, lie two…

A library is a necessity for any civilized neighborhood. After Spokane annexed Hillyard in 1924 the area qualified for more city services. One of the major services provided by the city, and a staple in twentieth century entertainment, was a public…

Dr. Alexander F. MacLeod, a pioneering medical doctor of the Inland Northwest, built this home in 1902. After completing medical school, MacLeod immigrated from Nova Scotia to Spangle, WA in 1880. He practiced medicine in Colfax and owned a…

Abandoned but not forgotten, St. Ignatius Hospital provided healthcare to the Palouse region from 1893-1964. In 1892 Rev. Jachern, a Roman Catholic priest, recognized the need for improved healthcare in this area. He traveled to Portland, OR and…

Was Spokane too much of a backwater for punk rock? Not if musicians like Jan Gregor or Brad Muller had anything to say about it. Spokane’s relative isolation in the early 80s made the “do it yourself” spirit of punk a necessity--local bar…

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