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Stories by author "Anna Harbine": 16

Like any immigrant, settling in a new land, cultural connectivity and education were important to a thriving immigrant community. For many, churches were the center of immigrant communities. Established in 1902, the Japanese Methodist Church, known…

The Japanese have a long history in Spokane. Arriving in the 1890s as railroad workers, many decided to settle Spokane in hope of new opportunities in the city. Men set up farms and small businesses. As their success grew, families were sent for, and…

On a warm August day, Japanese-American pacifist and civil rights activist Gordon Hirabayashi made headlines, marrying his college sweetheart, Esther Schmoe, in a simple Quaker ceremony at Spokane’s Lidgerwood Evangelical Church. While the happy…

Being Japanese in Hillyard was not always easy. Home to a large community of railroad workers of every nationality, conflicts between the Japanese and other laborers were frequent, sometimes resulting in riots. This small laundry is one of the few…

In the first half of the twentieth century small Japanese farms peppered the outskirts of the city. The produce from their farms in Bigelow Gulch, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane Valley, and Latah Creek Valley prompted the formation of the Spokane Vegetable…

Sumi Yoshida and Joe Okamoto thought that December 7, 1941 was supposed a day that would live forever—in celebration. It was on that day the Japanese-American couple planned their wedding at the Desert Hotel, now the site of the Davenport Towers.…

At the turn of the 20th century, Spokane boomed as a wealthy trade and industrial center in the Inland Northwest. Like all growing cities, there was a demand for imported goods. The Crescent Department Store was there to meet the demand. Founded by…

Originally a Single Room Occupancy Hotel (SRO), the Saranac provided housing for hundreds of working-class laborers migrating to Spokane during a time of emerging industries. Built in 1910 by Coulee City businessman Hiram H. Hutton, the Saranac Hotel…

Don't let this bakery's cheery exterior fool you, Boots Bakery is serious about keeping things local. While renovating the space, the owners partially uncovered what is probably the best preserved ghost sign in Spokane an advertisement for Bull…

This ordinary brick building on the corner of Lincoln and Railroad Alley stands as a reminder of the growth of business in early Spokane. Built in 1898 by the merchants Rasher and Kingman, it is one of two buildings that remain from their…

When the territory of Washington became a state in 1889, the city of Spokane Falls was one of its largest and most successful cities. Attracting wealthy businessmen who had stakes in the nearby Idaho mines, Spokane Falls was a thriving young city…

As Washington Territory began to grow and attract more settlers looking to make a better life, conflicts between settlers and Indian tribes escalated. Unlike the fixed settlements of pioneers, who viewed land as private property, tribal communities…

Levi Hutton and his wife, May Arkwright Hutton, are rags to riches legends in the Inland Northwest. Both orphans, the couple traveled out west and met at a boarding house run by May Arkwright in what is now known as Kellogg, Idaho. The two married in…

When Levi and May Arkwright Hutton struck silver ore in 1901 at the Hercules Mine, the couple's lives dramatically changed. Both from humble beginnings, the pair met while working on railroad in Idaho. Upon striking it rich, the two moved to Spokane…

Life as an orphan out on the western frontier was full of hardships. Without parents, orphans bounced around from distant relative to distant relative. It was a lonely life for most, who were often treated like servants in the homes they occupied.…

The Great Crash in December 1929 left a lasting impact on the American economy--and on Spokane. Plans by Fox West Coast Studios to build a theater had been part of Spokane gossip since 1927. The million dollar project began in 1930, early in the…

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