Cowley Park

This small park between West Sixth and Seventh Avenue off Division is nestled in the South Hill Medical Complex. This area was where the Spokane Indians established their winter quarters but when Reverend Henry T. Cowley arrived with his family in 1874, it became the site of the Cowley home and first public school in Spokane.

Reverend Henry T. Cowley was taken by the "delightful little stream of water winding its way through the hills." This spring still runs through the two-acre site. While there are no buildings left. Cowley planted the three grand trees in the park, a maple, an ash, and a sycamore, all are still standing today.

Cowley was an early Spokane pioneer and was most known for the relationship he built with the Spokane Tribe. Once the public school was built he allowed Native American children to attend his school until a separate school was built for them. Cowley is also known for his early accounts of Spokane which were printed in the Spokane Daily Chronicle and in a book by Clifford M. Drury called, A Teepee in his Front Yard: H.T. Cowley and the Founding of Spokane.

The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.


Cowley Park
Images courtesy of Westminister Congregational United Church of Christ website Spokane, WA, Spokesman Review March 1947, and images and video taken by Tracy L. Rebstock 2012.
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Audio - Excerpt from A Teepee in His Front Yard
Audio excerpt is read from A Teepee in His Front Yard by Clifford M. Drury, 1949, page 187
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