In 1915, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was a fledgling organization fighting for racial equality in the United States. The release of Birth of a Nation that year galvanized the young organization. The film…

Founded by Peter B. Barrow in 1910, the Deer Lake Orchard Company consisted of 140 acres of farmland meant to provide an opportunity for Black workers trying in hope of to build their place in the Northwest. With the combined efforts of 45 investors…

The Wednesday Art Club was founded in July of 1913 in Spokane Washington. The organization was lead by African-American women, who not only held art shows but strived to better the Black community in Spokane. The art shows that were held highlighted…

In 1982, Eastern Washington University set out to find a notable commencement speaker to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Invitations to participate in the centennial celebrations went out to notable alumni, state and federal congressional…

For over one hundred years now, the Spokane Mountaineers club has had a sizable impact on recreational sports and environmental stewardship in Eastern Washington and beyond. Founded on September 19th, 1915, by well-known public librarian Ora…

In 1858, tensions between the white settlers and the native population grew in the Palouse. In May of 1858, Col. Edward Steptoe led an expedition meant to end at Fort Colvile. His plan was to suppress Indian resistance. Steptoe and his men were ill…

One of the most prominent families in Spokane’s history is that of the Cowles. William H. Cowles, Sr. came to Spokane in 1891 with a vision of starting his own news company. By 1894 he was the majority owner of the Spokesman-Review, which is still…

One of the early hostelries for visitors to Spokane Falls was the Hotel Emery, a two-story brick building on Riverside between Washington and Bernard that opened in 1892. The building's first owner is generally given as F. Lewis Clark, although the…

Located on the southwest corner of Jefferson and First Avenue, the Parsons Hotel opened in 1910 as a family-oriented hotel with 104 rooms. It was built in 1909 by W. E. Parsons, a railroad man and real estate investor, at a cost of approximately…

When the United States first entered World War 2 there was a rush to create new military facilities across the country, including an urgent need for new hospitals. The army declared that the existing military hospitals were ill-equipped and…

During the Second World War businesses across the nation began to shift their production to help focus on supporting the war effort. One such business located in Spokane was Brown Metal Works, later called Brown Industries. Located on the corner…

In 1938 a growing Spokane County decided to develop a local commercial airfield and acquired land on the West Plains where “Sunset Field” was born. Sunset Field ran commercially until 1941 when it was purchased by the War Department. By 1942 it…

Though the US military was still racially segregated during the Second World War The 332nd Fighter Group of the Army Air Corps gained fame as an all-Black unit of pilots. Known as the Tuskegee Airmen due to training in the Tuskegee Institute in…

Developed by Carrie Harris, the Hotel Aberdeen is a corner-lot brick building that captures the stories of working-class Spokanites who came to Spokane at the turn of the 20th century to work in growing regional industries such as mining, lumber,…

In the 1920s, Ernest James Brown (E.J. for short) settled in Spokane with his wife Myrtle (known as Theo). After opening a successful restaurant in 1927 called the Sawdust Trail on Sprague Avenue and Havana Street, E.J. and his wife embarked on a…

Spokane is steeped in Native American history, the name itself derived from the Spokan tribe, and many roads, creeks, and wildlife names also provide evidence of this native history. The creek appears on the The area officially listed as Latah…

It was a long way from West Point to the remote frontier post of Ft. Spokane. John McAdams Webster, from Warrenton, Ohio, began his military career by joining the 197th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1865. Though he was only 16 years old, Webster was…

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…

Spokane was a booming city in the early part of the twentieth century attracting a great many land prospectors from across the country. Newcomers such as William Nettleton and William Pettet may have platted the West Central area in 1887 but it was…

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…

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 family…

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…

In 1890, Alfred Thayer Mahan published his magnum opus, The Influence of Seapower Upon History. Thayer was a geopolitical strategist and an admiral in the United States navy, and he argued that throughout history great empires had flourished by…

Float Homes of Bayview The “Floating Village” at Bayview, Idaho has been a unique community for over 100 years. There are over 200 of the historical floating homes in Idaho with about 100 of them being in one central location of Scenic Bay on…

The River Pigs of Logging The remote virgin forests of northern Idaho represented a fortune in timber--if it could be brought to market. In areas not immediately adjacent to a railroad, the fast-moving rivers offered an economical way to get…