Welcome to the home of
      THE SPOKANE VALLEY SCOOP's    
DeerHart Design Homes
              &
 DeerHart Design Drafting
  
   
     
                                                                               

Spokane Valley History 101

Script embedded in HTML

                                                                                
Get the E-version of our Quarterly The Spokane Valley Scoop
For Email Marketing you can trust

Script embedded in HTML



These are fun trivia Questions that have appeared in the Valley 101 feature of past Scoop newsletters.

What beautiful Valley street was the first development to impose building restrictions?
According to Valley historian Florence Boutwell, Ezra Smith,
editor of the Valley Herald at the time, developed 20 one-acre lots along Walnut Road between Sprague and Broadway and imposed a list of building restrictions. He forever enriched the street by lining it with black walnut saplings that today stand tall as a memorial to his high standards.


In the 60's and 70's all the highschoolers hung out at what was the first burger franchise to come into the Valley. What was the franchise and where they located? 

Long before the Valley had McDonald's it had A & W Rootbeer stands and quite a few of them. One was at the current Conley's Restaurant location next to the White Elephant, one was at the corner of Montgomery and Argonne where Scotty's Bar and Grille is now located, another was on Trent near Fowler road ,one was just east of Deja Vu(the old Dishman Theater), another was at the current location of King's restaurant in Greenacres  and the last was located at the Mustard Seed location recently torn down when Winco Grocery opened

What Valley park is named after the man considered to be the Valley's first settler?
   Plantes Ferry Park on Upriver Drive is named for
Antoine Plante, a French-Indian who worked as a trapper for the Hudson Bay Company. Around 1855 Plante built a home on the south side of the river across from the park and set up a 40' wooden barge
attached to a steel cable. The Mullan Road crossed the Spokane River at this point and business was
swift until 1864 when a bridge was built near where
I-90 crosses the river at the stateline.

What battle is the Argonne Bridge named after?
  Argonne Road is named after the Argonne Forest in France. Originally called Woodard Road, the name was changed when the bridge at the river was built and named in honor of local boys who fought and died in the Battle of the Argonne Forest during late September of 1918 in WWI.
How did Opportunity get it's name?

In 1906 Laura Kelser won $10 by submitting the name "Opportunity" in a contest to name the new township being formed. That amount adjusted to current levels would be $212.

What Auto Row original was first located on the Northwest corner of Sprague and Argonne?
The sprawling giant we now  know as Appleway Automotive Group, a subsidiary  of the national conglomerate AutoNation, humbly began as one of the Northwest's first Chevrolet dealerships on the corner of Argonne and Sprague. John A. Pring Sr.bought into the  two car showroom dealership with founder Charles Stevens in 1928 for $5,000. Pring weathered the hard times by developing land  and building homes in the Valley.Pring moved the dealership to 8500 E. Sprague in 1941.

Where was the Valley's first dump located?
    The original dump for the township of Opportunity was located at the Mission and Bowdish at the site of the Senior Citizens Center. It was later moved to 19th and Pines (at which time the garbage was burned and the smoke and ash irritated people moving into the new neighborhood being built called Opportunity Terrace in the 40's) . So then it was moved to Greenacres on the hill near what became the the ill-fated Holiday Hills resort and finally in 1970 it was moved to Mica.
 Millwood dumped it's garbage orignally at the site of the present Millwood Town Park.

Developer Ted Gunning Babysat for the Man Who Started What Is Considered the Region's First Supermarket, who was he?
Mort Rosauer's father operated a grocery store on east Trent for several years and then Mort opened what is considered the area's first supermarket in Victory Heights at the bottom of the Sunset Hill.
   "My dad worked in the meat department there and my brother and I worked with him when I was 14 year's old," Ted Gunning told me, "He drove a slope-back yellow sedan and I thought, man he was a big time operator."
   "I remember the day the  war was over there was bunch of hootin' and hollerin' all through the store," Ted  said.
   Later in high school, Mort often asked Ted to babysit his children.

What Nearby city had a full blown riot in 1960, complete with smashed windows and flipped cars? Apparently the hydro-plane races in Couer D' Alene in the early days was a wild and wooly,and sodden event and one year things got totally out of hand according to Don Lehnertz, who drove right threw a full blown riot on Sherman Avenue in 1960.    " I was coming back from Spokane with a load of food," said Don, who was catering the event with his company, the Longhorn. "It was a riot, they were coming down Sherman  right ahead of me headed in the same direction. I saw them flipping those Beetle cars and I was driving a brand new,white Ford pick up and I said,' they sure as hell ain't gettin' my truck,' so I put it in low gear and put the pedal to the floor and busted right through them. They scattered everywhere and I made it through." "The cops formed a line in front of our place and stopped them," he said, " They really busted up Sherman Avenue, it was just a bunch of drunks."  

What does the Valley have that no other community in Washington state has?    At one time, rural communities like Opportunity, Dishman and Trentwood were known as townships. Most had halls where official business and social gatherings were held.Today,  there is only one such building still standing in our state and that is the old Opportunity Township Hall where the Valley Heritage Museum is now located at 12114 E. Sprague It operated as the township hall from 1909 to 1974.
Of all the old Vally townships such as Trentwood, Dishman and Opportuntiy, only Millwood incorporated. When did they do that and how big is it ?   Millwood incorporated in 1927. There are a total of 1,649 Millwoodites, or are they Millwoodians, or should they be called Millwoodies? The city limits encompass a wopping .7 sq. miles. The Spokane Valley covers 38.5 miles, Spokane is58.5 and Coeur D'Alene is 13.9.
Where does the familiar term Appleway come from?         Local residences dubbed the Veredale portion of Sprague "Appleway" in the 1920's because of all the the orchards in that area. At one time, more than 12,000 Valley acres were dedicated to the fruit. Up until the 70's, places like Renfro's, Falco's and the Farmer's Market survived year round, mostly selling local produce
      The iconic red "H" Halpins sign has been towering above Sprague since 1969. What are you suppose to do when it is flashing?     For 39 years, Halpin's has been using a little marketing trick to entice drivers to stop and come into the Treasure Room to recieve a little booty. When the sign is flashing you can go in and get a prize. Having never been observant enough to notice before now, the Scoop can not say exactly what sorts of prizes may be offered.   
 What company originally built and ran the Kaiser Trentwood Plant? Alcoa originally built the 52 acre aluminum plant (the nation's largest) in 1942 under a government contract. Valley historian Florence Boutwell reports that the site was built to support the war effort and produced enough aluminum rolled sheets to build 25,000 planes between November of 1942 and September of 1945 when it was shut down. The Permanente Metals Corporation began leasing the plant from the government in 1946 and soon changed it's name to Kaiser Aluminum
Why are the cliffs below Ribletts mansion white?

The cliffs below Riblett's Mansion which overlooks the Valley due north of Pines road were coated with a white dusting from the cement plant below on the south side of the river. Royal Riblet tried, unsuccessfully, to sue the plant several times. During the war years he was told his lawsuit was unpatriotic because cement was necessary for the war effort.According to Florence Boutwell, Royal did not invent the tramway as many believe. Rather he worked for his brother Byron who owned the famous Riblet Tramway Company. Neither invented the tramway.



What year did the Federal government sell the U.S. Naval Depot
(now known as the Spokane Industrial Park) and who bought it?


   The federal government sold the Depot to Washington Water Power in 1960 which converted it into an industrial park. After WWII, the workforce was cut from 2,700 to 300. Twelve of the 17 buildings were sealed and dehumidified and their contents awaited the next conflict which came with the Korean War.

  
What was the first Junior High School in the CV  district and what year was it built?
   Built in 1949, North Pines was the first Junior High in Central  Valley. Students were bussed in from Greenacres and Veradale. Until then, kids went to grade school through 8th grade and then 9th through 12th at Central Valley. Today it takes 5 middle schools to handle the same area.

What year was the first Interstate Fair held?

   The first Spokane Interstate Fair was held in 1901 at the site of what became Playfair. It was moved to it's current location in 1957. According to Valley historian, Florence Boutwell, 1927 was a long remembered year due to the appearence of Charles Lindberg.

Why is the old time Valley Tshirley family important to both Vera Water and Power and the Good Samaritan Center?

According to Valley historian Florence Boutwell, Bill Tshirley began working at Vera Water and Power in 1914 at the age of 16. Before retiring in 1946 he had worked his way up to superintendent. He often climbed down into the district's four 125-foot deep wells to maintain and service the pumps.The river-rock castle turret pump house on Evergreen is named after him.              
   The property the Good Samaritan Home is built on was donated by Bill and his wife Helene in 1954. In the early 1900's Bill's father, Paul, traded land he owned near Quincy, Washington for the 160-acre tract. The Good Samaritan was completed in 1962 at a cost of $200,000. Bill and Helene spent there last years there.

How deep did  the snow actually get in '68?
 
The winter of 68'/69' was extraordinary not because of how much actually fell, 77.5", but because of how much piled up before melting. While December was fairly normal that year, the white stuff came down heavy in January and accumulated to a total of 42" on the ground. Another unusual aspect of that winter was that it occurred during an El Nino where as nearly all record snowfall winters, like this year, have occurred during an El Nina. The winter of 68'/69 ranks 9th for total snowfall.

Where was the first recognized community located in the Valley?  The first recognized community was built up around the first bridge crossing the Spokane river in the area near where I-90 crosses the river at the stateline. The long gone community had the county's first post office built in 1867. 

In the 60's and 70's all the highschoolers hung out at what was the first burger franchise to come into the Valley. What was the franchise and where they located?

 
Long before the Valley had McDonald's it had A & W Rootbeer stands and quite a few of them. One was at the current Conley's Restaurant location next to the White Elephant, one was at the corner of Montgomery and Argonne where Scotty's Bar and Grille is now located, another was on Trent near Fowler road ,one was just east of Deja Vu(the old Dishman Theater), another was at the current location of King's restaurant in Greenacres  and the last was located at the Mustard Seed location recently torn down when Winco Grocery opened.

In 1868 Spokane
County was annexed into Stevens County. Where was the county seat and when were they re-divided?
Spokane and Stevens counties were redivided in 1879. During the 15 years Stevens and Spokane were together, Colville was the county seat. Spokane County was originally huge. It was eventually carved up into 21 counties. Six are in Idaho, five in Montana and the rest in Washington.

Who was the Hutton Settlement established in memory of and what was this person's great cause?   
 In 1919, Levi Hutton built the Hutton Settlement, an orphanage on Upriver Drive which still serves today, in memory of his wife, May, who had passed away in 1915 at the age of 55. Both Levi and May had been orphans and had longed dreamed of building such an establishment.
   May was a politically active woman who worked to get the women of Idaho the right to vote in 1896. After moving to Spokane in 1907, she fought for the same right for the women of Washington. In 1912, she became the first woman to attend the Democratic National Convention. Women in Washington did not get the vote until 1910.
 
How did Vera Water and Electric get it's name and when was it formed? 

In 1908 A.C. Jamison, Andrew Wood and D.K. McDonald gathered up river rock from the surrounding fields and built the pump house which still solidly stands on the hill south of Broadway on Evergreen.
They are long gone, and so is McDonald's granddaughter, Vera, for whom the company was named. But the fruit of their efforts continue to light the homes and wet the whistles of thousands Valleyites each day.
In 1908 A.C. Jamison, Andrew Wood and D.K. McDonald gathered up river rock from the surrounding fields and built the pump house which still solidly stands on the hill south of Broadway on Evergreen.They are long gone, and so is McDonald's granddaughter, Vera, for whom the company was named. But the fruit of their efforts continue to light the homes and wet the whistles of thousands Valleyites each day.
 
  In what sport has Gary Hite, of Hite Crane and Rigging, won 5 National Championships?
Gary has been racing flattrack motorcycles since 1961. The first two national titles that he won in 1990 and 1991 were in the 40-and- over age group. His last three, most recently in 2004, were in the 18- and-over age group.

   He races in 15 to 20 races a year all over the nation. He raced just 3 weeks ago.

   "When you're a hundred miles an hour sideways on a motorcycle, your'e not worrying about a government agency, or a guy who hasn't paid yet or who is trying to sue you. It is very cleansing," Gary said, explaining the nearly unexplainable.

What local geographical feature was named after Etienne Edward Laliberte?

   Etienne Edward Laliberte changed his named to Steve Liberty and in 1871 the body of water by his homestead was given the white-man name  Liberty Lake. He worked as a mail carrier, probably connected to the first post office in the Spokane area located near the present day 1-90 bridge at the stateline.

The bridge being built over the Spokane River at the stateline will wind up costing $6 million. When was the original bridge built and how much did it cost?

    The original bridge known as the Appleway bridge was built in 1939 for $118,259. It was part of the highway system connecting Couer D' Alene and Spokane known as The Appleway, which was also a part of US 10 Highway which later, in 1956, became part of I-90. In 1977 the new bridges were built and I-90 was rerouted. By the way, I-90 is the longest of the Interstate Highways at 3,099 miles. The east terminus is Boston, home of Cheers, the west terminus is Seattle, home of that show's spinoff, Frazier.

   In 1909, the first church was built in the Spokane Valley, it still exists today under a different name. What church is it?

   The Valley Baptist church, located at 12th and McDonald, is the direct descendent of the first church built in the Spokane Valley called Opportunity Baptist Church in 1909. They had been meeting for year in the Opportunity Elementary school which had been recently completed in 1908. The name was changed to Valley Baptist in 1927 and they moved to their current location in 1961.
 

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Spokane Valley is 90.9% white compared to 77.3% for the rest of the state. How do we compare intellectually?

According to the census we do slightly better at staying in school long enough to get our high school diploma with a 91% graduation rate while the rest of the state is at a 89.6%
   Apparently we get fed up with school and only 20.1% percent make their way to a bachelor's degree while the rest of Washington is at 31%. Seattle towers far above at 55.1%

    

The Pines cemetery has been around for a long time. When was it started and how many folks reside there?

The Pines cemetery was started out in 1907 as a small family business but was soon incorporated as non-profit business as it has remained. According to Internment.net, there are more than 14,000 "residents" apparently "residing" there. The website gives Bob Stallman credit for this number since he spent more than two years starting in June 1998 walking the grounds and recording every gravesite.  

 Where was the first fire station located in the Spokane Valley and when was the Valley Fire District formed?

The first fire station in the Valley was located at Sprague and Marguerite in Dishman. That intersection no longer exists but it was approximately one block east of where the Hyundai dealership is at now.
   Before 1940 all fires in the Valley were fought from the sollitary Dishman station which was governed by Spokane County. That year the Valley Fire District was formed and a station was soon added  in Greenacres, followed shortly by one on Park road near Trent.
   That year the eleven fireman employed to serve the 10,000 citizens of the Valley worked 48 hours straight and then had 24 hours off. Today, the 165 fireman at 11 stations serving 125,000 Spokane Vallyites work 24 hours straight and then get 48 hours off.

Felts Field is Spokane's original airport and was one of the first one's in the West to be officially recognized by the federal government in 1926. What year did aviation activities begin at this historical strip?
   
   Just ten years after the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903, Felts Field began being used by local pilots. In 1929, Nick Mamer and Art Walker set several endurance records after departing from Felts Field and then flying for 120 straight hours while covering 7,200 miles.

   They refueled in the air from milk jugs of gasoline lowered by rope from other planes. In 1938, Mamer and 9 others died when the commercial plane he was piloting crashed near Bozeman.

  The Mamer Memorial Clock Tower still ticks away near the Skyway Cafe, the popular local diner at Felts Field.

  
   

 The Opportunity Center at Sprague and Pines has become a beehive of construction and commerce lately, what tenants were the buildings originally built for and what kind of business was there decades before?
     
              Long before Old Country Buffet fed the unwashed masses at the northeast corner of the Opportunity Shopping Center, Safeway sold groceries to them.  Next door, Pay n Save once did the job it now apparently requires two stores across the street to do. The long-gone Earnst did battle selling hardware against the still-here Peter's Hardware and Malmo was next door selling flowers and shrubs and other nursery goods. All in all it was a very handy row of propieters to have on that property.

     Now it is all about buying used and staying fit with Global Fitness taking up a lot of the space. There is a vendors market called Pine Street Market and Thrifty Living, "an upscale thrift store". And because the Valley does not have a thrift store on every corner yet, the corporation that runs Value Village are the ones remodelling the old Old Country Buffet location.

   In the old days that location was a sawmill.


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Website Builder