Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Spokane in Spokane County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Industry on the Spokane River

 
 
Industry on the Spokane River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
1. Industry on the Spokane River Marker
Inscription.  James Downing and Seth Scranton, founders of Spokane, located a small water-powered sawmill on the south channel of the river in 1872. James Glover expanded the sawmill and enticed Frederick Post to establish a gristmill in 1876. Following in 1885 was the Echo Flour Mill, the first roller mill in the territory and the first to generate electricity from falling water.

Beginning with that small sawmill, a number of industries were located on the river by 1890 not only occupying the shoreline but also altering the river flow. Gullies and inlets were filled, banks pushed out, construction-rubble dumped, retaining walls built and riprap placed to accommodate development. Most of these changes were focused on the Central Falls, downtown, industrial and commercial districts surrounding the river.

Beginning in 1901, railroads built bridges and viaducts, filled embankments, laid track and built stations, depots, repair shops and warehouses that covered the shoreline between Monroe Street and Division. This work was completed by 1915 and the banks of the river remained this way for decades.

The last of the laundries were
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
removed as were the railroad warehouses, passenger and freight terminals and massive steel viaduct when the site was readied for Expo '74 — the World's Fair held in Spokane.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1872.
 
Location. 47° 39.71′ N, 117° 24.884′ W. Marker is in Spokane, Washington, in Spokane County. Marker can be reached from North Spokane Falls Court, 0.1 miles north of West Spokane Falls Boulevard. Marker is located on the Centennial Trail, overlooking the Spokane River. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 322 North Spokane Falls Court, Spokane WA 99201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Legacy of Railroads (here, next to this marker); An Evolving Shoreline (within shouting distance of this marker); Expo '74 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washington State Pavilion (about 400 feet away); What's in the Water (about 400 feet away); How the River Became Home for Sqelix — Spokane Tribe (about 400 feet away); Bridges in Spokane (about 600 feet away); Spokane's Evolving Riverfront (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spokane.
 
Also see . . .
1. J. J. Downing and S. R. Scranton file claims and build a sawmill at Spokane Falls in May 1871
Marker detail: Spokane circa 1890s image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Spokane circa 1890s
By 1890, a wide variety of industries crowded the banks of the Spokane River Post and Howard Streets — laundries, Iron mills, saw mills, a shingle mill, sash and door factory, lumberyard, grain and flour mills, a brewery, hydropower generation facilities and the City waterworks — along with a log boom, bridge plank walks, dams and flues that crisscrossed the riverbank and islands.
. In May 1871, J .J. Downing and S. R. Scranton file claims and build a sawmill at Spokane Falls. It is the first American settlement at what will become downtown Spokane. Downing and Scranton arrived along the south bank of the Spokane River leading strings of packhorses. The men were the subjects of arrest warrants held by the U.S. Marshal in Montana alleging livestock theft. They built a hand-powered sawmill using logs floated down the river. (Submitted on April 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The History of Spokane Washington. The founding father of Spokane, James Nettle Glover, came to the settlement with intentions of establishing a town in the area. He saw the potential of the river and falls to generate mills and attract settlers to the area. So, he bought out Downing & Scranton in 1873, and convinced Frederick Post to build a Gristmill at the falls. (Submitted on April 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Coast Trading Company Grain Elevators image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Coast Trading Company Grain Elevators
The former Coast Trading Company Grain Elevators rise just north of the Division Street Bridge. The Early Modern monolithic concrete silos were built in the 1920s and were linked by rail to the rich agricultural region surrounding Spokane.
Industry on the Spokane River Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
4. Industry on the Spokane River Marker
Avista Utilities Diversion Dam (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2015
5. Avista Utilities Diversion Dam (view from near marker)
The dam in front of you is the Avista Utilities diversion dam, built in 1922 to regulate water to the intake for the Upper Falls Powerhouse. The orange floats support a cable intended to keep boaters from being swept over the falls or into the intake. The deceptively slow moving water has a treacherous undertow.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 21, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 22, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=148684

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Jun. 19, 2024