The Natatorium Park Rollercoaster, The Jack Rabbit

The Jack Rabbit rollercoaster track was more than 2,000 feet in length, laid out in a kind of double figure eight pattern. The first hill was the “Big Drop,” touted to hurtle mortified riders at a rate of 70 miles per hour down to the bottom before the next succession of smaller dips and climbs. A warning sign in front of the ride read, “Hold your hats and don’t stand up!” The Jack Rabbit was a Spokane entertainment icon for over 40 years. Continue Reading

Chuck King’s Guide to Spokane History, Episode 7: “The Beginnings of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum”

On the newest episode of The King’s Guide, Chuck King hitches a ride with Gary Graupner, in his beautifully restored ’39 Packard, on his way to pick up Jayne Singleton to visit the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. Along the way, Chuck and Jayne talk about how the old Opportunity Township Hall, near the corner of Sprague and Pines, is the perfect building for the museum, and how the two of them have had the time of their lives preserving local history. Continue Reading

John Reed: Memories of Elegance at The Davenport Hotel

Is there a person more closely linked to Spokane’s famous hotel than John Reed? He journeyed with The Davenport Hotel since 1942, remaining along for the ride for nearly eighty years. In the process, he became an icon of Spokane history and culture. We mourn his passing, and remember him in this article originally printed in our book, “The Davenport Hotel.” Continue Reading

A Taste For Playing With Fire: Gussie Bollinger Loved Not Wisely, But Too Well

Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina by saying: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Gussie Bollinger’s family was a frequent dumpster fire. Gussie loved too often, but not well, indeed, and by the end of her life, she collected a list of names: Carrie Augusta “Gussie” “Jessie” Leachman-Bollinger-Grady-Wellman-Trumbley-Smith-Allen. Continue Reading

A Curious Case of Amnesia: John Olson Disappears Briefly in 1924

At first, it seems like the plot of a Twilight Zone episode: a respectable North Idaho salesman, town marshall, and a married father of six children, goes to Spokane to make a round of sales calls. He plans to be gone for only a few days, but instead goes missing for three months and is found wandering the streets of Seattle by a policeman who used to know him in Spokane. Continue Reading

Teaser: “Chuck King’s Guide to Spokane History” Episode 7

We had so much fun working on Episode 7 of Chuck King’s Guide to Spokane History today (Friday, March 30) with Jayne Singleton of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum and Gary Graupner – who generously donated his time and the use of his 1939 Packard! Watch the teaser here, and then look for the full episode in the next week or so. Continue Reading

Nostalgia Presents: “Chuck King’s Guide to Spokane History” Episode 6: “Early Monroe Street Bridges Done In By Cable Cars”

On Episode 6 of The King’s Guide, Chuck King mosies over the Monroe Street Bridge to tell you all about how the wood and steel bridges on that site were done in by cable cars (and other things) in the 1890s and early 1900s. “Chuck King’s Guide to Spokane History” offers a glimpse of historical landmarks, oddities, and more from the Inland Northwest in a short video every few weeks. Continue Reading

“Patsy” Clark: The Miner’s Mine-Owner

Is there any character in Spokane history more suited to the nickname “The St. Patrick of Spokane?” That the nickname was never bestowed, notwithstanding, “Patsy” Clark remains one of the most beloved historical figures in our region, and it happens that he was born on March 17 in Ireland. Possibly just as “lucky,” he married the love of his life on March 17 as well, in 1881, at the age of 30. Continue Reading

Remembering Mikki McGoldrick

Molly Beck McGoldrick and Carol Capra remember Mikki McGoldrick, who graduated from Lewis and Clark in 1960 and became a Hollywood actress in the 1960s. Mikki went by the stage name, “Mikki Jamison,” and appeared in shows like 77 Sunset Strip, Adam-12, Ozzie and Harriet, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and more. Often inseparable, the three girls spent many summers on nearby lakes, especially Pend Oreille and Coeur d’Alene. Continue Reading

The Four Galland Brothers: Businessmen of Farmington, Palouse, and Spokane

In the fall of 1891, the Galland brothers sold their Wallace store and began construction of the Galland-Burke brewery in Spokane. The immense structure was located on Broadway Avenue, between Post and Lincoln Streets, overlooking the namesake falls of the city. The articles of incorporation were filed on July 13th, 1891 with capitalization of $100,000. W. S. Norman, Julius Galland, John Burke, George Truax, and Theodore Galland were the principal stockholders. Of the 1,000 shares, two Galland Brothers owned 799 when first incorporated. Two decades later, a series of transactions involving the merger or purchase of the Henco Brewery, the New York Brewery, and the Galland-Burke Brewery resulted the reincorporation on May 1st, 1902, of the Spokane Brewing and Malting Company for one million dollars. Brewing was big business on the frontier. Continue Reading