The Garland Theater (1945)

With the end of World War II in August 1945, the Garland Theater in Spokane, WA, opened its doors on November 22 of that year. Crowds lined up around the block to see the evening’s comedic double features: It’s a Pleasure and Double Exposure. The lobby, adorned with brown oak walls and floors covered in rose color carpet, was lined with baskets, flowers and well-wishes from Hollywood stars including Ginger Rogers, Cary Grant, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby. Continue Reading

Historic Homes: The Clark House on Hayden Lake

When the Clarks built this 15,000-square-foot private lodge at Hayden Lake in 1910, it was of the finest materials and with great attention to detail. For a few short years, it provided a glorious setting for elaborate parties and other gatherings. In the ensuing years, it served in various capacities, some of which included a boys’ home, convalescent center for patients from Farragut Naval Hospital, a resort and a restaurant. Continue Reading

Historic Homes: The Glover Mansion

Built in 1888 – some sources say 1889 – the Glover Mansion, located on Spokane’s lower South Hill at 321 West Eighth Avenue, is one of Spokane’s oldest and most beautiful historic buildings. Nineteenth-century entrepreneur, James Nettle Glover, the self-proclaimed “father of Spokane,” built the home fifteen years after settling in Spokane. Glover first arrived in the area in 1873 and opened a trading post-style mercantile, catering primarily to the local Indians. After having become very successful through this and various other business ventures, Glover commissioned Kirtland Cutter of the architectural firm Cutter and Poetz to design a new majestic home. Continue Reading

Lifelong Friends Since 1966

The Joneses and Hertels lived about a block apart on Sutherlin in the Indian Trail neighborhood in north Spokane for several decades, but in the late 1960s, they spent many summers at Newman Lake together. Between summers at the lake, camping trips, spending holidays together, and sharing adventures as teachers in Spokane schools, the two families forged lifelong friendships. Continue Reading

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