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

A Hellish Truth Seen Too Late

By Steven Branting Those who plot the destruction of others often fall themselves. ~ Phaedrus Above, the Idaho State Insane Asylum, circa 1894. Photo courtesy of Idaho State Hospital South. The October 6, 1883 edition of the Aspen, Colorado Times carried a public letter to Continue Reading

Prohibition in Shoshone County, Idaho

By Tony and Suzanne Bamonte, excerpted from their book, The Coeur d’Alenes Gold Rush and Its Lasting Legacy, available at Auntie’s Books in downtown Spokane and from Tornado Creek Publications. Prohibition in Washington and Idaho began on January 1, 1916, and the County Dry Squad, Continue Reading

Harold Tucker: Spokane Santa and Motorcycle Police Officer

By Jack Pearson and Tony Bamonte Above, when Jayne Mansfield traveled through Spokane in 1965 on a publicity tour, she told her bodyguard she wanted to sit on Santa’s lap. This was easily arranged. Photo courtesy of the Tucker Family Archives. Harold Tucker was born Continue Reading