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

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

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

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

Ranch Hands Remember Waikiki Dairy: Collected Memories of Harold Vannurden and John Dunham

A century ago, the best dairy farm in the Inland Northwest could be found just north of Spokane on the Little Spokane River. The Waikiki Dairy was founded by J.P. Graves, an early Spokane entrepreneur and businessman. Harold Vannurden and his family lived on the dairy grounds for several years in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Harold shared several memories with the readers of Nostalgia Magazine, which were edited together with memories from John Dunham, another ranch hand at the dairy, for this brief sketch of the Waikiki Dairy. Continue Reading

2124 North Fancher: The Beginnings of Felts Field

Verne Alexander’s three-part series on his family’s home at 2124 North Fancher is now complete. Read all three articles for an incredible view of Spokane Valley history from the perspective of one of its earliest families, from early pioneer years to the arrival of trains, planes, and automobiles. Sadly, the house at 2124 North Fancher is gone, but the legacy of the Alexander Family remains. Continue Reading