“The Charles Marr House” – Episode 14 of the King’s Guide

How did historic preservation pump $43 million into the local economy over the last two years? Chuck King is on the case on episode 14 of the King’s Guide! Chuck visits Megan Kelly Duvall and the Spokane Historic Landmarks office in search of information on the Charles Marr House, and learns a whole lot more. Continue Reading

Good Times at Playland Pier in Coeur d’Alene

In the fall of 1940, Earl Somers and his wife Byrd moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with the idea of operating an amusement park near the Coeur d’Alene City Beach and Park. For years, Earl and Byrd had operated a traveling amusement company based in Pasco, Washington. They were in their mid-forties and were looking for a permanent location. Tired of traveling from city to city and dealing with the problems of setting up, taking down and traveling, Earl was convinced Coeur d’Alene was the perfect place for their amusement business. He began to meet with city officials about the possibility of leasing land near the city park. It took over a year to convince the city fathers this was a good thing for Coeur d’Alene, soon, the iconic Playland Pier would be entertaining families from around the region. Continue Reading

A Promising New Future: Memories of Tori and Kisaburo Shiosaki

What would urge a young couple to move to a far and distant land? A land where the customs are not only strange but in some instances completely different. A land where they did not speak the language. A land with hostility to those of a different color, and a special hostility at that time to those who were arriving from Asia. A land, in many instances, of harsh climates. But, it was a land where there was hope. Like many other Japanese immigrants, it was their hope that after a few years of hard work, they would be able to accumulate enough so that they could return to Japan with enough means so that they could find a comfortable living. That was certainly the hope of the Shiosaki Family, although they remained in America, and their grandchildren live in Spokane to this day. Continue Reading

“Patsy Clark and E.J. Brickell – Giants of Spokane History” – Episode 13 of the King’s Guide

On a special authors profile episode of the King’s Guide, Chuck King visits with John H. Richards and James E. Brickell, authors of new biographies on their great- and great-great-grandfathers, Patsy Clark and E.J. Brickell. For years, Spokane residents ate at Patsy Clark’s restaurant in Browne’s Addition, but how many people knew Patsy was a mining pioneer – and not a woman? And it was once said of E.J. Brickell, the “Lion in the Shadows,” that by his “vim and energy, he brought the city of Spokane to life.” But somehow, with the passing of time, we have forgotten about Spokane’s first millionaire, a man who once owned most of what we know today as Riverfront Park. Continue Reading

How Hillyard Became A City Against Its Better Judgment and Relectantly Stayed One for 29 Years

The story of when Hillyard became incorporated as a city is a fascinating and hilarious one. The main line of the Great Northern Railway, owned and operated by the so-called “Empire Builder” James Jerome Hill, reached Spokane on June 1, 1892. East of the City of Spokane, a large flat plain, originally called Horse Plains by early fur traders, was selected to be a major freight, roundhouse and repair facility for the railway. The railway named this spot the “East Spokane Station,” and early suggestions to name the station after Mr. Hill were dismissed by the Empire Builder as out of the question. Mr. Hill was very proud of his name. Originally christened simply “James Hill”, at age thirteen in 1851, he adopted the middle name of “Jerome” after Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother in admiration of the French conqueror and his family. “The Great Man” did not want his name associated with a lowly railway station. Continue Reading

Dodson’s Jewelers: Spokane’s Oldest Jewelry Store

The sun was bright on June 27, 1887 when George Roley Dodson stepped off the Northern Pacific train onto the dock at the Milwaukee and St. Paul depot in Spokane Falls, Washington Territory. The ride from Decatur, Illinois had taken him across the Rocky Moun­tains and into a world that he would describe as being filled with “unrivaled scenic beauty.” He spent the first day getting used to the gritty taste left in his mouth from the dusty streets of this pioneer outpost. Nonetheless, he was completely enthralled with all of the activity he saw. From the pow­erful falls in the river to compar­ing real estate prices and wages to his hometown Decatur, the twenty-six-year-old jeweler liked what he saw. Continue Reading

“Celebrating 100 Years of Armistice Day” – Episode 12 of the King’s Guide

On a special Centennial Veterans Day episode of the King’s Guide, Chuck King takes a look at Spokane’s Lincoln statue, dedicated on November 11, 1930. Episode 12 of the King’s Guide features rare footage from the Swanson Family of the very moment the statue of Lincoln was unveiled in front of a crowd 40,000 strong. Continue Reading

“Wandermere: Spokane’s Family Playground” – Ep11 of the King’s Guide

On episode 11 of the King’s Guide, Chuck King welcomes West Valley school teacher, Ty Brown, whose family has operated Wandermere Golf Course for five generations. With never-seen-before family video and photographs, Ty shares the history of Wandermere, including the attractions of the tobaggan hill, ski jump, and more. Continue Reading

Burke, Idaho and Its Neighbors in Canyon Creek – Mace and Gem

Part one of Doris Woodward’s three-part series on Burke, Idaho introduces you to a once-bustling industrial area where now there are only scatterings of buildings, but where some of the once handsome and well-built buildings of the Hecla mine still exist. They stand as a silent sentinel and reminder of the spectacular mining activity that took place in this area beginning over a hundred years ago. Continue Reading

Memories of a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp

Times were pretty tough in Idaho during the Great Depression and jobs weren’t easy to come by. There were no handouts from the government in those days. However, thankfully President Roosevelt threw me a line when I was seventeen years old. I got the lead on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from a friend and decided to join up. I was in the CCC from 1938 to 1940 and it was probably the best decision I ever made. Continue Reading