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

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

2124 North Fancher: Four Generations

Article three in a three-part series on the house that once stood at 2124 North Fancher in Spokane tells the story of four generations of the Alexander Family. The house near Felts Field is now gone, but the memories and the legacy of the Alexander Family remain. Continue Reading

Francis H. Cook: The Father of Manito Park

By Tony and Suzanne Bamonte, excerpted from their book, Manito Park: A Reflection of Spokane’s Past. Find more of the Bamonte’s books at Tornado Creek Publications. Pictured above, Francis and Laura Cook’s nine-bedroom home, which was completed by April 1892 and lost in 1897 following Continue Reading