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.
The Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit, “Mail Call,” shows at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum from May 9 to July 15, 2018.
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.
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.
By Heather Branstetter, PhD Above, the Oasis Rooms are on the second floor of the 2-story building on Cedar in Wallace, Idaho. Today, the building is the Oasis Bordello Museum, the second floor is “frozen in time” and available for visitors to tour. Learn more
by Polly Kaczmarek Above, a 2017 photo of the Crosby House Museum on campus at Gonzaga University. This was the childhood home of Bing Crosby. What do we know about the house Bing Crosby lived in as a boy, teenager, and young man, at 508