City of Spokane turns 139 today!

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Happy birthday to the City of Spokane, which turns 139 on Sunday—and is looking darn good for its age!

According to the Spokane Historic Preservation Office, Spokane was first settled in 1873 by James Nettle Glover, known at the time as ‘Spokan Falls.’ The abundance of timber, fertile soil and minerals soon attracted many more settlers until the city was officially incorporated on November 29, 1881.

Northern Pacific Railroad arrived that same year, linking Spokane to the rest of the continent just in time for the gold rush in Coeur d’Alene in 1883. This allowed Spokane to become the center of regional commerce, stretching from southern British Columbia to northern Oregon and from the Cascades to the Rockies.

The city was so prosperous and fast-growing, in fact, that when a swathe of downtown Spokane was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1889, investors pitched in to quickly rebuild the city—and much of the architecture from that time is still around today!

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Spokane saw a long building boom that extended well into the 20th century, quickly becoming the second largest city in the State of Washington.

The city was put back on the map when they hosted the World’s Fair in Expo ’74, its lasting legacy being Riverfront Park, which was converted from a highly-used railyard for the fair — in fact, Spokane’ iconic clocktower was once attached to the Great Northern train station and had stood there since 1902.

We love the City of Spokane, so here’s to another 139 years!