Spokane in the Great Depression

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

Guest blog by Jim Kershner

One of the things I love about Spokane is that so many of its historic buildings still exist. You can wander downtown and gaze up at the city’s history.

Spokane’s history is fascinating, partly because the city boomed so rapidly between 1890 and 1915. There was a tremendous influx of people and money — and a lot of new immigrants. It resulted in a bustling, wide-open town with a lot of action — and a lot of great stories.

Things slowed down after that, but there was still a lot of ferment in the 1930s, when many Dust Bowl refugees arrived in the region, partly because of the Grand Coulee Dam project.

I love the fact that Dutch Jake’s cannon is still at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Dutch Jake was Spokane’s biggest saloon-and-gambling tycoon, and he had a cannon on the roof of his casino which he loved to fire off on special occasions.

Jim Kershner presents Spokane in the Great Depression as part of Hope in Hard Times:

Tuesday, May 13, 6:30-7:30pm

Thursday, May 15, 6:30-7:30pm

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