Document 1: Spokane Falls

John F. Carrère, Spokane Falls, Washington Territory, and its Tributary Country, Comprising All of Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle (Spokane: City Council and Board of Trade, 1889), 9-11, 17, 28. Pacific Northwest Collections, University of Washington Libraries.

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Railroad System

Spokane Falls is rapidly becoming the center of an extensive railroad system, which is every day being developed in new directions, and the present year will undoubtedly see the completion of several projects which will place it on the lines, or in direct communication with, four great trans-continental systems. The Northern Pacific was the pioneer railroad in this section, and the completion of its main line in 1884 gave Spokane Falls direct communication by rail both east and west. This was really the date from which the growth of the city is to be counted. Previous to that time it was merely a frontier village, hardly worthy even of that name. The city is one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven miles, by the Northern Pacific, west of St. Paul, and four hundred east of Puget Sound. Portland and San Francisco can be reached either via Tacoma or by a more direct and shorter rout via Wallula Junction and the O. R. & N. [editor’s note: Oregon River and Navigation]. The development of mining interests of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains led the Northern Pacific to build a branch to Coeur d’ Alene City, on the lake of the same name, where connection is made by steamer and narrow-gauge railroad with the principal mining camps. But this is about to be abandoned, and the Northern Pacific is actively at work building a road through the mountains from Missoula, Montana, to this city, which will be used as its main line, and which will materially shorten the distance between Spokane Falls and the East. From this new road branch lines will radiate to all the principal mining camps of the Coeur d’Alene country, opening up that rich section more than ever and making it easily accessible in all parts from the city. It is hardly necessary to point out the immense advantage this will be to Spokane. Last year another new line was completed from Spokane Falls through the length of the Palouse Valley, opening up that wonderfully fertile region to the enterprise of Spokane’s merchants. This road is one hundred and fourteen miles long and is to be extended still further. Another railroad enterprise, in the success of which Spokane Falls and her citizens are deeply interested, is the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad, which will connect Spokane with Seattle on Puget Sound. This road is now being built east from Seattle and west from Spokane Falls. It will traverse the Big Bend country, opening up its fertile farming lands to the farmer and herder, and will, after crossing the Columbia, pass through a region rich in coal, iron, and other minerals. … The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern has secured extensive property at this point for the erection of very large machine and repair shops, which will have an important bearing on the future industrial development of the city. The company will also erect large freight depots, a general office building, and make other every extensive improvements in this city. Last year it spent nearly $1,000,000 in Spokane Falls, a sum which will be fully equaled this year. … It will be seen that the railroads radiating from Spokane Falls cannot fail to make her a very important railroad center.

Manufacturing Industries

The manufacturing interests of Spokane Falls are yet in their infancy, but the signs are most propitious for their future development. There are flouring and lumber mills, an oatmeal mill, two potteries, a shingle mill, an iron foundry, sash and door factories, breweries, planing mill, several brick yards, a number of printing establishments and a woolen mill, the latter just being erected. The articles on the Palouse and Big Bend sections will show the magnificent field that Spokane affords for the establishment of new flour and woolen mills. The Palouse Valley alone is capable of producing nearly ten million bushels of wheat when it shall be all under cultivation, and the Big Bend country affords, besides its agricultural resources, a practically unlimited range for sheep and cattle. The woolen or flour manufacturer has his raw material at hand to draw from in any quantity required. As to lumber in the immediate vicinity of the city, the hills are more or less covered with a growth of good timber, yet the finest timber is obtained from the Coeur d’Alene Lake region. Along the St. Joe, St. Mary and Coeur d’Alene Rivers, all flowing into the lake, may be found continuous forests of fine timber, much of it rivaling the celebrated timber of Puget Sound. All the varieties of pine, as well as fir, spruce and cedar, all of which can be floated down the rivers to the city. Spokane Falls offers also a splendid location for the erection of a paper mill, which would be certain to prove a paying investment from the start. A linseed oil factory, barrel factory, breweries, a smelter, foundry, agricultural implement and furniture factories, white lead and lead pipe factories. In fact, it is difficult to imagine any industrial enterprise that could not be started here with the best of prospects for its success, so rapidly is the surrounding city building up.

The Mining Country Tributary to Spokane Falls

It is a matter of comparative ease to prove to an inquiring mind the advantages and availability of the wonderful water-power of the Falls. It is not difficult to convince him, by facts and figures, of the benefits that can be derived from agriculture, stock-raising, manufacturing, etc. But, unfortunately, that which is the city’s greatest resource and benefit is the most difficult to bring before his mind’s eye. I allude to the mining resources of the city. In the opinion of the writer, and this opinion is founded on practical experience, Spokane Falls has greater mining resources than any city, new or old, in the Great West. Far greater than Denver, Salt Lake, Butte or Helena, a fact easily established, as those cities are drawing on Spokane’s tributary mining districts for supplies of or. The mining resources of this city, for the present, can be classified into six districts, viz.: Coeur d’Alene, Colville, Okanagan, Kootenai, Metaline, and Pend d’Oreille.

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