Document 3: Spokane County

Rev. Jonathan Edwards, An Illustrated History of Spokane County (Spokane [?]: W. H. Lever, 1900), 38-39.
Pacific Northwest Collections, University of Washington Libraries.

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Spokane County is the center, and the city of Spokane is recognized as the metropolis of an immense territory fittingly designated the “Inland Empire.” It is the vast and marvelous region of country between the Rockies and the Cascade Range of mountains, comprising all of eastern Washington, northern Idaho, western Montana, northeastern Oregon, and southern portions of British Columbia. It has an area of over one hundred and twenty thousand square miles, three times as large as the great Empire state, with a population approximating half a million people and rapidly increasing. It is a region with hardly a rival in enchanting scenery and picturesque sublimity and variable form of beauty. In it are found all of the inspiring phenomena that any aspiring lover of nature can desire. He can find broad and rolling prairies stretching in all directions, verdure-clad plateaus, borders by hills crowned with sturdy pines; and in the distance lofty and rugged mountains rising higher and higher, pile on pile, the towering majestic peaks wrapped in eternal show. He can witness with wondering awe the results of the awful upheavals of primeval days when the earth was twisted and tossed into a shapeless mass. He can look into the yawning abysmal canyons and deep gorges worn out by rushing and foaming and ceaseless torrents for ages unknown; or upon the massive glaciers whose origin history fails to record. The lover of nature can revel in the enjoyment of an every changing landscape amid scenes which the Almighty alone could design and frame. It is beyond the possibility of human hands to paint them and word fail to describe their dazzling beauty. It is a region of plains and prairies, of fertile valleys and of thick forests. The grandeur of it is accentuated by wide contrasts. There are lakes and streams in great variety. Portions of it have been designated as the ‘paradise of the sportsman.’ In the streams and lakes the fish are sufficiently plentiful to gratify the lover of the rod and line, and the expert shot can hardly fail to drop a curlew or chicken on the prairie, or a grouse in the woods, a duck or goose on the lakes, and a deer or a bear in the distant ravines or isolated valleys. This region is not only wonderful on account of its untold stores of the rare and beautiful, where nature has spread her 'banquets of health and beauty,’ but is also one hardly paralleled in diverse resources, which are almost limitless and sufficient to maintain a population of many millions. There are rich agricultural sections, millions of acres in extent, such as the far-famed Palouse, and almost boundless Big Bend, already producing millions of bushels of what annually. The prospector has already unearthed hidden mineral wealth and treasures priceless to science and the uses of man. Wonderful discoveries have been made and are being made, and those to be made are inconceivable in the human mind.

It is not within the province of this work to describe the mining districts within the “Inland Empire” and tributary to the city of Spokane. They are almost too numerous to mention and it would fill a volume to adequately describe them. The Coeur d’Alenes is acknowledged as the greatest led-producing district in the world and also rich in other precious metals. The Kootenai district, with its world famous Le Roi, the noted wealth-maker, and other dividend-paying mines, with its ‘golden city of magic growth,’ and the silvery Slocan district, are still inviting fields to the prospector and capitalists. The Grand Fork and Kettle River country, the Okanagan, the Reservation, with the wonderful discoveries, and Pend d’Oreille Lake and many others are beyond description. Even the names of mines and prospects of the ‘Inland Empire’ would fill many pages. It is putting it mildly to say that many of them are attracting far and wide attention. Wonderful transformations have already taken place. The wild and unsubdued paradise of the red man, who occupied it as a hunting ground, and sometimes gazed upon its native wildness, is now the objective point toward which thousands are directing their steps seeking new fields of wealth. The Inland Empire is doubtless a mining region unexcelled for wealth in all the world. Taking Spokane as the center one finds mineral wealth in all directions.

The mines are not at our doors. Yet the city is the center of a mineral region which is unsurpassed in all the world for the wealth of precious metals. East, west, south, north – no matter which way the seeker for miners may turn – he finds untold riches everywhere.

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