Now/Then: Spokane Falls

Surrounded by development and dammed by Washington Water Power/Avista Utilities, the Spokane River serves as the centerpiece of our city. (PHOTO: Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant)

Since the earliest days of human settlement of the inland Northwest, the Spokane River has been its centerpiece. The Spokane Tribe, the Children of the Sun, once fished for salmon and settled along its banks. Once the Europeans reached the Northwest, James Glover was one of the area’s first permanent residents in the late 1800s. Famously, he had this to say upon seeing the river for the first time in 1873:

“I was enchanted — overwhelmed — with the beauty and grandeur of everything I saw. It lay just as nature had made it, with nothing to mar its virgin glory… I determined that I would possess it.”

Of course, back then, the river looked a bit different than it does now.

Spokane Falls and the Glover settlement in 1880. (PHOTO: Eastern Washington University)