Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Spokane

SPOKANE, a city of Washington, the county-seat of Spokane co. It is on the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, the Oregon-Washington Railroad and Navigation Company, the Spokane International, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and other railroads. It has in all 6 trans-continental lines and 12 branches. Situated at the foot of a valley, midway between the rise and mouth of the Spokane river, it is 350 miles E. of Seattle and 375 miles N. E. of Portland. It is the commercial center of the eastern part of the State of Washington, and of the northern part of Idaho, and the distributing point for a great agricultural, lumbering, horticultural, and stock raising region. The climate is unusually healthful. The annual normal temperature is 48° and there is seldom excessive heat or cold. The city rises from the banks of the Spokane river on the N. and S., to an elevation of 1,900 feet above sea-level. The streets are on the level portions while the houses are chiefly on the slopes. Latah creek, a tributary of the Spokane river, is spanned by a concrete bridge 1,070 feet long. The Monroe Street bridge is also of concrete, with an arch of 281 feet long.

The Spokane river provides water power from which 172,000 horse power has been developed. This is used for street lighting, street car and interurban trolley service, and manufacturing. There is an excellent park system which includes about 2,000 acres of land. There are 43 park places and 8 playgrounds. The educational advantages are exceptional. In addition to public and private schools there are several institutions of higher learning, some located within the city and others in adjacent towns. There are 35 grade schools, a parental school, two high schools, a school for defectives, 5 parochial schools, and 7 colleges and technical institutions. Gonzaga University is the largest Roman Catholic institution of its kind in the N. W. The city has over 300 manufacturing establishments, with an annual output valued at $75,000,000 and employing 12,000 people. Among the leading products are lumber, flour, breakfast foods, paper, brick, meats, iron, agricultural machinery, dairy products, cement, clothing, crackers, candy, extracts, and soap. There is also a large jobbing and wholesale business. The city is the center of an important mining district. In 1919 there were 14 banks with a total capital of $4,325,000 and deposits of $53,220,725. There are many newspapers, over 140 churches, and a public library with 75,000 volumes. The fire and police departments are of the latest municipal models. There are hospitals and other public institutions. The growth of the city dates from 1881, when the Northern Pacific Railway was completed at this point. Pop. (1900) 36,848; (1910) 104,402; (1920) 104,437.