Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Two Amazing Women Walk Across America




SPOTLIGHT ON THE SPOKANE REGION

Hi Everybody!  I am Kris Krell, and I am preparing to entertain you with interesting stories about  the Spokane Region through the EWGS Blog. 

Please stay tuned, and send any comments, kudos, or suggestions to me at krellkb1@gmail.com.

I am excited about this Blogging opportunity, and I look forward to getting to know and work with all of my fellow EWGS members!


 Two Amazing Women Walk Across America

I didn’t know about the remarkable mother-daughter team who walked 3,500 miles from
 Spokane to New York city until a few years ago when I read their story.  I thought it might be of interest to those of you who haven't heard of their story.

Helga and Ole Estby, Norwegian-born, owned 160 acres of farm land in Mica Creek just southeast of Spokane. Their land was purchased in 1887, and the land was in an enclave called “Little Norway”. 

Five years later, Ole could no longer work the farm because of back injuries.  Impossible to think of losing the farm and needing to support their eight children, Helga and their 17 year old daughter undertook a $10,000 offer to walk from Spokane to New York City—a 3,500 mile trek in seven months!  The contest allowed walking only as the only mode of transportation, they could leave with only $5, they were required to visit political leaders in every state they walked through, they could not beg, and they could only wear bicycle skirts to cover their legs.

Helga and Clara left Spokane on May 5 or 6, 1896; however, they didn’t arrive in New York City until December 23, 1896.  The contest sponsor refused to pay the $10,000 saying Helga and Clara had missed the deadline.  Helga tried to raise money for her daughter and herself to return home; eventually a railroad tycoon gave them paid passes to return home by train.

Helga returned home to find that two of her children had died of diphtheria.  The farm went into foreclosure in 1901, and the family moved into Spokane where Ole started a construction company, and Helga became involved in the suffragist movement.

Source:  Spokane Historical app

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

4th of July 1874




SPOTLIGHT ON THE SPOKANE REGION


Hi Everybody!  I am Kris Krell, and I am preparing to entertain you with interesting stories about the Spokane Region through the EWGS Blog.

My goal is to do a weekly post (at a minimum), so please stay tuned and send any comments, kudos, or suggestions to me at krellkb1@gmail.com.

Kris


4th of July 1874

The first year that Spokane ever celebrated the 4th of July was in 1874.  People traveled 50-60 miles from home to participate; they camped by the river for several days during the festivities.

The first 4th of July was planned by James Glover, a founding father of Spokane and his partner; they built a stage and a dance floor.

The celebration on that first 4th included food, speechmaking, and dancing.  Also attending the celebration were many Native Americans.

Back in 1874, there were no fireworks or guns at the gathering.  4th of July celebrations became more prominent after the centennial of 1876, when nearly 400 settlers arrived for the festivities.  

Source:  The Spokesman Review article July 4, 2017