Friday, December 28, 2018

EWGS Blog Year in Review

Well it has been an interesting year for the EWGS Blog. It was almost dormant for a while but Kris Krell has been writing some interesting blog posts. We do have people from many countries that read this blog. The readers from France mainly are checking to see if we are following the European Union guidelines for privacy. Click on the databases to make them larger.

We have readers in many cities also. I never did figure out why so many hits from Boardman Oregon. Paris is where they were checking up on us from Europe.
Last is the list of most popular articles from January 1 to December 28, 2018 from Google.  Interesting that two of the most popular articles are from people still looking for how to search the Spokane Chronicle on Google News even though Google has shut off the search function. Only one of the articles from Kris Krell show up in this list, her first article from back in June.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Spokane's Chinatown

By Kris Krell

Spokane’s Chinatown

Did you know that Spokane had a Chinatown from the early 1800s to the 1970s?

Spokane’s Chinatown spread over three or four blocks in the alleys near Trent Avenue.  Chinatown’s boundaries east and west were roughly between Howard Street and Bernard Street, and north and south, between Front Avenue and Main Avenue.  Front Street was near where Spokane Falls Boulevard is today.  Chinatown was known by its nicknames Trent Alley and then also Japanese Alley by 1910.

        Trent Alley, Chinatown, 1910

In the early 1800s immigrants came to Spokane from all over the world to work in the local railroad and mining industries.   An anti-Chinese/Japanese prejudice in many of America’s cities and towns during that time caused the Chinese and Japanese residents to live and work in Chinatown.  Chinese and Japanese markets, laundries, restaurants and hotels were nestled in these alleys.  Chinatown was a thriving area.  Spokane’s white majority considered Chinatown an exotic location, and they were also attracted to the illicit businesses such as gambling, opium dens, and houses of prostitution.  

Chinatown began about 1883 in Spokane.  Before the great Spokane fire of 1889 the population was about 600; many businesses were lost in Chinatown in the fire. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was put into law that stopped Chinese people from immigrating to the United States, and the law denied recently arrived Chinese the right to citizenship.  The ban was renewed in 1904 and finally repealed in 1943.  During the years of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinatown’s population declined.  Then in the early years of the 20thcentury, it was illegal for Chinese laborers wives to immigrate to the United States, so eventually Chinatown in Spokane was populated by only men.  

By 1910, Japanese families had moved into the Chinatown area; the population was now about 1,000 residents.  The Japanese opened restaurants, laundries, hotels, fish markets, barbershops, and pool halls.  Chinatown, now called Japanese Alley, was thriving again.

By 1935, the Depression had taken its toll; many Japanese returned to Japan.  The Japanese population had declined to 385. 

After WWII, Spokane’s Chinatown population grew again. Spokane became a refuge for Japanese trying to avoid being sent to Internment camps on the West Coast.  Spokane was outside the evacuation zone!  After the war, those residents still living in Chinatown moved out and into the Spokane population.

By 1974, Chinatown was deserted, and the buildings that were still standing were demolished to make way for Expo ’74.

Where Trent Alley, Chinatown, was is now covered with parking lots, the convention center, and businesses. 

Sources:  Wikipedia, Spokane Historical

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Spokane's First Documented Christmas Celebration and Other Memories

By Kris Krell

 Spokane’s First Documented Christmas Celebration and Other Memories

When I was growing up in South Dakota and Iowa in the 1950s and 1960s, we sometimes travelled Christmas morning to celebrate Christmas with my mom’s family in Meckling, South Dakota—just about an hour’s drive from home.  Sometimes my adult brothers’  and their wives and children lived in the town where we were living, so we stayed home and celebrated with them.  

Somewhere along the way, when I was in fourth grade, and we were living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the first time, we celebrated at home on Christmas Eve and in the morning travelled to Meckling. 

That was kind of farsighted on my parents’ part because our next move later that year took us from Sioux Falls to Salt Lake City, Utah.  We were back to celebrating just with mom, dad, and my two sister’s that were three years younger and three years older than me.

Four years later when we moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, we continued to celebrate by ourselves as the nearest family was about 6 hours away.  

We still celebrate on Christmas Eve with my older brother and sister, my younger sister, her husband and their three sons  (my nephews) and now their wives, their children, and their wives’ parents.  Our gatherings have doubled in size but the more the merrier, right?

The first documented Christmas celebration in Spokane was downtown in 1874.  Five families with eight children combined their resources and wanted to have for their children the most elaborate Christmas and New Year’s celebrations they could manage.  The families—the James Glovers, the Yeatons, the Henry Cowleys, the Swifts, and the Pooles prepared the two holiday dinners and purchased a Christmas tree.  

Another nostalgic recounting in 1924 of an 1878 Christmas memory was that of W.C. Gray, owner of the California House hotel.  The Christmas celebration was held at the James Glover’s house, a five-room home; half logs and half wood.  The weather was mild.  Christmas carols were sung—Silent Night, When Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night, along with others.  Mrs. Glover played the organ and treated guests with coffee, cake, and apples.

In 1927, Frank M. Dallman, founder of the Spokane Review newspaper recollected about his first Christmas in Spokane in 1883.  Frank believed that Christmas was very important to children. He said that very few stores in the area provided for Christmas—no trinkets, no books, or playthings for children. Dallam remembered that they found some nuts “that looked as though they came over on the Mayflower “ and a few pounds of stick candy.   Dallman’s wife made some cloth dolls for gifts.  When Christmas morning arrived that 1883, the children rushed for their stockings and everyone was happy because their wants were few and it was easy to provide for those wants.

Just a side note relating to a more current Spokane Christmas holiday, the Crescent Christmas windows are back after being in storage for 30 years!  Six windows at the Spokane Grand Hotel are filled with the animatronic characters that were so popular from the 1950s to the 1980s.  The windows will be on display until January 2, 2018. 


Source:  The Spokesman-Review, Then and Now:  Spokane Christmas through the years, December 7, 2015

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Spokane's First Woman Minister

By Kris Krell

 Spokane’s First Woman Minister

Ordained April 15, 1897, at the Hillyard Congregational Church, Rosine Edwards Stuart is thought to be Spokane’s first woman minister. Rosine had been a teacher, but she decided to prepare for the ministry so she could help her father in his circuit-rider missionary/ministry career. During his career he estabised more than a dozen churches in the Inland Northwest.  Her father also wrote History of Spokane, a three volume work published in 1900.  

Rosine was born February 22,1873, in Plymouth, Pennsylvania. She came to Spokane in 1885 when her father became pastor of First Congregational Church (now Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ at 4thand Washington).  Rosine graduated from Spokane Falls High School having studied English grammar, physical geography, penmanship, reading, and United States history.  She then graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1895, and also studied at Pacific Theological Seminary in California.   

At Rosine’s ordination, Whitman College President, Dr. Penrose, gave the sermon.   Rosine’s father, Dr. Edwards, and Reverend Elvira Cobleigh from the coast–the only other woman pastor in the area, both participated.  A front-page Spokesman-Review article in May 1897 said “Spokane Girl Returns to City as a Licensed Preacher.  An example from one of Rosine’s books pointed out that it is only by the highest development of self that we are enabled to give the best to others.  

Rosine was the principal of a girls’ academay near Yakima, Washington, for two years prior to her marriage to Malcom Roy Stuart in 1902. Rosine also serviced a church at Tolt, Washington, prior to working at the girls’ school.

Rosine and her husband Roy moved from Tolt, Washington, to Spokane were Roy worked at a dairy.  They had one son and two daughters.  Rosine retired from the ministry after her marriage, but she remained active in church and missionary groupings in Washington and Oregon.  She was frequently called to preach and fill various pastorates.  Rosine lived in the Spokane area for thirty-two years and then moved to Portland, Oregon, where she died on March 24, 1941, at age sixty-eight years from a heart disorder.

Her daughter, Gwendolyn Poole, said she is
 “very proud of her mother,” describing her as brilliant and adding that, “She 
went to college in the 1890s when not very many women did so.”  Gwendolyn 
also described her mother as, “very sweet, a very tolerant person,” although their home life was strict.  “She was a good speaker and she touched many lives.” Gwendolyn also remembers her mother speaking about pioneers such as the Whitmans, Cowleys and Cushing Eells.”

Sources: By the Falls Women of Determination, American Association of University Women, Spokane Branch, Washington State Centennial Project

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pinkney City, Washington

Hi!  This is a  resend of this morning's post.  

Many thanks to an alert, careful reader for letting me know that  I mistyped the year 1925 instead of 1825 in two places in the blog.  

The first mistype was in the second paragraph second sentence; the second mistype was in the last source in the footnotes.  I have corrected both of the dates below.  I also added another source that I used.

The mistypes are confusing to the reader, so I decided I should send out this post notifying you of the correct year.

By Kris Krell

Pinkney City, Washington

Colville, Washington, county seat of Stevens County, about 65 miles north of Spokane and approximately 45 miles south of the Canadian border, was incorporated in 1890 but was founded some years earlier.  

This frontier town, named Pinkney City, began in 1859 as it was located next to the military Fort Colville. Fort Colville was started in 1825 by the British Hudson Bay Company (HBC) when the HBC moved its fur-trading post from the Spokane House to this new location.  The HBC spelling was Colvile.  

Pinkney provided for the needs of the fort and the surrounding territory.  Pinkney City was named after Captain (later major) Pinkney Lugenbeel (also sometimes spelled Lougenbeel) (1819-1886), the first commander at the fort. 

The Colville River Valley region where Pinkney City was located was in a fertile land area, and the homesteaders there raised cattle and horses, planted and harvested wheat and other crops, and engaged in logging. 

Around 1859, a post office came to serve the fort as well as the surrounding area.  By this time, Pinkney had become the county seat, and Pinkney City was renamed Fort Colville, so that the post office and the county seat would have the same name. 

Fort Colville closed in 1882.  After the closure, Pinkney City began to decline, so, people, businesses and even some buildings relocated to and established Colville named after the unoccupied fort.  Colville was platted February 28, 1883.

Colville’s first school was a hand-hewn log building and is located at the Keller Historical Center that is

“the home of the Stevens County Historical Society Museum.  The Keller House, also includes a machinery museum, a home-stead  cabin, and a Forest Service fire lookout are among the many buildings on display on over seven acres of a pristine park-like setting.
The museum houses a very extensive collection of native American artifacts of tribes from all parts of the nation as well as all local tribes.  The rest of the building is filled with remnants of days gone by and contains several well-organized displays of life as it was in the younger years of Stevens County.
An extensive gun display is exhibited in one area of the museum. There are also numerous display cases depicting the progress of the local lumber and fur trading industries, schools, missions, agriculture and pioneer life.”
Also included in various displays are discussions of local history, dating from the 1811 visit of David Thompson to the area through the era of both Fort Colville and Pinkney City to the present day.
Indians and the Hudson Bay Co. also played a large role in the county's early history, and they are included, along with several prominent pioneers and "founding fathers," in exhibits throughout the museum.”

I’m disappointed to write that all the times my husband and I have been in Colville, we’ve never visited the Museum.  I’m putting it on my “things that I must do in 2019!”
Colville’s 1959 centennial celebration organizers date Colville’s beginnings from the founding of Pinkney.  By that thinking, Colville is the second oldest town east of the Cascades exceeded only by Walla Walla.   

Sources:  Colville-Thumbnail History, 2010,  Fort Colville (Hudson’s Bay Company), 1825-1871, 2009, City of Colville, The Stevens County Historical Society Museum.