Day 2 – Spokane WA
As with our past trips, we keep a daily travelogue of our activities to help us organize our pictures and thoughts when we return home. Those of you who have seen the books we put together after each trip understand the importance of the daily log. Our e-mails represent our thoughts and observations at the time and in some cases any resemblance between our blog and fact may be purely coincidental. As always, if our e-mails start to get too boring please use the delete button or e-mail us and we will take you off the list. Please feel free to e-mail us with questions or comments at any time.
Today started out with a trip to Riverfront Park, which is a 100 acre public park in downtown Spokane. Settlements around the falls started in 1871 with the construction of a water driven sawmill. In 1873 the original sawmill was purchased, along with 160 acres, with the hidden intent of establishing a town. Within only a few years, industry began to take over. In the late 1940's the falls had fallen victim to industrial pollution, rail yards, and factories. By 1961 people started cleanup projects spurred by the 1974 World’s Fair especially because it focused on environmentalism so provided the perfect platform for revitalization of the falls. Today the park and falls draw tens of thousands of people annually.
The falls also provide electricity. When people first started to harness the power of the falls in 1889 it provided enough power to light ten street lamps. Today it can provide more than enough power to pump fresh water to the city and furnish electricity to almost 5,000 homes.
After, we visited the Museum of Arts and Culture of Spokane. Part of the tour was a tour of the Campbell house built in 1898. Amasa Campbell and his partner John Finch were ruthless miners who took advantage of every opportunity. He and Finch invested $25,000 in their first mine and were worth 2.5 million when he built his home. Pretty amazing since Amasa was born very poor.
One interesting part was that the house had electricity using the original Edison light bulbs. I will tell you they are not LED lights. The house was very dark. You paid your electric bill by the number of light bulbs that you had in the house. So his “man cave” called his den in those days had almost 50 lights and the laundry room had one. I found it interesting that the house also had the ability to use gas to light the house because Campbell believed that electricity was just a passing fad.
We ate lunch at Frank’s Diner which has been in business for over eighty years. Lots of fun! The car was used as a presidential dining car during the railroad golden years but was stranded in Seattle during the Depression. It was then purchased in 1931 and converted into Frank’s Diner.
More to Follow,
Tom & Holly