Maybe you’ve lived in Spokane your whole life or maybe you’re new to the area and just started to explore this wonderful city. Here are some fun facts and a little history I bet you didn’t know about Spokane.
Birthplace of Father’s Day
Spokane is actually the birthplace of Father’s Day! The very first Father’s Day celebration took place back in June of 1910 at the YMCA. Lyndon Johnson officially proclaimed it a holiday in 1966 and it became a national holiday when signed into law by Richard Nixon 6 years later.
Original name? Spokan Falls
The city originally started as “Spokan Falls” – no “e” in Spokane. It was incorporated back in 1881 and the “e” was added two years later. Ten years later, “falls” was dropped from the name and its just been good ol’ Spokane ever since.
Great Fire of 1889
Have you heard about the Great Fire of 1889? It was a huge fire that took out all of downtown Spokane. The whole thing started at Wolfe’s lunch counter and lodge house – which was near Railroad Avenue and Post Street…that alley behind the Davenport Hotel Parking Garage. It could have been a lantern getting tipped over or as a kitchen fire. It started as a pretty small fire, but due to a problem at the pump station, there was no water pressure in the fire hydrants. In an effort to stop it, the mayor at the time ordered demolition of several dozen buildings. It didn’t help much and the fire just had to run its course until winds died down. In total, 32 blocks of the city were destroyed. It was a bad year for fires in Washington, as Seattle and Ellensburg were also destroyed by fires.
World’s Fair of 1974
Did you know we have the world’s fair of 1974 to thank for our well-known pavillion? At the time Spokane was the smallest city to ever host a World’s Fair, and it brought in about 5 and a half million people to our town. A HUGE revitalization project took place to get the city ready, focusing on the downtown waterfront and pavilion itself.