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Spokane History

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History Information & Facts

The Spokane River Centennial Trail: A Brief History

Archaeological investigation reveals the presence of human life along the Spokane River corridor dating back some 11,400 years. The river has served as a vital source of food, transport, power, irrigation and religious significance to people representing numerous American Indian tribes and generations of settlers. In the early 1900's, the Olmstead Brothers, who were among the nation's leading park and recreation planners, advised the City of Spokane to make the Spokane River the centerpiece of their comprehensive park development plan.

Spokane Tribe of Indians

Their vision is to achieve true sovereignty by attaining self-sufficiency. They will preserve and enhance our traditional values by living and teaching the inherent principles of respect, honor, and integrity as embodied in our language and life ways. They will utilize effective stewardship of our human, financial and natural resources. They will develop strong leadership through education, accountability, experience and positive reinforcement.

Spokane History Timeline

  • 1700 - horses introduced to indians on Columbia plateau, buffalo now gone from plateau.
  • 1741-1743 - Russian Explorers trade for sea otter pelts in Alaska area.
  • 1774 - Juan Perez sights Olympic Mts.
  • 1778 - James Cook explores Coast of Washington/Canada.
  • 1792 - Robert Gray names Columbia River after his ship.
  • 1800 - Kamiakin's birth.
  • 1807-11 - David Thompson charts Columbia River
  • 1810 - Spokane House fur trading, Garry's father frequented the place.
  • 1811 - approx. Chief Garry Spokane Birth
  • 1816 - Advent of Photography
  • 1817 - approx. next to last Mt St Helens eruption dropping ash and darkening the day in Spokane.
  • 1825 - Forts Vancouver and Colville built on Columbia River.
  • 1829 - Birth of Chief Moses
  • 1838 - Tshimkian Mission established by Cushing Eells and Elkanah Walker.
  • 1845 - A. J. Splawn born, Author of Kamiakin: The Last Hero of the Yakimas; Major historian of the area.
  • 1846 - 49th parallel set as boundary between Canada/USA
  • 1847 - Cayuse attack Whitman Mission
  • 1853 - Washington Territory created
  • 1855 - Yakima Tribe Wars, and Walla Walla Treaty Council
  • 1856 - Fort Simcoe established
  • 1857 - Rise of Spokane Garry as notable chief
  • 1858 - Steptoe War, led by Kamiakin
  • 1858 - Indian Wars at Four Lakes, Horse Slaughter Camp, Hangman Creek hanging of Qualchan
  • 1859 - Mullan road from Walla Walla to Fort Benton
  • 1860 - Okanogan gold/silver discovery
  • 1873 - Glover, the Father of Spokane
  • 1875 - Approximate Death of Kamiakin
  • 1877 - Nez Perce Wars, Joseph: "I will fight no more forever." Kamiakin Dies
  • 1886 - Rich Mine development causes development of Spokane from shacks to brick buildings
  • 1889 - Washington territory becomes the 42nd state, Spokane's Great Fire
  • 1890 - Spokane's age of elegance due to mining riches flowing here
  • 1892 - Chief Garry Spokane Death
  • 1899 - Chief Moses Death
  • 1917 - A. J. Splawn dies, Author of Kamiakin: The Last Hero of the Yakimas
  • 1980 - Last Mt St Helens eruption dropping ash and darkening the daylight in Spokane.

Washington State History Timeline

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