Spokane County is located in the eastern region of the state of Washington in the United States. This county boasts a rich and vibrant history, which is peppered with fascinating stories and events. In this article, we look at 7 interesting facts about Spokane County in Washington history.
1. Home to the Early Native American Tribes
Spokane County is initially the homeland of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. The Spokane people have been living in the region for more than 8,000 years. They have witnessed the arrival of various people groups and cultures over time, including explorers, trappers, and settlers.
2. Established in 1858
Spokane County was established in January 1858 and named after the Spokane River, which runs through the county. At that time, Spokane County stretched all the way to the Rocky Mountains. However, as other parts of eastern Washington started to grow, the county lines were redrawn.
3. The Great Fire of Spokane
The city of Spokane faced a terrible tragedy on August 4, 1889, when a fire destroyed the entire city. The fire started in a small cabin on the corner of Front Avenue and Bernard Street. Strong winds quickly spread the flames, destroying around 300 buildings, leaving 32 blocks of the city in ruins. Incredibly, no one was killed in the fire.
4. Home to the World's Largest Radio Flyer Wagon
In Rancho Mirage, there is an oversized Radio Flyer wagon featured at the statue sculpture park, standing at an impressive 12 feet tall and 27 feet long. The first Radio Flyer wagon was created in 1917, and the company has since produced countless wagons, tricycles, and ride-ons for kids worldwide.
5. Spokane County Is the Birthplace of Father's Day
Spokane County is the birthplace of Father's Day. Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Spokane, Washington, came up with the idea of honoring fathers in 1909. Dodd thought of Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon and wondering why there wasn't a day dedicated to fathers.
6. The Gonzaga Basketball Team
The Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball team is a source of pride for Spokane County. The Bulldogs' high-quality of play has resulted in numerous successful seasons and NBA players, including John Stockton and Adam Morrison. The team has earned 22 conference championships, made 22 consecutive NBA tournament appearances, and made the championship game in 2017.
7. Spokane's Largest Building
In 1963, a skyscraper known as the Bank of America Financial Center was built in downtown Spokane. The building remains the tallest structure in Spokane, standing at 288 feet, with 19 floors.
Spokane County has a fascinating history that is rich with stories and events. From the early Native American tribes to the creation of Father's Day to the largest Radio Flyer Wagon, these facts highlight some of the unique aspects of Spokane County's past. Thanks to the Gonzaga basketball team, the county is now recognized worldwide for its high-quality of basketball play. Spokane County will always remain a remarkable part of the United States.
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