Under One Sky, 1800-1890
The Spokane Valley is the ancestral homeland of several Indian tribes, including the Spokane’s and the Coeur d’Alene’s.
Pow wows were held in the Valley along the Spokane River, bringing together the Palouse, Nez Perce and other tribes for annual games, trading and storytelling. The exhibit features stories of the fur traders, the missionary priests, Antoine Plante, and the Mullan Road.
Farming in the Valley
Orchard farming was the chief economic driver in Spokane Valley’s early years. Without water, however, none of it was possible. Our farming exhibit highlights the Corbin Irrigation Head Gate at Post Falls, Idaho. In 1907, the system was composed of 54 miles of ditch, flume and canals carrying water to apple orchards and truck farms in Spokane Valley.
Technology and transportation are vital to the growth of any urban center. At one point, there were as many as 11 railroad tracks cutting through the Spokane Valley. The trains carried passengers and freight, especially locally grown fruit and other agricultural products destined for eastern states. Technology developed our ability to communicate with the world and the Museum has a replica telephone switchboard for you to investigate.
Electrifying the Modern Woman
Women in early Spokane Valley days held the family together by keeping a strong household. The Museum has a room dedicated to their lives as homemakers and the early technology that helped them. We have a
collection of artifacts such as clothes irons, lamps, kitchenware, toasters and appliances.
We have a special wall dedicated to women central to Spokane Valley history:
– May Arkright Hutton, the first woman in Washington State to sit on a jury and register to vote in the country
– Matilda Greenfield Johnson Stegner Narup, who ran the Trent post office
– Stella Schafer Torrey, who operated the Spokane Valley Maternity Home