Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer. John K. Ashley.
Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer.
Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer.
Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer.
Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer.

Whitney’s Map of the City of Spokane Falls and Environs, Washington. Compiled by John K. Ashley Civil Engineer.

[Spokane?], W. H. Whitney, 1890. L. H. Everts & Co., [printer]. Hand-colored folded map, 28” x 28” plus margins.

A scarce, early real estate promotion map of Spokane Falls—around this time, the largest city between Minneapolis and Seattle—showing the booming town shortly after the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the Pacific coast and the 1889 fire which destroyed part of the town.

Showing the entirety of the town, situated along the Spokane River, this map indicates plots of land and notes various additions (e.g., Cannon’s Addition)—the majority of these place-names (indicating landowner) likely having since perished. Depicted are two other railways in addition to the Northern Pacific R.R.—the Spokane Falls and Northern R.R. and the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern R.R. A vignette illustration of Spokane Falls, a mill building, and a dam appears just below the title—the maximum water power there said to be 200,000 horse-power. Appearing in the lower-right corner are “A Few Facts and Figures on Spokane Falls for 1889”—with statistics on land sales, banking, shipping, railroad subscriptions, public works, etc. Below these is a small inset map of the Pacific Northwest region, spanning from Montana to Vancouver, and a Union Pacific R.R. logo for the overland route appears at the bottom-left. A real estate advertisement appears at the upper left, reading: “Compliments of Brown & Barker, Real Estate, Spokane Falls, Washington.” This is one of at least two known real estate advertisements found on copies of this map. A few manuscript notes and additions by an early owner denote city limits, land ownership, etc.

Founded in 1873 by James N. Glover, Spokane began as a small settlement known as Spokane Falls. In time, Eastern Washington’s natural resources—fertile soil, timber, and mineral wealth—brought more settlers to the region. The boundaries of Spokane County were legislated in 1879 and Spokane Falls was incorporated in 1881. Spokane was transformed when the Northern Pacific R.R. reached the area in 1881, which was the same year the town saw its first boom due to the discovery of gold in the Coeur d’Alene mining district. Spokane soon became the center of regional commerce—effectively standing as the passage-way to the Pacific Northwest and also creating the Northwest Inland Empire that centered on the Greater Spokane Area. During this period the idea arose of establishing Spokane as its very own state. Throughout the mid-1880s, the Northern Pacific R.R. strove to reach Puget Sound directly; 1888 saw the first train do so. In 1889 terrible fires ravaged Spokane Falls, Seattle, and Ellensburg—causing great damage. However, the city was quickly rebuilt the following year—and in a much grander fashion—with the help of local investors who made their money in the mines.

Railroads did much to influence the development of Spokane—transporting new citizens into town and carrying out the region’s wealth. Spokane experienced another building boom at the turn of the century. With a population of just over 300 in 1880, by 1889 the town held nearly 20,000 people. By 1909, some 100,000 people dwelled in the town—making the city larger than Salt Lake City for a time as well as the largest city west of Minneapolis. Spokane also boasted the greatest water power west of the Niagara.

WorldCat records only one copy, at Washington State University.

An attractive and scarce map of this notable western city.

REFERENCES: Spokane History at historicspokane.org

CONDITION: Light creasing, old vertical and horizontal folds.

Item #2745

Price: $1,100.00

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