Friday, June 28, 2013

Postcard Friday...

This is a postcard of downtown Spokane from the 1940's picturing all the waterfalls and bridges our city is famous for. The big bridge in the foreground is the Monroe Street Bridge. It is a beautiful engineering marvel. It was designed by Kirkland K Cutter and John C Ralston. I don't know much about Mr. Ralston but Mr. Cutter was very famous for the design of some of our most prestigious buildings. I will post more about him at a later date. The bridge was restored in 2003 and reopened in 2005. It was rebuilt in keeping with the original design, looking much as it did in this photo yet stronger. It is beautiful. I marvel at the engineers over time who have touched this bridge from its beginning through today.

Spanning above the bridge and throughout town we had many railroad trestles to carry the trains along through the city to regions for commerce and leisurely trips across country. In addition to a rich mining history and agriculture, our town was a railroad town and the railroads were a major employer for many years. In addition to the overhead traffic, train tracks lined the streets. I grew up less than five miles from a major rail yard in Hillyard, there weren't many routes to take downtown where I could avoid at least seeing or hearing a train every day. My mother always said, "You lucky kids, You get to see a train!" To this day that is how I feel when I see one. I rarely have to stop for a train these days as most of the trains have gone. I think I would like to keep remembering that piece of our history lest we forget how so many people came to Spokane.

In the far right top of the postcard there is a clock tower that was part of the old Great Northern Railway depot. We picked up visitors and some of us departed from that depot. In 1974 Spokane hosted Expo '74 and in preparation for this, this central area near the river was revitalized. The trestles went away and the train depot was torn down. Only the Clocktower remains as a reminder of the glory days of the railroad.  


  1. What a wonderful post Mardell. You captured the early history of Spokane in a nutshell. Do you collect early postcards?

    1. I do collect cards from the early days of our region. I love history! I love seeing how things have transformed and the past fifty years things have changed by leaps and bounds.


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