Digging for history at Spokane's Riverfront Park - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Digging for history at Spokane's Riverfront Park

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Archaeological testing is underway at Riverfront Park as part of site preparation the redevelopment. It will last two to four weeks.

The archeology survey will document underground historic materials within the construction footprint of the Recreational Rink Ice Ribbon and SkyRide Facility in the Gondola Meadow to avoid unnecessary damage to important historic materials.

The project is a collaboration of the Spokane Tribe of Indians Preservation Program and the Fort Walla Walla Museum under contract by the City of Spokane.  Other areas of the park will undergo similar testing prior to construction.

The on the corner of Spokane Falls Blvd. and Post St. was inhabited by the Spokane Tribe of Indians and their ancestors. Spokane Falls was a significant fishery for salmon, steelhead and other native fish.

Later, this area contained many buildings including hotels and boarding houses, a saloon and a carpenter shop until the fire of 1889. After the fire, a blacksmith and wagon shop filled the space and soon expanded to include a machine shop.  A six-story building with storage, office space, printing, and repair shops developed. 

In 1914, the railroad placed tracks on the southern edge of the site. By 1925 the site was completely leveled and used as a parking lot as the railroad and industry grew. In 1973, the area was transformed into the site of Expo ’74, followed by Riverfront Park as it is today. 

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