FLSRV heronFLSRV.org
  • To preserve and sustain the unique character of the Little Spokane River Valley, including it's open space and natural setting.
  • To maintain lower density zoning.
  • To protect the area's ecosystem including water quality, wetlands, priority habitat and wildlife, and dwindling native vegetation.
  • To encourage the development of area parks and natural areas.
  • To educate public officials of the concerns of the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, and be pro-active when major issues are at the forefront.



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    Welcome to the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley

    Murder at Greenleaf Farm: The Tragic Downfall of Theodore Cushing and His Ties to Francis H. Cook and Wandermere Golf Course
    by Ty Brown
    Theodore Cushing arrived on the west coast from Chicago and made his home in Portland, Oregon, in the summer of 1883. While a resident of Portland, he invested in real estate in Spokane Falls and made a small for- tune in the rise in values there. Cushing's brother, William, was already well established in the area and operated a large mercantile store, Cushing and Bryan, in the town of Mead, just north of the city. Theodore moved to Spokane in 1888 and erected a flamboyant building which was known as the Cushing block on the northwest corner of Howard and Sprague. This building was the first commercial building designed by famed architect, Kirtland Cutter. Cushing was the director of the Washington National Bank and the Washington Savings Bank of Spokane Falls located in his new building.


    The first commercial building designed by Kirtland Cutter was the Theodore Custing Building on the northwest corner of Sprague and Howard. Started before the Great Fire of 1889 ad completed afterward. This exotic onion domed structure was the home of the Washington National Bank, led by Cushing, and later demolished. (Spokane Falls Illustrated)

    During the Panic of 1893, Cushing lost the block to foreclosure and it later become known as the Spokane and Eastern Trust Company. This space is currently occupied by the Bank of America tower, constructed in 1980. Following the financial downturn, Cushing took up residence at a farm owned by his father-in-law, Thomas Hampton, on the Little Spokane River (site of the present-day Pine River Park housing development). United States General Land Office Records indicate that Hampton acquired the 80 acres of land in 1894. The farm became known as Greenleaf and, like other properties in the area, it specialized in dairy farming. Cushing took a keen interest in the operations and lived in the large farmhouse with his wife, Blanche, and two small children, along with his mother- and father-in-law, the Hamptons. At one point, Cushing and his father-in-law owned 320 acres of land on both sides of the river.

    This seemingly successful life would change forever with the events of May 14, 1895. According to the Spokane Chronicle, "yesterday it (the farm) was a place of happiness, today gloom hangs like a pall over the beautiful home of Theodore Cushing and all is mourning over the fatal tragedy that has at least temporarily robbed a home of a husband and father."

    Newspapers from around the region ran headlines telling of a farm owner and prominent businessman who killed his hired hand. According to trial testimony, Cushing and Thomas King, a man hired to do odd jobs on the property, got into an altercation over wages. King felt that Cushing owed him wages for work he had performed, but Cushing wanted to pay him later, after a trip to town to get the money.

    A trail of blood was found leading from the front porch of the house to the rear where the dying man was found. According to the paper, an inspection of the wounds indicated that King had been shot from behind with both barrels of a shotgun and his body was riddled with over twenty buckshot wounds that passed clean through. In addition, there was a triangular wound an inch or two long that penetrated to the skull on the left side of his head. This appeared to have been inflicted with a blunt instrument, probably the shotgun, because the barrel was found to be bent. King bled to death in the yard of the farmhouse while Cushing went for help. Mrs. Cushing and her parents were at the home at the time, but did not witness the shooting. Cushing claimed he shot King in self-defense, because he feared for his life after being threatened by King. When interviewed by a reporter at the Spokane County Jail, Cushing went on to say "I am not a desperado. Those who know me ought to realize that I would not commit an act of this kind without ample justification. This man had worked for me for a few months. It was done solely in self-defense. I deemed that my life was in imminent peril."

    After a long trial, it was determined that King did not charge at Cushing with a club or weapon of any sort and that Cushing shot King in cold blood. Cushing had been charged with first degree murder, but was convicted of murder in the second degree and sentenced to ten years in the state penitentiary. Upon appeal, the charge was reduced to manslaughter and Cushing's sentence was reduced to seven years.

    The 1900 Census lists Cushing as a 52-year-old prisoner at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Thomas Hampton, his father-in-law, died shortly after the murder on March 30, 1896, at the farm, according to Washington State Death Records. All indications are that his wife, Blanche, left for Portland with the children when Cushing went to jail and after her father died. The 1905 Portland City Directory lists her residing in the Rose City at 386 Ross Street. She died in Portland in 1910 at the young age of 46.

    Cushing served his sentence and moved back to Spokane. According to the 1903 Spokane City Directory, he lived at East 218 Nora and worked as the manager of the Spokane branch of the D.B. Scully Syrup Company, based in Chicago. He was trying to get back on his feet, after jail, when he unexpectedly died on a business trip to San Francisco at the age of 57. He is buried at Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane.

    During Cushing's appeal, his lawyer, Blake and Post, called Francis H. Cook as a character witness for the defense. Cook was a close friend and neighbor of Cushing and believed that Cushing was an innocent man. Oral histories of the Cook children reveal that Cook was an eloquent speaker who helped Cushing get his sentence reduced from murder to manslaughter.

    Francis H. Cook is known as a founding father of Spokane. He is credited with printing Spokane's first newspaper, The Spokan Times (Cook intentionally left the e off the title) and establishing the first motorized train line in the city. This Spokane-Montrose Line ran south from downtown to the area now known as Manito Park. Cook farmed 640 acres of the South Hill and established what became Cook's Addition and Manito Park. Like Cushing, Cook and his family moved to their property on the Little Spokane River, just south of Greenleaf Farm, after the financial collapse of 1893. Soon after Cushing's conviction and Hampton's death, the Cook family rented the Greenleaf farmhouse and lived there for approximately ten years while they developed their property, which would ultimately become Wandermere Golf Course.


    Ralph Cook plowing, 1944. Ralph Cook was the youngest of the eleven Cook children and was born in the Greenleaf farmhouse. He would later go on to have his own farm north of Deer Park and raise his daughter, Doris Jean, with his wife Lillie. (Photo Courtest of Cook Family)

    The tragic event at Greenleaf Farm changed the lives of many. For the Cooks it meant the opportunity to live in a larger house that met the needs of their growing family, which eventually included eleven children. The youngest child, Ralph Cook, was born in the farmhouse in 1900.

    In 1917, the property was sold to James Hansen, whose daughter, Lillie, would marry Ralph Cook on December 9, 1918. Ralph and Lillie met while Cook was working as the ranch foreman for the former Francis H. Cook property, subsequently owned by John D. Porter and known as the Porter Ranch. Lillie Cook often told people that her husband was born in her bedroom.

    Through the years, Greenleaf Farm was productive as a hay and dairy facility, but, by the 1950s, most of the farmland was sold to developers. It was platted as Greenleaf Addition and eventually became the housing development known as Pine River Park. The original farmhouse still stands on one and a quarter acres and the current owners, Chuck and Joni Titus along with Sadie, their dog, have enjoyed the property since 1984. Many additions have been made to the structure and most of the surrounding land is now swallowed up by suburban sprawl, but Greenleaf Farm has a storied history that lives on.


    Greenleaf Farm has experienced many changes over the years and has been the center of several families lives. Since 1984, Chuck and Joni Titus have enjoyed this property just off the banks of the Little Spokane River. (Photo by Ty Brown)




    News
    2018-11-01 "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" Please, Won't You...
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2018-11-01 Back to School
    by Kirk Neumann
    2018-10-30 Spokane County Little Spokane Drive Sewer Extension Project
    by Michael Kennedy
    2018-10-28 Fairwood Farmer’s Market
    by Merry Maccini
    2018-10-27 Holiday Shopping at Amazon Smile
    0.5% donated to FLSRV for a no-cost way to support your organization
    2018-10-27 Mark Your Calendar -- 2019 Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction
    Friday, February 22, 2019
    2018-10-27 Membership Update 2018
    2018-10-15 In Memoriam -- Merle Moberly, MD
    2018-05-21 Annual FLRSV Meeting
    2018-05-20 Membership
    2018-05-19 Water Quality
    by Lindell Haggin
    2018-05-19 What’s Happening on the Middle of The Little Spokane River?
    by Daniel Collins
    2018-05-19 2018 Fairwood District Farmers Market
    2018-05-19 Valley Cleanup 2018
    by Michael Kennedy
    2018-01-28 What We Accomplished Together in 2017
    We are honored that you support the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley. Your donations, membership, sweat equity and enthusiasm have brought us a long way over the last two decades.
    2018-01-27 Membership
    2018-01-27 School Bond Vote
    2018-01-27 In Memoriam - Harold Balazs
    2018-01-27 New Board Position
    2018-01-27 Valley Cleanup 2018
    by Michael Kennedy
    2018-01-27 School Time
    2018-01-27 Walking to School is a Smart Choice
    Spokesman-Review article. September 1, 2017 Reprinted by permission.
    2018-01-27 Seeing Red Over Dog Poop? Oregon Town Paints it Orange
    Spokesman-Review article. October 13, 2015 Reprinted by permission. Originally published July 28, 2011 The Bellingham Herald
    2018-01-27 Local, Family-Owned Landmarks: Pounder’s and Pattison’s
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2017-10-25 2018 Annual Meeting
    Friday, February 23, 2018
    2017-10-24 Mark Case
    New Board Member
    2017-10-24 A River Captured: The Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change by Eileen Pearkes
    Reviewed by Jack Nisbet
    2017-10-24 Living Water: Salmon's Presence
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2017-10-24 Earth Day Clean-Up of Our Valley 2017
    by Michael Kennedy
    2017-10-24 Thanks Be to the Decorator!
    2017-10-24 October Board Meeting
    by Harla Jean Biever
    2017-10-23 Sign Up for Amazon Smile
    2017-10-23 Colbert Road Trail
    by Mark Case
    2017-10-23 In Memoriam - Daniel Eugene Forsyth
    2017-04-15 Annual Meeting 2017
    2017-04-15 Valley Cleanup 2017
    2017-04-15 Land Along the Little Spokane River
    Report from Fairwood Community Leaders
    2017-04-15 Membership
    2017-04-15 Threads of Red
    Tina Wynecoop
    2017-04-15 New Bench
    Kirk Neuman
    2017-04-15 FRIENDS OF THE LITTLE SPOKANE RIVER VALLEY IS CELEBRATING OVER 20 YEARS WITH A LOOK BACK AT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
    2017-04-15 Registration for Tour and Field Trip
    2017-01-30 2017 ANNUAL MEETING AND DINNER/AUCTION
    Friday, February 24, 2017 -- Wandermere Golf Club
    2017-01-29 FRIENDS OF THE LITTLE SPOKANE RIVER VALLEY IS CELEBRATING OVER 20 YEARS WITH A LOOK BACK AT OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    2017-01-29 ANNUAL SPRING CLEAN-UP: A CELEBRATION OF EARTH DAY
    Saturday, April 22, 2017
    2016-10-24 Valley Cleanup Report - 2016
    by Michael Kennedy
    2016-10-24 Membership
    2016-10-24 Conservation Future Nomination
    Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
    2016-10-16 Annual Meeting - 2016
    2016-04-11 Valley Cleanup 2016
    by Michael Kennedy
    2015-10-24 List of resources re: Salmon/Upper Columbia River Basin:
    2015-07-08 Warning to Pet Owners
    By Erin Kennedy, DVM
    2015-07-08 2015 Fairwood District Farmers Market
    Hosted by Allen Family Properties
    2015-07-08 Valley Cleanup
    By Michael Kennedy
    2015-07-07 2015 Annual Meeting
    2015-07-07 Proposed New Housing Development
    By Jennifer Mudge
    2015-07-00 Pine River Park Neighborhood Entrance Will Be Getting a New Look
    2014-11-30 Rehab Cleanup Signs -- Volunteers Needed
    By Michael Kennedy
    2014-11-30 Jack Nisbet Saltese Uplands Field Trip Coming May 2, 2015
    Mark Your Calendar!
    2014-11-30 Wildlife Highway
    By Jack and Ro Bury
    2014-11-30 Pioneer of Our Valley
    By Dana Davis Kelly
    2014-11-30 Where a Wind Blew . . .
    By Harla Jean Biever New Hope Resource Center Board Member
    2014-11-30 Membership Renewal
    2014-06-19 Drama on the Little Spokane
    By Lindell Haggin
    2014-06-19 Remembering
    2014-06-19 Board Member Michael Kennedy
    2014-06-19 What Was In Grandpas Trunk
    By Harla Jean Heiser Biever
    2014-06-19 Annual Meeting
    2014-06-19 Valley Cleanup 2014
    By Michael Kennedy
    2013-12-31 2014 Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction
    Saturday, February 22, 2014
    2013-12-30 Serving Our Communities
    by Harla Jean Biever, President
    Board New Hope Resource Center
    2013-12-30 Augy Augustine
    In Memoriam
    2013-12-30 Our New bridge
    by Martha Schaefer
    2013-12-30 Is Your Last Rose Of Summer Going To The Deer?
    2013-12-30 Looking Back
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2013-12-30 Trails To The Library(s)
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2013-12-30 Valley Cleanup 2013
    by Michael Kennedy
    2013-12-30 Apex Industries make Herons for New Bridge
    2013-12-30 Mark Your Calendar - Jack Nisbet Walking Tour
    Saturday, May 10, 2014
    2013-12-30 Membership
    2013-04-27 Annual Spring Cleanup
    Saturday, April 27th -- 9:30 am
    2013-04-25 In Memoriam
    2013-04-25 Annual Meeting
    by Martha Schaefer, Vice President
    2013-04-25 Thank You 2013 Donors For Auction Items!
    We Did Great!
    2013-04-25 PET Project Spreads Mobility
    by Cindy Hval
    Article Courtesy of Spokesman-Review
    2013-04-25 Mac Presents -- David Douglas Historic Tours -- With Jack Nisbet
    2013-04-25 Come See The Butterflies!
    2013-04-25 Memorial Bricks
    by Harla J. Biever
    2013-04-25 Work Day At Camp Dart-Lo
    2013-04-25 Postmarks
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2012-11-16 A Look Back at FLSRV History
    by Martha Schafer, Board Vice-President
    2012-11-16 Mark Your Calendar For Our 2013 Annual Meeting
    2012-11-16 We're Adopting!
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2012-11-16 Bravo for the Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2012-11-16 FLSRV Board-Authorized Letter Regarding The New Bridge
    by Lance Pounder, President
    2012-11-16 Little Spokane River Bridge No. 3602 Replacement Project Update for Fall of 2012
    2012-11-16 Cottonwood Trees in North Spokane County
    by W.G. Magnuson
    2012-11-16 Delay Pruning To Help Wildlife Now
    by Michael Kennedy
    2012-11-16 Spokane Fish Hatchery
    by Kirk Newmann
    2012-07-27 Second Annual Hike With Jack Nisbet
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2012-07-26 Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour
    2012-07-26 Pine River Park Update
    by Lance Pounder
    2012-07-26 Oldest Barn in Spokane County?
    by W.G. Magnuson, Jr.
    2012-07-26 Spring is for the Birds (and Birders)!
    by Lindell Haggin
    2012-07-25 Roundabouts
    by Jack Bury
    2012-06-26 Valley Cleanup
    by Michael Kennedy
    2012-06-26 2012 Annual Meeting
    by Tina Wynecoop, Auction Chairman
    2012-06-26 Thank You! FLSRV 2012 Auction Donors
    2012-06-26 A Little History
    by Harla Jean Biever
    2012-06-26 Water Quality
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2012-05-25 Walking Tour May 12, 2012
    Roberta Ellis, FLSRV Member
    2012-04-03 State Needs Volunteers to Score Recreation, Conservation Grant Applications
    2012-04-03 THANK YOU! DONORS TO 2012 FLSRV SILENT AUCTION
    2012-03-05 WTA Work Parties 2012
    2011-12-28 2012 Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2011-12-27 Little Spokane Bridge is Being Replaced
    by Marla Schaeffer
    2011-12-27 Walking Tour Review
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2011-12-26 Keeping Pine River Park Open
    by Lance Pounder
    2011-12-26 86,400 Seconds
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2011-12-26 Valley Cleanup
    by Michael Kennedy
    2011-12-26 Better Dead Than Alive?
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    2011-02-16 The Way It Was: History Along Our Organizations Namesake
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2011-02-16 The Smell of Home
    by Carole Mack From: Diggings.org
    2011-02-07 2011 Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction
    Saturday, March 5, 2011
    2011-02-07 What is Conservation Futures
    by Martha Schaefer
    2011-02-07 FLSRV Nominates Scholz Property for Conservation Futures Purchase
    Letter sent to Spokane Conservation Futures from Lance Pounder, on behalf of FLSRV
    2011-02-07 A River Flows Through It
    by Bart Haggin
    2011-02-07 Pine River Park Help Keep it Open
    by Lance Pounder
    2011-02-07 County Bridge Upgrades
    by Harla Jean Biever
    2011-02-07 Spring Cleanup Date Announced
    Saturday, April 16 Starting at 9:00am.
    2011-02-07 Little Spokane Artists Plan Studio Tour
    by Hulda Bridgeman
    2011-01-11 Team from 3 Counties Presents Gardening Workshop
    Saturday, January 29th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    2010-09-22 3rd Annual Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour
    by Hulda Bridgeman
    2010-06-22 Keeping Pine River Park Open
    by Lance Pounder
    2010-06-22 New Board Members Elected
    by Kirk Neumann
    2010-06-22 Annual Meeting Held
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2010-06-22 Pine River County Park
    by Doug Chase
    2010-06-22 General Service Modifications for 2010 Park Season
    by Doug Chase
    2010-06-22 Mt. Spokane, The Little Spokane River, Rock Cairn Vision Quest Sites and a Poem
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2010-06-22 Membership
    by Harla Jean Biever
    2009-09-21 Cleanup Day Report
    by Lance Pounder
    2009-09-21 An Amazing CBC (Christmas Bird Count) Adventure Story
    by Jeanne Dammarell
    2009-09-21 2nd Annual Little Spokane River Artist Studio Tour
    by Hulda Bridgeman
    2009-09-21 2009 Annual Meeting and Dinner/Auction
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2009-02-13 US Highway 2 to the Wandermere Vicinity North Spokane Corridor: Wall Architectural Treatment
    Trails
    2018-11-03 Changes May Be Coming to WDFW Waikiki Springs Property
    by Landon Eaton Crecelius
    2018-10-28 How to Be a Hero Along The Middle of The Little Spokane
    by Rob Allen, Fairwood Farmers Market Director
    2018-05-19 Proposed Little Spokane Drive Trail from Midway to Colbert Rd
    by Mark Case, Trails Chairman
    2018-01-27 Trail System Section Completions
    by Mark Case
    2018-01-27 Middle of Little Spokane River
    by Daniel Collins
    2018-01-27 Yearly Walking Tour With Jack Nisbet
    2017-01-29 ANNUAL SPRING HIKE WITH JACK NISBET
    Saturday, May 6, 2017
    2016-10-28 Antoine Peak Hike 2016
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2015-07-08 Be Coyote-Wise
    Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
    2015-07-08 Unique Trail Users
    By Tina Wynecoop
    2015-07-08 Wolverine Walkabout = Wolverine Wanderlust
    By Tina Wynecoop
    2015-07-08 Saltese Upland Hike
    By Tina Wynecoop
    2015-07-01 New Benches for the Haynes Estate Trails Area
    By Kirk Neumann
    2014-11-30 Pineriver Park Neighborhood Entrance Will Be Getting a New Look
    2014-11-30 Trail Signs
    2014-11-30 Trail Update
    By Lance Pounder
    2014-06-19 Beavers on the Little Spokane River
    By Ro Bury
    2014-04-04 SPRING FIELD TRIP with Jack Nisbet, Author/Historian
    Five Mile Prairie and the Little Spokane River MAY 10, 2014
    2013-12-30 Were Friends with WSDOT and The Children of the Sun pedestrian pathway.
    2013-12-30 Links to Printable 2013 Trails Maps
    2012-11-16 Devil's Gap Walking Tour with Jack Nisbet
    Saturday, May 11, 2013
    2012-06-26 Trails Update
    2011-12-27 County's Wandermere Road Project
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2011-01-01 Trails Overview
    2010-06-22 Trails Update
    by Lance Pounder
    2009-09-22 Vandervert Trail
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2009-09-21 North Spokane Corridor
    by Michael Kennedy
    2009-09-21 Trees and Trails
    by Jim Ellis
    2009-09-21 Finishing Touches on the Bridge
    by Lindell Haggin
    2009-09-21 Trails
    by Martha Schaefer
    2009-08-17 Art Work Drawings for Retaining Walls at Wandermere and Garden Avenue
    2009-02-13 Haynes Estate Conservation Area Planting
    2009-02-13 New Pedestrian-Bike Trail Needs Your Help To Find A Name
    2009-02-13 08 Trails Update
    2009-02-11 Trails FAQs
    Geology / History
    2018-11-05 Murder at Greenleaf Farm: The Tragic Downfall of Theodore Cushing and His Ties to Francis H. Cook and Wandermere Golf Course
    by Ty Brown
    2018-10-28 Wandermere Golf Course: Legacy on the Little Spokane River
    2018-05-19 Jack Nisbet's and FLSRV's Sixth Annual Walking Tour: Lower Hangman/Latah Creek April 29, 2018
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2016-10-27 "Don't tell my wife about this!"
    by Tina Wynecoop
    2015-07-10 Wandermere
    By Dan Webster ... Courtesy of Spokesman Review
    2009-02-13 Inland Northwest Geology
    Birds
    2014-12-30 Bird Watching
    2011-12-26 Birds Falling From The Sky
    by Tina and Judge Wynecoop
    2009-02-15 Nesting Ospreys
    2009-02-13 Dabblers, Divers, Murderers and Travelers: Birds of the INW
    Through March 15, 2009 Museum of Arts and Culture
    Favorite Views
    2009-02-13 Some Beautiful Views Contributed By Members
    Goals
    2012-04-05 Friends of Little Spokane River Valley Goals
    As Agreed to by the Board of Directors September 8, 1998
    Favorite Books
    2018-10-28 The Dreamer and the Doctor
    by author Jack Nisbet
    2009-04-14 Readings about our Little Spokane River Valley
    Newsletters
    2018-10-28 October 2018 Newsletter
    2018-05-19 May 2018 Newsletter Download as PDF
    2018-01-27 January 2018 Newsletter
    2017-10-24 October 2017 Newsletter
    2017-04-15 Spring 2017 Newsletter
    2016-10-28 October 2016 Newsletter
    2016-02-06 January 2016 Newsletter
    2015-07-07 Spring 2015 Newsletter
    2014-11-30 November 2014 Newsletter as PDF
    2014-06-19 June 2014 Newsletter PDF
    2013-12-30 December 2013 Newsletter
    2013-04-25 April 2013 Newsletter
    2012-11-16 November 2012 Newsletter
    2012-07-26 June 2012 Newsletter
    2011-12-27 November 2011 Newsletter
    2011-02-07 January 2011 Newsletter
    2010-06-21 June 2010 Newsletter
    2009-09-15 September 2009 - Fall Newsletter
    2009-02-13 January 2009 - Winter Newsletter

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