Cottonwood Trees in North Spokane County

by W.G. Magnuson In 1883 the Dart pioneer family established a small community that is now called Dartford. Dartford is just North of Spokane at the Little Spokane River about 1/2 mile West of highway 395 (Division). The Dart brothers had arrived from Minnesota around 1879 and built and operated a sawmill and later a gristmill at Dartford.  In 1883 the brothers built a family home and barn. The home burned down in 1995 but the barn still stands and is being repaired (restored). The house was rebuilt in pretty much the same style as the 1883 house. At the time the original house was built, or shortly thereafter, four trees were planted – two fir trees at the front of the family house and two cottonwood trees just East of the fir trees. This article calls attention to the cottonwood trees.  The larger of the cottonwoods is a female tree with a circumference of just over 17 feet (diameter of 5.4 feet) measured at five feet above ground and may be one of the largest and maybe oldest cottonwood tree in Spokane County. At least that is what a Spokane County Park Department employee said to a local resident. […]

Readings about our Little Spokane River Valley

There is a scattered ‘library’ of lore about our area. Fortunately, we are gathering materials and creating a bibliography so that the reader can find out about the rich geological, cultural, and historical information that has been recorded about it. Unfortunately, none of the material is located in one easily accessible location. We welcome suggestions on how to house this large and growing collection. To begin our on-going effort to create a regional bibliography we start with two public libraries which offer research support: 1. The downtown Spokane Public Library’s Northwest History Room ‘The Spokane Public Library is honored to house one of the finest and most extensive Northwest collections in the country. Comprising over 10,000 items, this superb collection is readily available to the public during normal library hours. The collection consists of reference books, maps, directories, periodicals, government documents, and archival materials pertaining to the history, exploration, and settlement of the Northwest, or that region including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and the province of British Columbia. The Northwest Room offers information on every period from the late 1700’s to the present. While there is emphasis on early voyages and overland expeditions, Indians, the fur trade, missions and pioneer […]

Inland Northwest Geology

By Harla Jean Biever  Geologists tell us that millions of years ago our area underwent a scourging by fire. All along the border of North Idaho and Eastern Washington time after time the earth’s surface opened in giant crevices and out of its core flowed molten lava that traveled in a southwesterly pattern across the state of Washington.  Evidence of this lava flow exists all around us with huge outcroppings of basalt, the channeled scab land to the west of us, distinct layers along the Spokane River, columnar basalt and uses of basalt in landscaping and building foundations.  The next big geologic event was the Cataclysmic Ice Age Floods some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. J. Harlen Bretz was the first to put forth the theory of this flood; for more than four decades he defended his theories on the flood before they were generally accepted by the scientific community. In 1922 he began his field research in the Channeled Scablands of central Washington and through his research Bretz was confident that a flood had occurred. In 1930 Joseph Pardee viewed giant ripple marks left on the lake bottom sediments of Glacial Lake Missoula and deduced that they could only […]