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The Creation of the Haynes Conservation Area

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Around 1950, Edward and Eloise Haynes purchased nearly 90 acres of land along the Little Spokane River. The property was situated between Shady Slope Road and Pine River Park. Although they lived in Spokane, they built a small shed on the banks of the river with the intention of eventually moving to the acreage. In 1961, the couple’s son, Don Haynes acquired a portion of the land and soon built a home on the property. The younger Haynes raised his own family on the property until his children grew up and moved away. Their home was located up the hill from the river. All that remains of the home is an old wagon that adorned the circular driveway and the well house, as it was torn down by the County soon after becoming a conservation area.

In the mid-1970s, Edward and Eloise passed away, and around this time Don Haynes constructed a home on the site of the original shed on the banks of the river. This home (still standing) was built by Haynes in an unusual “Spanish” style. Soon after the construction was complete, he rented out the home. He also rented out his family home further in the woods of the sprawling property. By the mid-1980s, Haynes had the idea to develop the land in order to afford the property taxes that were mounting on such a large piece of property. He platted out what would be known as the Haynes Estates housing development. This caused an uproar with the surrounding neighbors over plans to develop near the Little Spokane River. With the help of the Friends of the Little Spokane River and the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, the property was purchased in 2001 by Spokane County through the Conservation Futures Program in order to avoid development.

Don Haynes passed away in 1999 before he was able to see this land turned into a natural area to be enjoyed by thousands of people. The Spanish-style home was rented out by the County for several years but now stands vacant. Plans may be in the works to turn it into an outdoor-educational learning center. His children helped make this all possible, along with nearby landowners that sold adjacent properties in order to keep these nearly 100 acres a habitat for wildlife and recreation. Spokane County maintains the land through an endowment set up by the Haynes children, who donated $242,00 to be used for restoration, enhancement, and long-term care of the property.

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