Historical Societies – Turning “I Wonder…” to “Wow!”

Ever wonder what that strange concrete road underpass thing is at the intersection of Grove and Montgomery? When it comes to everyday, unabashed wondering, we are often rewarded when we resolve to go visit our local museums. But what if you don’t have a local museum? Well, you probably at least have a Historical Society.

Incidentally, the concrete road underpass was part of a 24-mile irrigation system built to accommodate a giant, 1906 investment opportunity in the Deer Park area called Arcadia Apple Orchards. I know this because a fellow named Don Reiter found a reel of 35-mm nitro-cellulose film in a storage room in the 1950s, and just recently donated it to the Clayton-Deer Park Historical Society (CDPHS), who had it digitized in Seattle, and then released it a few weeks ago on Youtube. You can watch it too: dpgazette.com/applecdphs

The film drips with juicy detail about the apple-making process – from digging ditches and mounting flumes to packing crates full of fruit. My favorite part, though, was stepping onto a trolley with the cameraman and taking a leisurely trip down Riverside Ave. and Howard St. in downtown Spokane. Getting to see what our own towns were like over 100 years ago is like getting a luxury ride through time, at no charge. This has been the power of historical societies since the Progressive Era, collecting and sharing priceless treasure, information, and perspective with anyone in the public who wonders.

Now that the CDPHS is in the midst of negotiating a city-owned space to be the new, visitable home of their burgeoning collection of information and artifacts, soon there may be a place where you can go in person to satisfy (and perhaps intensify!) your local curiosity. Turn “I wonder…” to “Wow!” by way of a physical portal to the past of your hometown.

In the meantime, you can still visit their website at cdphs.org, and join in on a monthly meeting (anyone can come!). Meetings are 9:00am on the second Saturday of each month, currently hosted at the Clayton Grange at 4478 Railroad Ave in Clayton, Washington.

Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Share this article.

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Featured Sponsor
Thank You For Your Support!

Read more news.

Knights Under the Lights

Do you ever daydream about a time when knights rode majestic horses into dangerous competitions, or a noble archer took aim at the bullseye as well as the heart of his lady fair? This first weekend in August, you’ll have a chance to witness and take part in these medieval games, as well as several others.

Read More »

Primary Election Results 2021

The official ballot drop box closed at 8pm for the primary election that took place on August 3rd this year. The early results are in and laid out here. However, the county canvassing boards will be certifying the results as of August 17.

Read More »

Subscribe to our emails

Use the form below to sign up to receive news via email at no cost to you.