Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let's Meet Mr. Frank Grinnell...

This week’s segment deals with the change in the neighborhoods in Spokane following the exhumation and relocation of the cemeteries in Spokane that lied inside the city limits.   As we continue throughout the story, we will begin seeing how the new neighborhoods around our beloved Manito Park, and other areas of Spokane, get burgeoning growth.  All of the information reported here comes from a book by Tony Bamonte and Suzanne Schaeffer Bamonte entitled, , “Manito Park:  A Reflection of Spokane’s Past”.  You can learn more about this book at  www.tornadocreekpublications.com.  

Following the removal of Mountain View Cemetery from Cannon Hills, a rich showcase of homes, built in the late 1880s to about 1913, filled in the surrounding neighborhood.  During the depression years of the 1930s, many of the large older homes were converted to apartments.  Later, because of lenient zoning regulations, numerous apartment houses were built on many of the remaining lots.  A number of social-rehabilitation homes have also been concentrated in this area – typically located in some of the original homes.  In the era of the original single-family homes (classified as Grid #40 on the Spokane real estate maps), this area was one of Spokane’s most beautiful locations, inhabited largely by medical and business professionals.  The styles of homes in this neighborhood were eclectic, ranging from Victorians and American Four-Squares to Colonial Revivals.  By the time the Manito Park neighborhood began to develop, the Cannon Hill area was fairly populated.  There was a natural geographical corridor between the two areas, making Manito Park a favorite and frequently used recreation area for Cannon Hill residents.

By 1907 the Manito area entered a steady growth pattern.  During that year, Jay P. Graves hired Fred Grinnell, a seasoned real estate salesman, to sell his property.  Grinnell owned one of the largest real estate companies in Spokane.  His office was located at the intersection of Main and Lincoln Streets on the main floor of the Interurban Terminal Building (now the location of the main branch of the Spokane Public Library.)  Upon assuming the sales of the Spokane-Washington Improvement Company’s land for Graves, he set up an office at the southwest corner of 29th and Grand, and later added a smaller office at the intersection of 21st and Grand, across from Manito Park.  Grinnell had a reputation for aggressively pursuing the city to comply with the conditions of the park land donation. 

Next week, we will learn more about Grinnell, his advertising practices, and how he populated the area around Spokane’s beloved Manito Park.  Be sure to click over to www.ManitoPark.org or to www.ManitoParkOrg.blogspot.com for the latest chapter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The battle over Spokane cemeteries continues….

For several months now, we have been exploring the facts and history surrounding the founding of Spokane’s Manito Park.  All the information has been gleaned from the book, “Manito Park:  A Reflection of Spokane’s Past”, by Tony Bamonte and Suzanne Schaeffer Bamonte of www.tornadocreekpublications.com.  This week, we continue the story of the cemeteries in Spokane, their importance to the real estate business here, and those involved in trying to move them to a more convenient place.

Mountain View, another of the first cemeteries, appeared on early maps between Cedar and Ash from about 10th to 12thg Avenue (part of the Cannon Hill neighborhood).  It began receiving bodies as early as 1881, but was not officially declared a cemetery until the fall of 1883.  Anthony Cannon was one of the early residents who had planned on Mountain View as his final resting place.  The November 17, 1883 issue if The Spokane Falls Review contains a lengthy description of Mountain View Cemetery.  An excerpt follows:

About one mile southwest of the center of Spokane Falls is situated “Mountain View Cemetery”, the city of our dead.  The location has been well chosen, and the name, recently adopted, in every respect appropriate.  The necropolis occupies a clear space of some 40 acres, on a ridge overlooking Hangman Creek, and is surrounded with a forest of noble pines.  The piece of ground was dedicated to the purpose for which it is used last spring, and already is dotted, here and there with those slim, rounded mounds that indicate the last resting place of those near and dear to the members of our community…  We see that a number of persons have made the right move in this direction, several neat head-stones having been put in place during the past week.  In this Mr. A.M. Cannon has taken the lead.  On his lot near the center o0f the grounds, he has a handsome monument erected.  It is a square shaft of Italian marble resting on a solid granite base.  The four sides of the shaft are smooth, leaving spaces for future inscriptions; near the top on the four sides are two branches of laurel leaves, resting on which is a crown, the shaft surmounted with a finely carved urn.  On the east side, at base of shaft, is the single name “Clarke,” while on the west side, in the same position, is the name “Cannon”.  Above the east side, is the inscription, “George Pl Clarke [Cannon’s stepson], born June 23, 1867, died April 5, 1883.”  [The monument was subsequently moved to Greenwood Cemetery.]…  It is a quiet place to sleep that sleep of eternity.  Here the rich and poor, high and low, find a common level in one sepulcher, watched by the spirits of an invisible empire, while the winds of winter and the zephyrs of summer sing through the branches of solemn requiem.

Mountain View Cemetery was officially discontinued in June of 1888, when the city council and the county commissioners selected Fairmont Cemetery, incorporated that year, as Spokane’s official burial grounds.  On May 12, 1888, Anthony Cannon, along with four partners, developed and incorporated Greenwood Cemetery.  The bodies from Mountain View were exhumed and removed to Greenwood and Fairmont.  Early politics clearly played a role in this event.  Cannon had just completed a two-year term as the mayor of Spokane Falls, and previously served as a city councilman, and was well ingrained with the “city powers.”  Within five months of leaving office on May 23, 1888, the city council passed an ordinance stating:  “No body or remains of any deceased person shall be interred or buried in any cemetery, burial ground or other place within the city limits.”  Mountain View was within the city limits; Greenwood and Fairmont were not.  Cannon held 360 of the 500 Greenwood shares.

Be sure to join us next week when we will learn about how the neighborhood starts to develop around Manito Park.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Spokane was growing quickly and a political battle ensued over moving its first cemetery

Spokane was growing quickly and a political battle ensued over moving its first cemetery.

About the time of Cannon’s arrival, the railroads began connecting Spokane to the outside world.  Spokane’s population jumped from about 300 in 1880 to over 19,000 in 1890.  By 1891 the city limits stretched south to 29th avenue.  (As may be recalled, when Cook bought over 600 acres on the Manito Plateau, most of it was outside the city limits, which then extended only to 14th.)  The 1915 federal census (as published in the Polk Directory) placed the population figure at 139,323.  With such rapid expansion, the community faced the problem of where to bury its dead.  This was of some consequence to the early land developers.  Typically, cemeteries are established during the early stages of settlement.  They are usually situated in some of the most prime locations in a community. Often becoming coveted building sites as view and other choice property becomes scarce.   Such was the fate affecting two of Spokane’s first cemeteries, which were in the path of residential expansion.  There are many conflicting stories regarding these burial grounds, some of which may be clarified by the following quote from the May 26, 1897 Spokesman Review.   It provides excellent descriptions for both these cemeteries:




Oldest Settlers Do Not Remember When It Was Started

Bodies to Be Exhumed


A movement is on foot to remove one of the most important historical landmarks in Spokane.  Last week a petition prepared by J. W. Witherop and signed by W.J.C. Wakefield, John Finch, J.J. Browne, Dr. W.W. Potter and other residents of Browne’s Addition, was presented to the city council, asking that 17 bodies buried in the old cemetery near the end of the boulevard and Pacific Avenue [Browne’s Addition] be exhumed and reinterred in one of the modern cemeteries – either Greenwood or Fairmont.  The petition stated the matter briefly, pointing out that the west end is rapidly becoming the most beautiful residence portion of the city, that remains of most of those buried in the cemetery had been removed some time ago, and it would add to the attractiveness of the neighborhood if the remainder were removed.

This was Spokane’s first cemetery.  Here it was that many of the sturdy pioneers who came over the trail from Oregon, or from the far east, years before the Northern Pacific railroad was dreamed of, were buried, as were their wives, and in many instances their children.  How the location was selected as a cemetery no one remembers.  It was certainly a sublime spot, however, situated on the abutting point of land, wrapt [sic] in the dense solitude of the primeval forest, commanding one grand, sublime view of rugged cliff and… the valleys of Hangman creek and the Spokane.

The exact date of the cemetery’s first burial is unknown, as were also the burials of later times.  No tombstone was ever erected in the plot; only some plain wooden slabs, lettered by the hands of some loving father, husband or brother, told for a few brief months the name of the departed.

In speaking of the old grave yard yesterday, James N. Glover, Spokane’s oldest pioneer, said:  “Yes, I understand the old cemetery is to be removed.  This was Spokane’s first cemetery.  I do not know how old it is; It was there when I first came, and used for many years afterward.  About 12 years ago most of the remains were removed.  I thought all, but it seems not.  No, I do not know the names of those buried out there, for I do not know how many were removed.” J.J. Browne, on whose land the cemetery was located, was more familiar with the later history of the cemetery than Mr. Glover.

“This,” said Mr.  Browne, “was Spokane’s first burying ground.  How it came to be selected I do not know; it was already located when I arrived.  That was before it came to be surveyed and was sold as government land.  When I got the land from the government, the cemetery was included in my purchase, and people continued to use it for many years afterward.  That was probably 18 years ago.  The cemetery was used until about 12 years ago, when most of the bodies were exhumed by friends and taken to Spokane’s second cemetery, the old burying ground in what is now known as Cannon’s Addition, probably a half mile south of the Irving school.  This latter cemetery was not used but a few years, the town growing so rapidly that the cemetery was abandoned and the bodies again exhumed, most of them taken to Greenwood or Fairmont.  I believe the number of bodies named in the petition as being still buried in the old cemetery is erroneous.  The petition say 17, but I believe there are no more than six or seven.  Do I know the names of those buried?  No; or at least not many of them.  I remember attending a number of funerals, however, the first funeral I attended in the city was that of Mr. Lowry, a young man, 21 years of age, who worked in one of the mills, if I remember rightly.  The parents of the young man later moved to Montana, and the remains were not exhumed.  Another funeral I attended was that of Mrs. Evans.  Shortly after her death her husband also removed to Montana, and was lost track of.  She remains buried in the cemetery.  Another, and the only remaining case that I know of is that of a Mr. Evans, who lost his life in a log jam up the river.  He was buried there, and only last week his wife came to see me to learn if the remains could not be removed to Greenwood or Fairmont.  I thought the proposal impossible, but she felt sure that she could identify the remains if they were exhumed.  She said that Mr. Evans lost his life up the river and that his skull was fractured in such a way that she would never forget it, or fail to identify the remains.  The fracture was on the side of the head, and she still remembered how it looked.  I also remember the burial of a number of men killed in a wreck on the Northern Pacific trestle, just north of the city, when that road was being built through the city.  If I remember rightly, though, these men were buried by the various trainmen’s societies.  A number of the Havermale children were also buried there.  The first that I knew of the movement being on foot to remove the remains was when the petition was presented to me last week.”


Next week , we’ll learn more about the various cemeteries in Spokane, how they were formed and where they were located.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Cannon Addition is formed…..

Simultaneous with the development of the Manito and Cliff Park Additions was the growth and expansion of the Cannon Hill neighborhood.  This area encompassed the southwest corridor to Cook’s hill.  It encompassed the region from the freeway south to 29th Avenue, and from Bernard west to the bluff overlooking Hangman Creek.  Although commonly known as Cannon Hill, it includes numerous additions, including Cannon’s Addition and Cannon Hill Addition.  The following is the sample real estate advertisement that appeared in the March 8, 1888 Spokane Daily Chronicle:

Arlington Heights


Cannon’s Addition

In the most beautiful location for fine residences in Spokane Falls.  It is now for the first time on the market though parties desiring beautiful homesites have been trying to buy lots in it for years.  It consists of 25 blocks finely located on an elevation which commands a view of the entire city and a prospect of the mountains and surrounding country which can not be excelled.  It is but three-fourths of a mile from the postoffice [sic].  We will take pleasure in showing the property to those who may desire to examine it.  The terms will be easy and price low.  Sale will begin on Wednesday the 7th , and those who apply first will secure first choice.

Clough and Graves


H. Bolster & Co.

Sole Agents


Anthony M. Cannon, the developer of Cannon’s Addition, arrived in Spokane in 1878.  With his business partner, J.J. Browne, they purchased half of the original townsite from James Glover.  Among other enterprises, Cannon started Spokane’s first grocery store and later built its first bank.  In the early 1880s, he acquired 160 acres adjacent to the townsite through government land grant.  A condition for obtaining title to such land was the grantee reside on the site.  Cannon was not adhering to this requirement and almost lost it to a squatter.  However, a group of unidentified men influenced the squatter to vacate by firing numerous volleys of gunfire into his cabin.  It was later suspected the assailants came from a party Cannon was holding the evening of the attack.  Many articles written about Cannon, both in early newspapers and books, portray him as a great achiever and also somewhat of a hothead.   Cannon at one time among Spokane’s wealthiest men, amassed most of his fortune from real estate development, especially during the rebuilding of Spokane following the Great Fire of 1889.