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Treasures of the Digital Archives: Spokane businessmen on the Mount Spokane Road

Spokane businessmen on the Mount Spokane Road, Photograph, Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows, 1908-1939, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Spokane businessmen on the Mount Spokane Road, Photograph, Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows, 1908-1939, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

Hotel magnate Louis Davenport was a seminal figure in early Spokane’s history. This photo, shows the man himself leading a group of businessmen up the Mt. Spokane Toll road to the summit. The road was constructed by Spokan Times publisher Francis H. Cook. After losing his initial fortune during the crash of 1893, Cook sold his farmlands to buy a tract of land leading to the summit. Working long hours by hand with the help of his son Silas, he constructed a road all the way up the mountainside. In 1920, Cook put the land under the control of Davenport and died soon after. The photo above shows a group of businessmen looking to make improvements to the mountain. In 1927, the land was given over to the protection of the Washington State Parks Commission, and became part of the first state park in Eastern Washington. Do a search for “Davenport” on the Washington State Archives Main Page to find much more about the man and his legacy.