Spokane is the second largest city in the State of Washington and the largest east of the Cascade Mountains. Spokane is home to a number of great lodging options, some awesome places to eat, and some fun things to do and see including shopping, Riverfront Park, Mt. Spokane, museums, and more.
It’s always fun to know some little known info about some of our local destinations. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy Five Fun Facts About Spokane, Washington.
Happy Father’s Day!
On June 19, 1910, at the YMCA in Spokane, a Father’s Day celebration was held. This was the first celebration of the event. It wouldn’t receive a presidential proclamation until Lyndon Johnson did so in 1966 and in 1972 became a national holiday when signed into law by Richard Nixon.
A Cow Town?
The first settlers in what is now Spokane were cattle ranchers S.R. Scranton and J.J. Downing.
What’s It Mean?
In the local native language, “Spokane” means “Children of the Sun” or “Sun People”.
Spokane’s Hoopfest, an annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, is the largest event of its kind in the world. It began in 1990 and is held on the streets of downtown Spokane.
A Narrow Interstate
The Spokane River Centennial Trail connects Spokane all the way to the Washington-Idaho border. It’s 37 miles in length and follows the Spokane River. At the border, the trail continues on for another 24 miles under the name of the North Idaho Centennial Trail.
If you’re a history fan, you may already be a subscriber, but if not, you may just want to take a listen over at Stuff You Missed In History Class.
The format of the show usually has either a little known historical person or event as its topic. Sometimes, a more well known person or event is the subject but the hosts try and explore some lesser known facts about them. It really is a great show to listen to as episodes come out or to download and listen to more leisurely, like say while sitting up in the North Cascades or out on the Oregon Coast, for example.
An episode of the podcast from a few years ago, one that’s still available online, tells the story of an event some Pacific Northwest residents are familiar with and some aren’t, the Pig War. This famous disagreement between Great Britain and the United States of America over who owned the San Juan Islands is entertaining and interesting at the very same time.
That’s right… Two great countries almost “went to war” over a dead pig on San Juan Island. 🙂
Check out: The Pig War online at Stuff You Missed In History Class!
Rocky Reach Dam sits just a few miles north of Wenatchee on the Columbia River. It’s a vital part of the hydroelectric dam network in the region. If you’re traveling through the area, stop there and enjoy the viewpoints, park, playground, and museum.
Here are five fun facts about Rocky Reach Dam.
From A Distance…
Rocky Reach Dam sits 215 river miles south of the Canadian border and 473 river miles above the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.
Location, Location, Location
After the original survey work had been done, the original planned site of what would become Rocky Reach Dam was actually approximately one mile upriver of where the dam was eventually built.
Construction began on the Rocky Reach Dam project on October 2, 1956. Famous people who share October 2nd as their birthday with Rocky Reach Dam include Mahatma Gandhi, comedian Groucho Marx, comedian Bud Abbott, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, singer Don McLean, fashion designer Donna Karan, singer Sting, quarterback Mark Rypien, and talk show host Kelly Ripa.
Rocky Reach Dam… A TV Star
Rocky Reach Dam was featured in a 2009 episode of Dirty Jobs, hosted by Mike Rowe.
A New Lake
When water started backing up behind Rocky Reach Dam it formed a new reservoir known as Lake Entiat.
Randle, Washington is located about 20 minutes west of Packwood and is a beautiful area of the state. There is rich farmland all around and it’s surrounded by beautiful hills, mountain ranges, and high mountain peaks. It really is a fun place to visit.
From Randle, you can make your way to White Pass, Rimrock Lake, Riffe Lake, Mt. Rainier National Park, and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Sightseeing can take a lot out of you and when you need a great place to eat, the town of Randle has that ready for you too.
The Huff ‘N’ Puff Drive-In sits just off Highway 12 on the west end of Randle. You can’t miss it as it has just about the most colorful paint job you will have ever seen. You can order at the walk-up window or go inside and there is seating inside and out. There are quite a few options to order, including most of the normal things you would find at a popular hamburder stop.
The burgers are delicious, just like the fries. They don’t skimp on the size either as you’ll have plenty to eat. There are a lot of other options on the menu too. One thing you’ll need to try are the milkshakes at Huff ‘N’ Puff. They are so good you’re sure to want to come back again while you’re in the area.
Prosser is a small community in the Yakima Valley, located just couple of minutes east of Grandview and about a half hour west of the Tri-Cities. Prosser is a scenic place, right on the banks of the Yakima River. It’s a bit of an oasis, surrounded by rich agricultural land as well as barren sagebrush covered areas too. The entire region there is known for its ties to the wine industry and Prosser works as a great headquarters to explore the various wineries there, or to just stop off and visit on a trip through the valley.
Here are five fun facts about Prosser, Washington:
Colonel William Farrand Prosser
The city of Prosser was first homesteaded by Colonel William Farrand Prosser in 1882. Prosser had been a colonel in the Union Army during the Civil War, served as a U.S. Representative from Tennessee, and was even the postmaster for the city of Nashville for three years.
Oil Boom… Not Really
For a number of years in the 1910’s and 1920’s, oil exploration in the form of drilling was done around the Prosser area. No serious strikes were ever recorded.
Three Will Become One
Prosser is served by the Prosser Record-Bulletin, its local newspaper. In its early days as a community, the town had three separate newspapers. They were consolidated into one entity during the 1920’s.
Prosser is a small town of just a few thousand people but there are approximately 40 wineries within a 10 mile radius of the community.
The Home of Kellen Moore
Prosser is the hometown of Kellen Moore, All-American quarterback out of Boise State University who went on to see playing time in the NFL with the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys.
McNary Dam sits on the mighty Columbia River and is nearest to the communities of Umatilla and Hermiston in Oregon and Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland in Washington. There’s a lot of water recreation done in the area and one of the main reasons much of it is even possible is thanks to the water backed up behind McNary Dam.
Here is a look at five fun facts about McNary Dam:
McNary Dam – 7 Years In The Making
Work began on McNary Dam in 1947 and it would open in 1954.
McNary Dam – What’s In A Name?
The original name of McNary Dam was going to be Umatilla Dam.
McNary Dam – 22 and 14
McNary Dam has 14 power producing turbine generators inside it and 22 spillway gates across the top of it.
McNary Dam – What Two Counties?
The two counties McNary Dam touches as it stretches across the Columbia River are Benton County in Washington and Umatilla County in Oregon.
McNary Dam – A Long Way Down
McNary Dam sits 292 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River where it flows into the ocean.
The city of Spokane is located in Eastern Washington, is the second largest city in Washington, and is very near to the border with Idaho. The city is a major tourist draw that offers all kinds of things to do and see. Spokane truly is a fun place to go to get away from it all.
Here is a look at five fun facts about the city of Spokane.
A Truly Silent ‘E’
The city was incorporated in 1881 as the city of Spokan Falls. The ‘e’ wouldn’t be added to the city’s name until two years later. Then in 1891, the word “Falls” was dropped and the community has been known as Spokane ever since.
Spokane is home to the Spokane Chiefs hockey team. The Chiefs play in the Western Hockey League and have called Spokane home since 1985. Prior to that, from 1982 when the team was founded through early 1985, the team was located in Canada and was known as the Kelowna Wings.
The Smallest Ever
Expo ’74 was the 1974 World’s Fair and it was held in the city of Spokane. The city had just revitalized its waterfront and downtown area in anticipation of the event and it was a huge hit. At the time, this made Spokane the smallest city ever to host a World’s Fair.
The Tallest Of Them All
The tallest building in Spokane is the Bank of America Financial Center. It measures in at 288 feet tall.
Bloomsday, or more fully known as the Lilac Bloomsday Run, is a 12km run that winds through the streets of Spokane. The race was founded in 1977 and was first won by the famous runner, and Olympic gold medal winner in the marathon, Frank Shorter.
Spend the Night in Spokane!
An unforgettable stay is waiting for you at Spokane’s legendary Davenport Hotel!
The AppleSox are a collegiate summer baseball team, founded in 2000, located in Wenatchee, Washington. The team gets its name from the area being known as the Apple Capital of the World. They’ve grown over time to occupy a special place in the community. Anyone visiting the Wenatchee area during the summer would have a great time at an AppleSox game.
Here are five fun facts about the Wenatchee AppleSox.
Those Seats Look Familiar!
The Wenatchee AppleSox play home games at Paul Thomas Sr. Field on the campus of Wenatchee Valley College. The stadium seats 1,200 and, at one time, 540 of those seats were previously used at the Kingdome in Seattle. Those seats were replaced in 2012.
The Wenatchee AppleSox have played in the West Coast League since it was a charter member of that organization in 2004. Previous to that, the team had played from its founding in 2000 to 2003 in the Pacific International League.
Long Ties To The Community
The head coach of the Wenatchee AppleSox from 2001 to 2014 was Ed Knaggs. He had also coached the baseball team at Wenatchee High School for 22 years.
The First To Go Big Time
2006 saw pitcher Jason Hammel join the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In doing so, he became the first Wenatchee AppleSox player to make it to Major League Baseball.
The First Five Titles
The first five West Coast League championships won by the Wenatchee AppleSox were won in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012. In doing so, they beat the Bellingham Bells, Spokane RiverHawks, Corvallis Knights, Bend Elks, and then the Corvalis Knights a second time.
Spend the Night in Wenatchee!
You can’t go wrong at Wenatchee’s Comfort Inn!