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Growth in the 1920s and 1930s remained slow but less drastically so, forcing city boosters to market the city as a quiet, comfortable place suitable for raising a family rather than a dynamic community full of opportunity.The situation improved slightly with the start of World War II as aluminum production commenced in Spokane due to the area's cheap electricity (produced from regional dams) and the increased demand for airplanes.

Many of the older Romanesque Revival-style buildings in the downtown area were designed by architect Kirtland Kelsey Cutter after the Great Fire of 1889. Spokane's growth continued unabated until August 4, 1889, when a fire, now known as The Great Fire (not to be confused with the Great Fire of 1910, which happened nearby), began just after p.m.

In the late 19th century, gold and silver were discovered in the Inland Northwest.

The local economy depended on mining, timber, and agriculture until the 1980s. Mining and smelting emerged as a major stimulus to Spokane.

After the last campaign of the Yakima Indian War, the Coeur d'Alene War of 1858 was brought to a close by the actions of Col. Rail freight rates were much higher in Spokane than the rates in coastal seaport cities such as Seattle and Portland, so much so that Minneapolis merchants could ship goods first to Seattle and then back to Spokane for less than shipping directly to Spokane, even though the rail line ran through Spokane on the way to the coast.

George Wright, who won decisive victories against a confederation of tribes in engagements at the battles of Four Lakes and Spokane Plains. Scranton, cattle ranchers who squatted and established a claim at Spokane Falls in 1871. Initially, the Palouse was thought to unsuitable for wheat production due to the hilly terrain, believing wheat could not be cultivated on the tops of the hills, but the region showed great promise for wheat production when it began in the late 1850s in part due to the hilltops.

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