The Spokane people were the first inhabitants of this area. In 1810 Northwest Company’s Spokane House was established as a trading post and the first long-term European settlement in Washington. The completion of the Northern Pacific Railway encouraged settlers to come to the area in 1881, the same year “Spokane Falls” was incorporated as a city. Gold and silver were discovered in the late 19th century with mining, timber and agriculture being the major industries until the 1980s.
Spokane’s natural landscape is perfect for all kinds of adventure no matter the season. The Spokane River, Riverside State Park, Rocky Mountains, Mount Spokane and Spokane Falls are just of few of the incredible natural wonders of eastern Washington. Riverfront Park sprawls 100 acres and contains some of the region’s most iconic attractions. The 40-mile, Centennial Trail allows bikers and hikers the opportunity to explore the Spokane River. The Monroe Street Bridge, Spokane Tribal Gathering Place, City Hall and Spokane Convention Center are all located within or near the park.
First-class golf is offered at one of the 33 public or private courses in the Spokane region. The Liberty Building, Chase Gallery and Kress Gallery are part of the vibrant art scene in Spokane, WA. Green Bluff Growers, White Rabbit Heli Tours and Dry Fly Distilling add unique entertainment options in this diverse playground. Local celebrations include Lilac Festival, Spokane County Interstate Fair, Harvest Festival, Valleyfest and Volume Music Festival.
Natural resources were the foundation for the local economy. Agriculture has always been an important sector, while major employers include the State of Washington, Spokane Public Schools and Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. In addition, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing is the largest military facility and employer stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. Gonzaga University, near downtown Spokane, features classic architecture as well as state-of-the-art facilities including McCarthey Athletic Center, St. Aloysius Church and Jundt Art Museum.
Being between the Cascades and Rocky Mountain protects Spokane, WA from weather experienced in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The elevation also influences weather conditions which are classified as summer continental. The majority of the annual precipitation falls in the form of snow (45 inches), while rainfall is around 16 inches each year.