Spokane’s First Fourth of July, 1876
Spokane’s first Fourth of July celebration was in 1876, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. James Glover wanted to organize a party and invite all the settlers in Spokane County that stretched from Colville to Pullman. The celebration took place at the four corners, outside Glover’s store.
About 300 people came from 50 to 75 miles away in covered wagons and parked them by the river. Those from the north got in a canoe piloted by an Indian and crossed the strong current. It was very interesting to watch. Party-goers from the south just had to walk or drive in covered wagons on the Mullan Road and other trails. The first event of the big day was J. T. Lockhart reading the Declaration of Independence to the group gathered outside Glover’s store. Next there were songs and a big speech.
As evening came, a parade started. Professor Roos, also known as "Fiddlin Ferd," played the violin and two other guys marched at the front of the parade. The two assistants played a coffee grinder and a nail keg. They marched all around Spokan Falls, which wasn’t very far considering that the town had eight or ten buildings. After that everyone joined in a big feast. Some people dug out a pit and roasted a fat steer. A lot of people ate and had a good time.
During the parade two other people went to the supply store and got some fabric and sewed the red, white and blue together and flew it on a pole. That was the first time that an American flag was flown in Spokan Falls.
After the parade everyone went to the second floor of the supply store and set it up for a dance. Dancing lasted until late at night. Then after everybody was tired they all went outside and took blankets and slept on the ground. The next day they had breakfast and went back to their covered wagons and went home. The celebration was over.
copyright (c) 2003, Discovery School All rights reserved.
Report completed 2003.
Revised: November 29, 2003; 10/4/2009
Last Modified onJuly 27, 2011