Spokane History Timeline

Great Northern Railroad Depot and Clock Tower - 1892

Great Northern Tracks


The Great Northern railroad came to Spokane in 1892. James J. Hill built the GN railroad and the railroad yards called Hillyard. The depot built on Havermale Island in the Spokane River cost $150,000, and was completed in 1902.


The Great Northern Depot was the finest railroad depot west of Chicago. It was made with pressed brick and trimmed with native sandstone.


Great Northern Depot



The four Clock faces are 9 feet across on each side, making it the largest Clock Tower in the West. The 8 ft. pendulum and weight which powers it weigh 500 lbs. The clock has had to be wound once a week by a hand crank. A Riverfront Park employee climbs up every week to keep it running on time.
When the Riverfront Park was constructed for Expo 1974, the train station was demolished leaving the Clock Tower.




Photos: L84-327.556
L86-219.546 from Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture Archives

copyright (c) 2003,
Discovery School.
All rights reserved
Report completed May, 2003.
Revised: March 19, 2004; 10/4/2009
Last Modified on July 31, 2011