Spokane’s first residents were Native American. From the Spokanes, we get our name, which means “Children of the Sun.” Spokane became an incorporated City on Nov. 29, 1881, encompassing 1.56 square miles. Back then, the City was known as Spokan Falls and had 350 residents. The “e” was added to Spokane in 1883, and “Falls” was dropped in 1891. The City suffered, perhaps, its biggest setback in 1889, when a fire ravaged downtown destroying 32 blocks.
A new City Hall was built at the southwest corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Wall Street in 1913, serving as the City’s main offices until the City’s centennial year—1981. The 1920s-era Montgomery Wards building at Spokane Falls Boulevard and Post Street was renovated then to house the City’s offices. Old City Hall now is home to restaurants and shops.
In 1974, Spokane hosted a World’s Fair. Expo ’74’s lasting legacy is Riverfront Park—once a highly used rail yard, the property was converted into a park to host the fair.
The City of Spokane incorporated more than 125 years ago; we are the second largest City in the State of Washington.