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Laurier to Spokane

  • Distance: 120 miles
  • Routes: SR 395
  • Estimated Driving Time: 2.5 hours

This tour follows the upper portions of the Columbia River that were flooded when the Grand Coulee dam was constructed. As SR 395 angles away from the Columbia River to follow the Kettle River one gets a feeling for the character of these mountain valleys prior to the construction of dams on the Colubmia River.

A side trip off this tour follows the Sherman Pass Scenic Byway between Kettle Falls and Republic along SR 20 as part of the Republic side trip. This route stretches across Washington’s highest mountain pass, Sherman Pass, in the remote Colville National Forest. The Kettle Mountain Range offers solitude and 100 miles of interconnected trails that traverse fields, wide ridges and forests of pine, larch and western red cedar. Recent history is dominated by remnants of mammoth forest fires and the enduring rock structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.

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A group of white-painted houses, dominated by the customhouse, a large structure in Colonial style. Here are the personnel of the United States Customs and Immigration Service, a port of entry to the United States. A stopping point for wagon and pack trains in early days of mining excitement, Laurier, it is said, had at that time a population of 2,000. The surrounding region is mountainous and forested, with some...

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U.S. Inspection Station

Mile: 270

Over Orient, looms First Thought Mountain. The town was at first called Noto, then Morgan, but was ultimately named for the near-by Orient Mine. The rise in the price of gold in 1935 brought about renewed activities in mines near Orient. It was founded in 1902 by the Orient Improvement Company and platted by that corporation in 1903.

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Orient Bridge

Mile: 260

In the late 1930s, the town was moved from its original site when the area was flooded by a Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake created by the construction of Grand Coulee Dam. It was named for Adam Boyd, an early settler who operated a trading post. Today, there is only an inn at Boyds, which looks to have survived the dam project in its original location.

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Mile: 248

Kettle Falls, on the Columbia River, is below the mouth of the Kettle River. It was an important salmon fishing place for Indian tribes until 1939, when the falls were flooded out by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. French-Canadian fur traders called the falls Les Chaudieres (The Kettles) as boulders revolving in the current had worn huge, kettle-shaped holes in the stream bed below the falls, and Americans...

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Points of Interest
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Kettle Falls District

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St Paul’s Mission

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Columbia River Bridge at Kettle Falls

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Hudsons Bay Gristmill Site on Colville River

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Meyers Falls Power Plant Historic District

Mile: 238

  One of the first settlements in the Colville Valley. Today it consists of two log buildings: the Desautel building and the L. W. Meyers building. Joseph Desautel, former employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company, made claim to 320 acres of land five miles southeast of the site of Hudson's Bay Fort Colville in 1852 under the provisions of the Donation Land Act of 1850. The Desautel building was built...

Learn more about Desautel Donation Ranch

Mile: 235

The seat of Stevens County, is enclosed by peaks of the Okanogan Highlands and the Calispell Mountain Range on the northeast and south. On the west the city slopes down to the floor of the Colville Valley. The business center of tidy brick and stone buildings rises from a 60-foot plateau in the shadow of Mount Colville. Towering grain elevators and church steeples give the city an aspect of compactness....

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Opera House and IOOF Lodge

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Colville Flour Mill

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Rickey Block

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Collins Building

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US Post Office

Mile: 230

Ham Farmstead is the legacy of Susannah Ham, a widow of two years, and her three sons, Albert, Hallie and Frank, who farmed it for more than 50 years, beginning in 1902. The one-and-a-half story, Queen Anne-style Ham House has a cross-gabled roof and is dominated by a wrap-around porch. The hay barns, horse barns and other farm buildings are no longer evident on the property. Two small outbuildings, which...

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Mile: 228

In 1859, Marcus Oppenheimer built a grist mill on the river, the second one to operate in the Colville Valley. He later added a saw mill. In 1890, when the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway was built through Arden, the town became a lumber-shipping point of some importance. It was named by an early settler, Jack Mooney, but the name's origin has not been established.

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Yantis Flour Site / Yantis Oppenheimer Flour Site

Mile: 223

The site is on a land claim of a pioneer settler named Fatzger, who built a grist mill near the mouth of Addy Creek in the late 1870s. In 1890, Addy became a settlement when the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway was built. It survived a destructive flood in 1894. The town was named for Mrs. Adeline (Addy) Dudrey, an early resident and wife of the first postmaster, Elias S....

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Mile: 216

It was an early sawmill town and stage station named for nearby Blue Creek, a tributary of the Colville River. That stream was named for John Blue, an early settler, at whose station the stage drivers changed horses. The town was once a shipping point for farm products and some copper and dolomite from neighboring mines. Today few traces remain of the former shipping center here.

Learn more about Blue Creek

Mile: 213

A military post in the 1860s. By the 1940s it became the largest industrial town in the region, and home of the Northwest Magnesite Company, which manufactured Thermax board, a mineral composition material used in building. The first newspaper in Stevens County, the Stevens County Sun, was published here. The town maintained The Chewelah Independent, and had six churches, two banks, and a library. Thomas Brown filed a land claim...

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Points of Interest
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Colville Indian Agency Cabin

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St Francis Regis Mission Cemetery (First Site)

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Eagle Mountain

Mile: 207

The land on which Springdale is located was homesteaded by Charles O. Squires in 1888, and the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway called their station Squires City when the railroad was built. Residents changed the name to its present form, as there are many subterranean streams in this part of the valley, some of which emerge as springs. The city has never fully recovered from the devastating effects of a...

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Mile: 62

In 1889, it was established as a private park by D. C. Corbin, a railroad builder and banker. In 1897, it was sold to Evan Morgan, who made it a public recreation center. The name is borrowed from Loon Lake, on which the town is located. The tour skirts Loon Lake, warm and clear and shallow along its sandy shores; it is about a mile long and one-half mile wide,...

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Points of Interest
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Former Log Hut

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Loon Lake School

Mile: 5

Founded in 1889 when the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway was built its clay deposits supplied the Washington Brick, Lime & Manufacturing Company plant. At one time the brick plant was the largest in the state. The name indicates the great importance of clay to local industry and for the "...deposits of clay found near the village."

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Clayton School

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Washington Brick and Lime Company House

Mile: 185

A sawmill town, it was named for the many deer that wintered there in pioneer days. A post office was established at Deer Park on June 7, 1890 and was moved south on June 13, 1891. In the 1880s, the broad valley surrounding Deer Park was a virgin forest of pine, fir, and tamarack. The construction of a Great Northern R.R. branch from Spokane to Deer Park in 1884 stimulated...

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Mile: 181

A two-story, hand hewn, log home built in 1935 by 0liver LaJoie, who lived with John T. Little and his wife at the site. Little was an integral part of the development of Spokane; he owned a hardware and sporting goods store and served in many civic capacities. Over a nine-year period, between 1935 and 1944, Oliver LaJoie, virtually by himself, hand crafted this existing two-story, twelve-room, 3,650 square foot...

Learn more about Littlebrook

Mile: 170

Along this northern entrance to Spokane (known as the North Division Highway) the “Lane of Remembrance,” was series of trees planted on both sides of the highway, established by the Spokane Parkways and Roadside Protective Association. When the trees reached maturity, the long lane was intended to be one of the most beautiful boulevards in the State. This area is now a large commercial strip with shopping, hotels and restaurants....

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The major city of the Inland Empire of Washington, Spokane sits at the falls of the Spokane River 90 miles south of the Canadian boundary in central Spokane County. Settlement began in 1871, and the town was originally platted in 1881 as Spokane Falls, but was reincorporated in 1890 as Spokane. The name has two possible origins: One is that it came from the Indians who formerly lived in a...

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Points of Interest
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Browne’s Addition Historic District

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The Ninth Avenue Historic District

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The Marycliff-Cliff Park District

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Rockwood Historic District

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West Downtown Historic Transportation Corridor

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East Downtown Historic District

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Peaceful Valley Historic District

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Riverside Avenue Historic District

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Nettleton’s Addition Historic District

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Desmet Avenue Warehouse Historic District

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Mission Avenue Historic District

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