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Davenport to Canadian Border

  • Distance: 123 miles
  • Routes: SR 25
  • Estimated Driving time: 2.5 hours

Leading directly northward, the tour runs through hilly wheat lands, marked here and there by patches of scrub pine, sagebrush, and scablands, until it winds down a steep grade and across the Spokane River at a point about two miles east of its confluence with the Columbia. North of the crossing, the route continues upward through rugged hills to practically treeless benchlands. Along the east bank of the Columbia is a broken fringe of peach and apple orchards; the arable benches are largely planted to wheat, and the steeper slopes are given over to grazing. Some lumbering is still being carried on in the pine- and tamarack-covered foothills. Scattered throughout the region were small mines as well as abandoned mines that were worked in the 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s, when on nearly every lonely creek some miner patiently washed the gravelly sands for gold. Today, most of the mining is in hardrock, although some small-scale placer operations are being carried on.

Cutting across US 395, SR 22 continues northeast along the east bank of the Columbia, which here cuts a tortuous channel through granite and other hard rocks to Northport and the Canadian Border. Ages ago volcanic eruptions and glacial action left their marks deep upon this region, which includes the northern limit of the lava flows and the southern limit of the glaciers. Some of the most thrilling pages of Northwestern history were written about this area; and again history was made in the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam (see Tour 1B) and the creation of one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, Lake Roosevelt. As a result, a mass migration took place, for the sites of ten towns, the homes of some 3,000 persons, were entirely flooded by the rising waters.

In 1934 surveyors began their work in the reservoir area above Coulee Dam, running lines along the Columbia and tributary canyons to determine the water level of the huge artificial lake. When the work of surveying was completed, the immensity and intricacy of the problems ahead became clear. Almost 100,000 acres of land had to be acquired by the Government and made ready for a lake bed. More than 5,000 buildings were to be demolished or moved. Ten towns with post offices—Keller, Lincoln, Peach, Gerome, Inchelium, Figgord, Daisy, Kettle Falls, Boyds, and Marcus—were doomed. Railroad lines, factories, and nearly 7,000 town lots had to be bought. More than 200 miles of highway, 26 miles of Great Northern trackage and roadbed, and 14 new bridges had to be built. It cost the government approximately $10,000,000 to acquire all property in the area and another $10,000,000 for clearing and reconstruction work. But where old landmarks were destroyed, it was hoped that gardens and orchards, beautiful homes, and new cities would rise in the reclaimed areas.

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This Lincoln County seat, west of Spokane, is wheat country. Precipitation is light, but bountiful crops are the rule, for the moisture, most of which falls between October and April, is retained by deep, rich soil. Soft wheat is best adapted to the soil and the climate; one variety, bluestem, was so popular that a small settlement south of Davenport was named for it.  Davenport was founded in 1881 by...

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Erected in 1881 where the Spokane and Columbia Rivers meet. Fort Spokane served as a frontier military post until troops were transferred to Cuba to fight the Spanish-American War in 1898. Government officials who ran the Colville and Spokane Indian Agencies then took over the fort and by 1900 it had become the Fort Spokane Indian Boarding School. The last occupant of the fort was the Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanitarium...

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Mile: 23

Built in 1949, the Spokane River Bridge (formerly the De Tillian Bridge) at Long Lake Dam is an outstanding example of a graceful concrete arch bridge, one of the few built during the 1940s. This structure is located in a remote part of eastern Washington, where rugged basalt cliffs present a pleasing contrast to the elegant lines of the bridge. Its use in this location enhances the natural beauty of...

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Founded in 1886, this district was once called Spring Valley as well as Robbers’ Roost; it is said to have been one of the toughest hell holes in the state in early days, a rendezvous for desperadoes and cattle thieves. It sits east of Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake and north of Davenport on Alder Creek. A. N. Washburn and a Mr. Price took pre-emption claims in 1880, followed by J....

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Mile: 38

Hunters is north of Davenport in southwest Stevens County. It was once on the east bank of the Columbia River, but moved a mile-and-a-half east when the Grand Coulee Dam flooded the site in 1939–40. James Hunter founded it in 1880 and was its namesake; he was reputed to be the first settler between Rickey Rapids on the north and Spokane River mouth on the south. On April 15, 1901,...

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Mile: 42

In 1889, a religious settlement was founded on rented land by George Cornwall and Martin Scotan (Scotten), the first postmaster. The settlers, wanting a Biblical name for their post office, suggested Macedonia. Postal authorities shortened it to Cedonia. Alternate spellings include Cidonia, Sedonia and Sadonia. The community sits on Harvey Creek, east of the Columbia River and south of Kettle Falls in southwest Stevens County. Hills of greatly varying height...

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Mile: 46

First called Buffalo and later Troy, Inchelium connected with Gifford by cable ferry. The site disappeared under 135 feet of water when Coulee Dam Lake reached its final level, and the inhabitants moved to the benchland, retaining the town’s name, which had been given by government surveyors. They mapped the town and “Inchelium” was their interpretive spelling of the San Poil Indian name En-char-lay-um or En-ch’lay-um, which is said to...

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Gifford was once a small town north of Davenport on the east bank of the Columbia River across from Inchelium. The place was named for James O. and Sarah Gifford, who founded it in 1890. There was a cable operated ferry, a post office which opened in 1896 and other town facilities. With the creation of a lake behind Grand Coulee Dam, the site was covered by almost 90 feet...

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Mile: 58

When the lake was created behind Grand Coulee Dam, Daisy, located on the east shore of Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake at the mouth of McGee Creek, was safely above the 1,310-foot elevation level of the shoreline. The site was claimed as a homestead in 1902 by Samuel L. and John H. Magee. While nearby silver-lead mines were active, Daisy had a store, a hotel, a church, and a post office....

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Mile: 62

The tour winds along the benchland above the river, which is deep and placid at this point. The west bank is marked by a series of benchlands, gargantuan steps leading to the irregular hills beyond. To the northeast rise the saw-toothed Huckleberry Mountains. Orchards, farms, and stands of tamarack, pine, and fir border the highway. This route along the east bank of the Columbia was followed by John McLeod, superintendent...

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Mile: 66

The tour traverses rugged terrain, partially a semidesert waste, relieved by patches of second-growth evergreens and a fringe of irrigated apple orchards, their pipelines arching down to the river. Rickey Canyon contains a stream that rises on the west slope of Mingo Mountain in west central Stevens County and flows seven miles northwest to join the Columbia River at the site of an old town called Rickey. The name is...

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Mile: 75

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

The oldest town in Stevens County, it moved to a higher bench about a mile and a half north, near the big plants of the Spokane-Portland Cement Company and the United States Gypsum Company. In 1896, the place boomed as a result of the opening of the north half of the Colville Indian Reservation to mining. When the Columbia River was an important arterial, Marcus was the southern terminus for...

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Mile: 86

This community sits on the east bank of the Columbia River, northeast of the town of Kettle Falls, in northwest Stevens County. The major industry was a gypsum plant, operated by the American Gypsum Company, which used large quantities of rock. A large power conveyor over the highway carried the rock from quarry to converting plant and a screen hung across the road to protect traffic from falling boulders. The...

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Mile: 91

A community on the Columbia River east of Marcus in west central Stevens County. When established in 1888 it was named Young America after a nearby silver mine. On May 1, 1893, it was platted as a town by the Consolidated Bonanza Mining & Smelting Company as Millington. It was later renamed for Chester S. Boss, first postmaster and storekeeper, and John Berg, a pioneer. The tour follows the river,...

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Mile: 94

Marble is a community on the east bank of Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake between Evans and Northport in northwest Stevens County. It was started in 1898 after the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway built lines into the area. At that time, it was believed that there was an unlimited amount of fine marble in the surrounding area but the rock proved to be dolomite, which has much less architectural value...

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Mile: 105

The city extends along a valley below Silver Crown Mountain. The United States Customs and Immigration offices were housed here, located on Columbia Avenue in Northport, but today does not appear to be in use. Here the Long Lake Lumber Company felled and shipped thousands of pine and tamarack trees, which are excellent for ties and poles. The waters of the Columbia River, backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam, lie...

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Points of Interest
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Northport School

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Lael Sheep Barn and Sheds

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Columbia River Bridge

Mile: 114

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