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Chattaroy

A crossroads village that lies in a beautiful little valley. Out from the northeast the Little Spokane meanders, joining with Deer Creek at the village to form a stream 30 feet wide and three to four feet deep. Both the creek and the river are well-stocked with trout of several species. Mink, weasel, and a few raccoons were found along these streams, and numerous beaver made dams and even raided the farmers’ orchards, fields, and gardens.

The site of Chattaroy was a familiar spot for most of the early fur traders. Near the place where Deer Creek empties into the Little Spokane, the Colville-Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane House-Clark Fork trails crossed, and the Hudson’s Bay Company utilized this protected valley as a camping ground and trading post. Before the coming of the fur traders, the Indians had from time to time established temporary villages here while they fished and hunted.

Permanent settlement dates from the early 1880s, when Robert P. Cowgill settled here, opened a general store, and contracted to carry mail from Spokane Falls to Kidd, as the settlement was named by the Post Office Department after an early homesteader. In 1889, the Indian name, Chattaroy, was restored, largely at the insistence of Mrs. Robert Cowgill.