News Clippings: Clock Tower

News Clippings: Clock Tower

Below I’ve collected a series of clipped newspaper articles referencing the timeline of the building of the Great Northern Railroad Depot and its iconic clock tower, which heavily influenced the events that unfold in the Spokane Clock Tower Mysteries, beginning with the first book, Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Taker. The clock tower is the basis for the timeline I’ve created for the book series. The books open on April 15, as the finalizations are coming into place for the building of the depot, which would span over the course of the next year, ending with the dedication of the clock on June 20, 1902.

Chronicle 30 Oct 1900

The front page article includes an extensive description of what the depot would look like once built. 

Chronicle 12 Feb 1901

“Joseph C Overbeck arrived at Hillyard yesterday to take the position of operator at the Great Northern depot.”

Spokesman-Review 18 Apr 1901

“The cause of the delay in construction of the Great Northern depot in this city was explained yesterday by one of the visiting officials. Over a month ago the contract was let to Tim Riordan of St. Paul, the lowest bidder, and at that time it was announced that work would begin at once.… Mr. Riordan failed to enter into the formal contract, and after waiting for him to do something, the officials relet the contract. The second lowest bidders got the contract. They are G.A. Johnson and Co. of St. Paul. A representative of the firm is said to be on his way west to arrange for the early starting of work.… Building operations at the depot site might have been interfered with during the construction of the steel bridges, but this latter work will be out of the way this week in that vicinity. Nothing will then interfere with rush work on the depot building.”

Spokesman-Review 8 May 1901

Thomas refers to this article about the Great Northern depot: “finest depot building west of St. Paul.”

“Work on the Great Northern passenger depot will begin this morning under direction of Contractors GA Johnson & Son of Chicago. A gang of men will be set to work on the rock excavation preparatory to placing the foundation, the material of which will be shipped in at once.… The principal change was in the arrangement of the steel and iron work, and the elimination of the terra cotta work, which was the most expensive feature and did not add materially to the beauty of the building.… Mr. Johnson…will visit Spokane about once a month during the progress of the work and will be here continuously during the finishing touches next fall.”

Spokesman-Review 15 May 1901

“We are going to put up a temporary depot just east of the Washington street bridge, and will begin on it within a week. It will be a cheap structure, not costing over $1000, and we hope not to have to use it for very long.”

Spokesman-Review 19 May 1901

“Work has been started on the stone foundations for the Great Northern passenger depot.”

Spokesman-Review 14 June 1901

“The SF&N and the Kootenai Valley trains, as well as those of the Great Northern, will arrive and depart from the new temporary depot just completed, on Havermale’s Island, beginning Sunday morning at 7 o’clock.”

Spokesman-Review 16 Jun 1901

“The Great Northern temporary depot on Havermale Island was the scene of hurry and bustle yesterday afternoon in preparation for today’s dedication of the building to the railway service.”

Spokesman-Review 1 Aug 1901

“Roof timbers are being placed on the east end of the new Great Northern depot. Gates for the grade crossing on Howard street are being placed by the Great Northern.”

Chronicle 14 Sept 1901

Amidst news of McKinley’s death: “Because of the difficulty in getting the necessary steel the work on the Great Northern depot has been greatly hampered since about the first of August.”

Chronicle 21 Sep 1901

“The Bridge on the south side of the new Great Northern depot and crossing the river at Washington street will be closed up at noon Monday for the purpose of laying the asphalt on Washington street near the bridge.”

Chronicle 9 Nov 1901

“Great Northern Depot Work Much Delayed: Structure not to be occupied until it is nearly time for the robins.… The time for opening the new Great Northern depot will be considerably later than was at first intended. It was thought at the time of beginning the new structure on Havermale Island that the lower floor would be ready for occupancy by Christmas day. Owing to the delay in getting material, however, it will be the 1st of February, and perhaps the 1st of March before the new building is occupied at all.… On Thursday a carload of steel arrived in the city and there will be two more cars here in the near future. The arrival of this necessary material has been delayed by the big steel strike in the east, but now that it has arrived the work on the depot will be rushed as much as possible. The new boiler house, commissary and conductors’ rooms near the depot are also rapidly nearing completion, and soon the Great Northern settlement on the island will have assumed a condition which will show what the future has in store.”

Chronicle 7 Jan 1902

“Charles S. Johnson, the Chicago contractor, who is building the Great Northern depot in this city, arrived in Spokane this morning. He is stopping at the Spokane.”

Spokesman-Review 25 Feb 1902″Station a Fine One”

Spokesman-Review 30 May 1902

“Beginning this evening all passenger trains on the Great Northern and the Spokane Falls & Northern will arrive and depart from the new station on Havermale Island. The work of moving into the new station will begin immediately after the departure of the eastbound Great Northern Flyer, due to leave at 9:50 o’clock this morning.”

“The new station will be the best lighted building in the city. Nearly 100 electric arc lights will be used in lighting the first floor and station grounds.”

Chronicle 3 June 1902

“Work on the second floor of the new Great Northern depot is progressing well, and the Great Northern officials expect to be able to move the general offices of that road within a couple of weeks or shorter time.”

Spokesman-Review 16 June 1902

Spokesman-Review 21 June 1902

“Big clock installed in tower of passenger station, starts at high noon.”

[According to the clock tower’s Historic Properties Listing: “The clock was placed in service at high noon on June 20, 1902.”]

Chronicle 1 July 1902

“CW Johnson of Chicago is at the Spokane. Mr. Johnson is the contractor who had the construction of the new Great Northern depot, which he turned over to the Great Northern road today.”

As you can tell, we have a lot to look forward to concerning the construction of the Great Northern Railroad Depot and clock tower in the Spokane Clock Tower Mysteries!

For the latest updates, be sure to follow me as @pmeredithauthor (Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads).

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