County History

Spokane County boasts a rich history dating back to the mid 1800s. The geographic makeup of the county went through many, many changes between 1860 and 1883, as our Chronology of Spokane County History shows. The historic Spokane County Courthouse, completed in 1895, boasts a rich and interesting History of its own.


Situated east of the Cascade Range in Washington and on the western slope of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains next to the Idaho-Washington boundary, Spokane County is bordered mostly by township and range lines, except for a small section of the western boundary, where the line is purely arbitrary, and for a 20-mile section of the northern boundary formed by the Spokane River. Spokane County contains 1,756 square miles. It has a maximum length north and south of 54 miles and a maximum width east and west of 36 miles. In point of geographical size, it is the average Washington county, there being 19 counties which are smaller and 19 counties which are larger. In point of age, it is one of the oldest counties, having been created in 1858, but not organized until 1860, only six years after the creation of Washington Territory. Because of its annexation to Stevens County at one time, however, Spokane County was non-existent for 15 years.

This information is excerpted from Inventory of the County Archives of Washington No. 32, Spokane County, 1941.