Spokane County WA Homepage

Historic Dates & Maps

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


View a Map of Spokane Region Circa 1843 (PDF).


View a Map of Spokane Region Circa 1851 (PDF).


View a Map of Spokane Region Circa 1854 (PDF).


On January 29, 1858, Spokane County was created by an act passed by the Territorial Assembly. View a Map (PDF).


Pinkney City, a small trading post near Colville, was the first county seat. On February 15, 1860, the county commissioners assembled at Pinkney City and proceeded to locate the first county road. Taken from the Stevens County Auditor's Vault Record, the proceedings read: "Commencing at the ferry on the Columbia River opposite the mouth of Kettle River; running from thence to Peter Currie's, at the foot of the hill as near a strait (sic) line as practicable; thence following the present wagon road, as near as convenient, to Pinkney City; from thence following the government road to the bridge at "old Peers," leaving the present wagon road at, or near, the bridge, and following an old Indian trail bearing to the right and intersecting the old road running up the valley near George Mose's claim; running up the old road as near as practicable to where the old pack trail leaves the wagon toad to cross Mill river; turning to the right; following said pack-trail, or as near to it as convenient to strangers; running from thence along the pack-trail to the Spokane river." View a Map (PDF).


On January 9, 1861 Shoshone County was created, taking only a small section of Spokane County. View a Map (PDF).


Idaho Territory was created, cutting off two-thirds of Spokane County.


On January 19, 1864, Spokane County was annexed to Stevens County by act of the Territorial Legislature. Colville was the county seat. The reason for retaining the name Stevens County rather than Spokane County when the two counties were combined was due largely to sentiment honoring General Isaac I. Stevens, by naming the county after him. Stevens, the first Territorial Governor of Washington, had volunteered his services to the Union cause in the Civil War, and was killed in action in September 1862 at the Battle of Chantilly.


On November 5, 1875, a law making Spokane Falls the county seat was passed by the Territorial Assembly but was not enforced. The county commissioners opposed this: "That in the opinion of the majority of the Board of County Commissioners, that the Act of 1875, being an amendment to the Act of 1863, an Act repealed by the Act of 1864, permanently locating the county seat at Colville, and consequently null and void. That amendment of 1875 must be of necessity also null and void, and in consequence the Act of 1864, still remains in full force and effect."


Spokane County was again established, after a trip to Olympia by J.N. Glover, known as the 'Father of Spokane." View Map 1 (PDF) and Map 2 (PDF).


The first county seat election was held. Confusion as to the outcome of the election ensued, with the city of Cheney taking the county records in dispute. Cheney remained the county seat for six years.


Lincoln County was sub-divided from Spokane County and the present county boundaries were established.


County seat was moved to Spokane after a second election.


Construction of the present County Courthouse began. Its initial cost was $273,600.


All of the county officials moved into quarters in the new courthouse by November 20, 1895.

1885 - 1899

Twenty-two counties were made out of what was originally Spokane County. Five of these are in Idaho, six in Montana, and 11 in Washington.


View the Road Map of Spokane County 1941 (PDF).


View the Township Map of Spokane County 1943 (PDF).

1946 - 1953

The Spokane County Courthouse was extensively remodeled in 1946, and a new wing was added in 1956 which cost more than the original building ($525,000).
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