"Bank failures, layoffs and swan-diving stock portfolios are nothing new in the Inland Northwest. It has all happened before – bigger, deeper and longer (or so we can hope) – during the only Depression that has earned the adjective “Great.” Here’s how the Great Depression played out in the Spokane area." So begins a great and uncomfortably timely article by Jim Kershner in last Sunday's Spokesman-Review about the Great Depression in Spokane. The twin collapse of the mining and farm industries made the Depression an especially hard blow in the Inland Northwest. Kershner notes that "In a particularly demoralizing development for Spokane’s youngsters, the Manito Park Zoo was closed in 1932 because of plummeting tax revenues. Three bears were shot and stuffed."
New Deal projects to relieve the Depression were common in our are, and include High Drive, Riverside State Park, the Vista House on Mount Spokane, miles of sewers and storm culverts still in use, and of course Grand Coulee Dam.
The online version of this article includes a short video about the depression in Spokane and a 1932 SR article Freight Trains Carry Hordes of Restless.