The Ice Cave


   01 02 03 04   

What:  I stumbled upon this by reading old newspaper articles in the Northwest room of the Main Spokane Public library. The articles discussed how scientists had come to this cave to try to figure out how on the hottest days of the year icicles can be hanging inside the cave. No scientist had ever been able to understand it, but they figured it had something to do with the minerals in the basalt of the walls that formed the cave. Inside the cave at different dig levels had been discovered animal skins and tule mats that indicated that the cave had been used by both fur traders and earlier by local Indians to store perishable items. This is an interesting place. There is a spring here. What if someone bought the property and reopened the cave and restored its former miraculous properties?

In the book "Visible Bones", by Jack Nisbet, in the chapter "Reburying Jaco Finlay" on page 226, "Jeanette was born on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, even though her parents were enrolled Spokane. What the white people call Middle Spokane, those are my people. They fished at the mouth of the Little Spokane, and they told Jaco Finlay to build the first Spokane House near their village there. They ran horses on Peone Prairie to the north. Seated at the feet of her elders, Jeannette heard the stories that took a long time to tell and were full of the nuance of languages spoken by the separate bands. She heard all about the point of land formed by the joining of the Spokane and Little Spokane River, and the sustenance it provided for the Middle Spokanes.

"There was a village there for many generations," she said.  "The people stored bitterroot and camas in pits on the Spokane side.  There were caves somewhere around where a golf course is now that held ice all through the year, and that's where they would keep their fish.  The elders talked about those places."

 Where:  Drive North from downtown on Wall street until it becomes Waikiki right before Whitworth College. Follow Waikiki for a short ways until you find yourself in front of the Spokane Country Club and then right away take a left on Rockaway or Marc to get to Spring Lane. Look up the hill to see the picture#2 above rock formation and park at the corner below it and a little to the west of it. Hike over the spring to find the old box frame for an old well pictured above. Then walk east, not up or down the hill to find the cave entrance which usually has ice in it.