Westerners Speakers Team
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Our March 12 speaker will be Ty Brown, presenting “Wandermere: Legacy on the Little Spokane River.”
The land that is now Wandermere Golf Course has always been a coveted spot in the Spokane area. It was owned by the Northern Pacific Railroad for several years until it was purchased in the late 1800s by Spokane pioneer Francis H. Cook. Cook is credited with owning Spokane’s first newspaper, Spokan Times (the e was intentionally left off the name by Mr. Cook), and creating what is now Mt. Spokane State Park. The Wandermere property changed hands two more times before being purchased by Robert C. Ross and Albert L. Doran in 1930.
Ross had a vision to create Spokane’s year-round playground with a championship golf course. Over the years, Wandermere became the go-to place for golfing, swimming, fishing, skiing, picnicking, and boating. This was the beginning of a family business that would see five generations continue in the tradition that Ross set out to create.
Today, Wandermere is still the centerpiece of the Little Spokane River basin. Though most of the activities have come and gone, the golf course remains and is considered one of the best in the region. Wandermere Golf Course has become an essential part of the history of the area and continues to stand out as a destination for the people of Spokane and beyond.
This account of Wandermere—from its humble beginnings as a dairy farm, to a wilderness escape for the “city folk” of Spokane, to the year-round playground, and eventually to the golf course that it is today—involves much of Spokane’s early history. With the ever-increasing urban sprawl, it will be interesting to see where the next chapter takes Wandermere.
Ty Brown was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, where he has lived a majority of his life. He teaches high school English and history. Ty’s family owns and operates Wandermere Golf Course, as they have since 1930 when his great-grandparents purchased the land on the Little Spokane River. He still works at the golf course in the summer. Ty graduated from Washington State University in 1992 with a degree in history and from Whitworth University in 2009 with a master’s degree in secondary education. He enjoys his time with his wife and young daughter at their home in the Little Spokane River valley.
We hope to see you Thursday March 12th at the new location of 9211 E. Montgomery Ave. in the Argonne Village. Please call
Barbara Leiss at 509-276-5927 if you have any questions.
Upper images are courtesy of the Northwest Room. The image to the left is courtesy of Ty Brown. The image above is courtesy of the Nostalgia Magazine Collection.