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The Phoenix of Spokane arising from the ashes


KOCH, Augustus.

Panoramic View of Spokane Falls, Spokane

County, Washington, 1890 Eleven Months after the Great Fire.

[lower left below image]:

Inter-State Publishing Co., Printers

and Lithographers, Kansas City, Mo.

[lower right below


Drawn by Augustus Koch.

Lithographic bird’s-eye view

with original teal wash. 68.5 x 100 cm; 27 x 39


(image); 73.7 x 100 cm; 29 x 39

inches (image with text

below). A few tears into image area (no losses), light staining

at upper borders (affecting only blank margins) and one small

stain at lower left, slight overall browning, but all in all, very

good—a rare survival in any condition.

This large and finely detailed bird’s-eye view is not record-

ed by Reps; the earliest Spokane view recorded by Reps is

Wellge’s 1884 view (

View and Viewmakers of Urban America

4181; and

Panoramas of Promise

106). Wellge’s 1884 view is

not at all like the present one.

On August 4, 1899, Spokane suffered a huge fire that

destroyed most of the central business district. While operat-

ing out of a tent city, most businesses, which were insured,

quickly rebuilt using brick or stone, resulting in the fine

assemblage of buildings shown here between Front and First

Streets. Many of the buildings were designed by distin-

guished architect Kirtland K. Cutter and other noteworthy

architects. Shown on the view as No. 54 is the Washington

Water Power Company, which was set up to provide power

for the Northwest Industrial Exposition, held at Spokane in

1890, which was Washington’s first industrial fair. The new

Industrial Exposition Building is shown in the lower right of

the view. All in all, this view executed specifically for real

estate agent H. L. Moody reflects a prosperous, bountiful city,

definitely on the rebound.

German-born Augustus Koch (1840-?), the creator of this

rare view, was one of the most important viewmakers. “No

American viewmaker traveled more widely in search of sub-

jects than August Koch.... Koch drew his cities with consider-

able care, consistently depicting his subjects as if seen from

very high viewpoints.... He seems to have drawn with substan-

tial accuracy.... His recorded output of 110 views was exceed-

ed by only a few other viewmakers” (Reps,


, pp. 184-185).


Zamorano 80

8. BREWER, William H[enry].

Up and Down California in

1860-1864.... Edited by Francis P. Farquhar....

New Haven: Yale

University Press, 1930. xxx, 601 [1, blank] pp., 32 plates

(including photographic frontispiece; many halftones from

contemporary images, folding map, text illustrations. 8vo,

original navy blue cloth, spine gilt-lettered. Fine in d.j. (price

clipped and spine of d.j. sun faded). Laid in is publication


First edition.

Cowan II, p. 70. Edwards,

Enduring Desert,


32-33. Hill I, pp. 362-63. Hill II: 182. Howell 50,


322. Howes B754. Huntington Library,

Zamorano 80...Exhibi-

tion of Famous and Notorious California Classics


Libros Cali-


p. 55 (Powell commentary). Neate,


and Its Literature

106. Norris 391. Powell,

California Classics,

pp. 115-27: “Brewer was the field leader of the first California

Geological Survey.... His description of California in the early

1860s is unmatched by any other in its variety, fidelity, and

human interest.” Rocq 16701.

Zamorano 80


Gary F. Kurutz in Volkmann Zamorano 80 catalogue:

William Henry Brewer, who served as Josiah D. Whit-

ney’s principal assistant and field leader of the Califor-

nia Geological Survey in the early 1860s, wrote a series

of journal-like letters that form one of the best travel

accounts describing the totality of California. Skillfully

assembled and edited by that great historian and bibli-

ographer of the High Sierra, Francis P. Farquhar, Brew-

er’s detailed letters cover virtually every aspect of the

state from Los Angeles to Crescent City and from San

Francisco to the mines of the Comstock Lode. In four

years, this New York–born scientist had traveled over

14,000 miles from one end of the state to the other.

Probably no one before or since had tramped over so

much territory. Kevin Starr calls his letters “the found-

ing statement of California mountaineering...they put

on record the exact extent of California’s alpine her-

itage.” Although written for family and friends, they

superbly chronicle the first systematic scientific survey

of the Golden State.

By foot, mule, and stage, the Yale-trained Brewer and

his colleagues Clarence King (also a Yale graduate),

Charles F. Hoffman, and James T. Gardiner traversed

over hill and dale to learn all they could about Califor-

nia’s post–Gold Rush natural resources and its geolog-

ic past. In so doing, Brewer saw just about every notable

natural wonder that graced the state from its majestic

coastline to the towering peaks of the Sierra. The

Yosemite Valley, the giant sequoias, geysers, lakes,

rivers, and mountain peaks all came under his scrutiny.

This book of letters, however, is much more than an

alpine adventure or nature study; it also encompasses

California’s human environment of instant cities, mines,

farms, ranches, lumber mills, roads, and waterways. His

visits to Los Angeles, the “decadent” town of Santa Bar-

bara, San Francisco (the “best governed city in the

United States”), and once-booming mining camps pro-

vide a fresh perspective and entertaining reading.

Brewer sent these letters back home to his brother

Edgar with instructions that they be shared with fami-

ly and friends and be saved for his return. The scientist,

however, never intended them to be published but, as

brought out by Lawrence Clark Powell, he was “an

unwitting literary artist, capable of writing a vigorous,

flowing prose.” His epistles are marked by their clarity

and immediacy and are not bogged down in turgid tech-

nical writing. Farquhar noted that “When he came to

write out his impressions for the benefit of others, he

clothed the bare bones of his statistics and created

something pulsing with life. Yet he never altered his

facts to make an impression.”

As demonstrated by these reports to his family,

Brewer seemingly never rested. Carrying delicate scien-

tific instruments, he collected geologic and botanical

specimens of all kinds, made complex observations and

measurements, packed and repacked, tended to the