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Finding history – and elegance – in surprising Spokane

Just outside the Davenport Hotel's Marie Antoinette Ballroom hangs a photograph of the first formal party thrown there, at the Spokane hotel's grand opening more than a century ago. The ornate ballroom, its chandeliers (which cost $10,000 each - in 1914) asparkle, is crammed full of elegantly dressed Spokaneites, with scarcely room to breathe between them, let alone to fox trot. Some beam with excitement; others look apprehensively at the camera; one man grimaces, as if his high collar might be a bit tight.

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