Tucked along the south banks of the Spokane River gorge, between the bustle of the city and the historic charm of Browne’s Addition, is the small nest of Peaceful Valley. Anchored by a neighborhood park, simple homes with welcoming front porches make up most of this hidden locale, although taller townhomes have begun the dot the narrow streets.
Peaceful Valley is one of the oldest established neighborhoods in Spokane, originally housing blue collar workers and immigrant families in modest bungalows close to factories. The wide spot in the river was a crucial fishing ground to the local Indian tribes before development. It’s still a popular spot to drop a line, or set afloat on a river rafting trip.
Peaceful Valley oozes in charm. The tiny shoulder-to-shoulder homes, shadowed by the Maple Street bridge and the steep hillside reaching up to the city, are populated by artists, musicians and independents who draw inspiration from the gurgle of the water slipping through the gorge and the rumble of city life just above their heads. Where once stood a large casket factory is now a thriving community garden shared by neighbors. Cross the river and you’ll step into the heart of Kendall Yards and on to the Centennial Trail.
More than just a neighborhood park, Glover Field is popular place for downtown workers to take a break with afternoon game of frisbee or a Saturday softball game. It’s also a prime location to spot marmots sunning themselves in the morning rays.
Just next to Glover Field, and the adjoining community center, is a house you may recognize. The quant waterfront home was front and center in the 1993 film Benny & Joon, starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson, which was shot entirely in Spokane.
It’s easy to miss Peaceful Valley, but it’s worth finding. A walk through the tree covered streets will be met with music flowing from open windows, artists at work and a feeling that you have found someplace special.