Rockwood – The Most Exclusive Housing Area


"I want to buy a view lot to build an elegant house."  I plan to spend $15,000 on the house.  " What do you have?"

A well-dressed man in a tent booth was helping Dr William Dutton choose the site for his new house.

The salesman replied:

"We have this large lot over on the northwest corner at Rockwood Boulevard and Overbluff Road."   It has an excellent view."  "The land cost is $7,250."   

Dr Willard Dutton, noted surgeon with offices in the Old National Bank Building, bought that lot at 1830 S Upper Terrace RoadHe became the very first customer in the Rockwood Addition by buying that prized lot.

  Dr Dutton  1924 S Upper Terrace Road

Dr Dutton had read the April 25, 1909 Spokesman story announcing the opening of the Rockwood Addition.   It was a huge pictorial spread and the story touted Rockwood as the newest, most exclusive housing area in town. 

The First Activity

The Fred Grinnell Company had set up a sales booth at the end of the new Rockwood Trolley line.  There was a tent set up where commissioned realtors greeted arrivals.  The spot was at the junction where four important streets intersected - Rockwood Boulevard, Highland Avenue, Overbluff Road and 20th Avenue.

Interested buyers boarded the Rockwood Trolley Line #17 downtown and took the new 15-minute ride up to the first junction at Overbluff Road.     If you wanted, you could ride another two blocks upward and get off at the junction of Garfield Road, Rockwood Boulevard, and Highland Boulevard while the trolley made a ‘U’ turn to head back into town.

    trolley turn around from 20th Avenue up to Garfield Road

Later that first day Jim Ramage came up to the realtor tent to look around.   Jim had a large presence and was owner of the Hawkeye Fuel Company.  He was very well connected. 

"I'd just rode the trolley up the new winding Rockwood Boulevard and it is the most beautiful, widest road in the city."  He told the salesman.

"Let's see one of your best view lots."

 Running off to the east was a wide street with spectacular views to the north.  It was called Overbluff Road and ran east just on top of the rimrock. 

He was shown a lot two parcels east of the sales tent.  The unobstructed view was dramatic.


  826 E Overbluff Jim Rammage house

Jim Rammage was captivated.  He bought that lot and paid $4,200 for the property located at 826 E Overbluff Road.  

The salesman told him there was a minimum $4,000 price to make sure he was planning on building a high-class house.  

"I plan to put up an $8,000 house." he said. 

Ramage was owner of the Hawkeye Fuel Company, a major supplier of wood, coal, sand, rock, and cement.  He belonged to most every important club in town.  He was head of the Chamber of Commerce. 

The view Rammage got was very special.   It was unobstructed with a spectacular panoramic vista to the north and east out toward the Spokane Valley. 

On March 20, 1910 Tom Shaw bought the 2 lots just to the east at 846 E Overbluff.  Shaw was a builder and was planning to build a $9,000 house.   He sold both lots to Clemens Trimborn, an investment broker, on December 12, 1910 for $10,000.


  Clemens Trimborn house   846 E Overbluff

WIlliam McCreary, a very successful rilroad contractor, bought the house at 827 E Overbluff Road  for $25,000.  ON Lillieuques had built an elegant 12 room brick house

    William McCreary house,  807 E Overbluff Road

It was in the Dutch colonial style.

Rockwood Boulevard Sales

There were early sales on Rockwood Boulevard.

The earliest sale was made close to the tent at the trolley.

In the spring of 1909 builder Henry Lydell bought the lot at 2115 S Rockwood Boulevard and planned to build a $15,000 house.   In November he sold a a lovely brick house to Waldon Lloyd, secretary-treasurer of the Palace Department Store. 


   2115 S Rockwood Boulevard

Sales in Rockwood kept going strong.

Prominent people kept showing up all month. 

Everyone was picking out their lot.

Many more sales were about to be made....



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