The Railroad Hamlet of Gray

Gray: Trains and Clover


     Gray was founded in 1901 and named after W.C. Gray, who owned one of the largest farms in the area. Mr. and Mrs. Gray traveled to Washington Territory in 1878. They were successful hotel owners in Spokane and later purchased a large ranch. Gray’s Siding was the original name because it was a railroad stop, later it was shortened to Gray. Most of the residents of Gray were farmers who grew timothy hay, alfalfa and clover. Mr. Reed owned a sawmill. W.S. Rose was the blacksmith and owned also owned a hearse.


The Successful Grays

     Mr. and Mrs. Gray and her two brothers were the 10th family to settle in Spokane Falls, now Spokane. They came by covered wagon from Walla Walla. It took six days. The wagon was loaded with supplies to build a small country hotel. They built their hotel on the corner of Trent and Howard. Since they came from California, the hotel was named the California House. It had eight rooms on the second floor. They ran the hotel making constant improvements until it had 102 rooms. The California House was considered the "only first-class building of its kind in the city and drew many celebrities passing through."