Title

The Segregated South Hill

Faculty Mentor

Larry Cebula

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

10-5-2023 11:15 AM

End Date

10-5-2023 1:00 PM

Location

PUB NCR

Department

History

Abstract

Throughout the early to mid-1900s across the United States, racial covenants were written into the property records of many homes. Many of these clauses were created in order to prevent those who are not white from living in an area or neighborhood that housed white residents. Up until 1948, these clauses were a legally enforceable contract, which, if violated, could lead to the loss of the property. Even after these clauses were no longer enforceable, many who platted new land and homes still included the racist language. This was meant to tell the potential buyer what type of neighborhood they would be moving into. The Spokane area has many neighborhoods that have a racial covenant in the property records. Williams H. Cowles, Jr., the second-generation owner of The Spokesman-Review and many other companies, is one prominent Spokanite who included these covenants in the land he platted. The Comstock Park 2nd Addition was created in 1953 using land owned by the Cowles on Spokane’s South Hill. Several hundred homes were originally platted and 150 still remain today. They all contain the same clauses, with the third clause stating, “No race or nationality other than the white race shall use or occupy any building on any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race or nationality employed by an owner or tenant.” This clause still remains in the records today. Since his passing in 1970, the family put out a statement disassociating with the covenants. They stated that, “such racial segregation is offensive and in no way represents our company or family values.” The poster expands on how William H. Cowles, Jr. platted an area intended solely for those who are white.

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May 10th, 11:15 AM May 10th, 1:00 PM

The Segregated South Hill

PUB NCR

Throughout the early to mid-1900s across the United States, racial covenants were written into the property records of many homes. Many of these clauses were created in order to prevent those who are not white from living in an area or neighborhood that housed white residents. Up until 1948, these clauses were a legally enforceable contract, which, if violated, could lead to the loss of the property. Even after these clauses were no longer enforceable, many who platted new land and homes still included the racist language. This was meant to tell the potential buyer what type of neighborhood they would be moving into. The Spokane area has many neighborhoods that have a racial covenant in the property records. Williams H. Cowles, Jr., the second-generation owner of The Spokesman-Review and many other companies, is one prominent Spokanite who included these covenants in the land he platted. The Comstock Park 2nd Addition was created in 1953 using land owned by the Cowles on Spokane’s South Hill. Several hundred homes were originally platted and 150 still remain today. They all contain the same clauses, with the third clause stating, “No race or nationality other than the white race shall use or occupy any building on any lot, except that this covenant shall not prevent occupancy by domestic servants of a different race or nationality employed by an owner or tenant.” This clause still remains in the records today. Since his passing in 1970, the family put out a statement disassociating with the covenants. They stated that, “such racial segregation is offensive and in no way represents our company or family values.” The poster expands on how William H. Cowles, Jr. platted an area intended solely for those who are white.