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Quick Summary

Newman Lake was named after William Newman who settled on the southern portion of the lake around 1860.  Many explorers and traders from the Hudson's Bay company constructed gardens at Newman Lake more than 145 years ago, just as they did on the west side of Liberty Lake (for more on William Newman, see the next page).

In the 1880's, pioneers caught trout in Liberty Lake and transplanted them to Newman.  A federal government fish tank railroad car was parked at Moab, on the Northern Pacific main line.  In 1887, residents carried carp to Newman Lake in buckets. 

Excursion trains from Spokane use to run to Moab, where busses and stages took took passengers three miles to the lake.  At one time on the lake there were four hotels, each one doing a brisk business.  The earliest was W.J. Day's place at the south end of the lake.  E.J. Chingren bought the Gillett Park hotel in 1912 and subsequently sold it in 1933 after making some add-ons to the place.  The Day place was still standing in the late 50's as a farmhouse.  But, today it is history.  Chingren built an extension of the old road from Sutton bay to Gillett Park, and he built about 15 cabins.  His hotel and cabins were sold to F.W. and Robert Kolbe in 1933.  In the late 1950's they were owned by the Evangelical United Brethren church, which built a chapel in the grove in the rear of the property.

On the east side of the lake in the 1920's were the Newman Lake hotel, (standing in the late 50's; not sure who has the property now), and the 26-room Taylor hotel near the eastern extremity, which burned in 1934.  A rancher named G.L. O'Neil, from the north end of the lake bought the location now called Honeymoon Bay for a down payment of $45.  He later sold it for more than $35,000 to Ray Hathaway, who later developed and ran the spot, with its dance hall, restaurant, store and cottages for some 15 years.  He later sold it to Ed Letzring who operated it in the 1950's.


The Moab area was originally settled by Martin O'Brien who came to Spokane County in 1880.  After he and Bridget McAuliff were married in 1897 they leased the former William Newman property and moved to the former Newman property.  The Newman's original homestead property was 160 acres covering the West 1/4th of Section 13, Township 26.  The land was bordered on the west by Starr Road, on the South by Moffat Road and on the east by McCoy Road.  In 1900 Martin purchased property on both sides of Starr Road, just north of the intersection with Trent Road. In 1903, he opened his general store where the gas station is now. His son Johnny, opened his gas station and garage on the west side of Starr in 1922  in the present location of the Newman Lake Scope office.

Other settlers, Martin and Bridget McAuliffe, bought property on both sides of Starr Road in 1900 just north of Trent and built their general store on the east side of Starr a few years later.  Their son Johnny built a garage on the west side of Starr in 1922 in the present location of the Newman Lake Scope office (photos below). 

Gillett Hotel

Looking from the north end. This hotel was located on the far west side of the lake.

Post Card

Gillett hotel, then Kolbe's, then the Evangelical church owned this property. Not standing now, the area has cottages and homes.

The Day Hotel

At the south end of the lake taken around 1908.

Moab in 1922

Moab as it looked in 1922. Martin O' Briens store is on the right with their barn in the background. The barn was moved to the Maurer residence and is still in use today. Johhny O'Briens garage is on the left. Photo compliments of Peggy Cunningham.

The O'Brien Garage

Located in Moab approximately 1922. Photo compliments of Peggy Cunningham.


  Please send us via email any historical information or photo's that you have.

Early Platt Map of the Southern Portion of the Lake

We are looking for a similar map of the rest of the lake.  If anyone has a copy, please contact us.

Click on the small photo below to enlarge the photograph.

Larger Version of Map

This is the same map as above. But, larger to view and read.

Links to Historical Photos and Submitted Material

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    Joe Engeser