On the morning of May 12, 1873, James Glover awoke on the dirt floor of a roofless log cabin where he had just spent his first night in Spokane. As he rolled out of his blankets, he told himself, "I am going to see the falls." He was soon sitting on "a great rock" overlooking the Spokane River. Remembering the moment many years later, Glover wrote: "I gave myself completely over to admiration and wonder at the beautiful, clear stream that was pouring into the kettle and over the falls." He was so engrossed that he let himself be soaked by the spray: "I sat there, unconscious of anything but the river, gazing and wondering and admiring."
The river must have been magnificent that day. The spring run-off would have sent water surging past the rocks and islands. "I was enchanted-overwhelmed-with the beauty and grandeur of everything I saw," wrote Glover. "It lay just as nature had made it, with nothing to mar its virgin glory." While awestruck by the falls, Glover also experienced a different, but equally powerful sensation-acquisitiveness. Having seen the river's beauty, he made a fateful choice: "I determined that I would possess it."
"Possession" was the key word. Glover was possessed by the falls, and at the same time he was eager to possess them.