1881 Bavaria Brewery
Backstory and Context
In the spring of 1881, Cheney was riding high. It was the seat of Spokane County government, new businesses were being opening, and even more were being planned.
Saying that the artesian spring well water of Cheney was of superior quality, Mr. Edward P. Edson of Walla Walla, built a brewery at the south end of B Street. The Bavaria Brewery opened in March 1881. The original building was 40 by 60 feet. Later additions expanded the capacity of the operation.
The brewery was one of the first established in eastern Washington Territory and soon controlled the beer trade throughout the Coeur d'Alene mining district in Idaho. The brewery passed through a number of owners during its 29 years of operation.
It was the bad luck of Alois Schmidt, that shortly after he took over the business, the citizens of Cheney voted for a local prohibition. All manufacturing and sales of alcohol were forbidden as of March 1, 1910. Schmidt turned the building into a boarding house, but his bad luck continued. In July 1916, the building burned down in a suspicious fire. The following day, Alois Schmidt ended his own life.
Cheney Free Press