Not far from where I live, there’s a geographic feature known as the Dragon’s Teeth. This is a series of stone markers erected during the late 1930s.
This was the era of the Civilian Conservation Corps, an employment program during the Great Depression. At the time, a gentleman named R. L. Rutter lived on an isolated property to the north of Spokane. The access road was little better than a wagon trail. It was so narrow that if two vehicles met each other, one would have to back up and let the other get through.
The crafty land holder devised a plan to improve the situation. Rutter volunteered as supervisor, and the CCC workers of Company 949 built an actual road. As a safety measure, they lined the sides with 400 or so large granite stones quarried from nearby hillsides. Work was completed in February of 1938. Because of their fang-like shapes, the installation was dubbed “The Dragon’s Teeth.” The road was named Rutter Parkway in honor of the land holder.
The Dragon’s Teeth have remained in place for 77 years, despite a few careless drivers and the occasional landslide. However, the County has recently determined that the route needs to be rebuilt to take modern vehicles into account. For this to happen, the Dragon’s Teeth will have to be removed.
Various proposals have been made to relocate or re-use the “teeth,” some of which are 5 feet tall. A nearby natural area might use some to mark its parking lot. City and county parks, museums, and historical societies have also been approached for ideas. So although the Dragon’s Teeth may be pulled and placed in storage, I hope they will be seen again — even if not all 400 stand together.