The settlement that would become Sprague began as a sheep camp in the 1870s. The town was originally called Hoodooville after early settler William Burrows, also known as Hoodoo Billy. Sprague served as the construction headquarters for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which established a regional repair center at this location in 1880 and designated Sprague a major division point. The town was named after John W. Sprague, a general superintendent of the Northern Pacific. The town plat was filed on December 27, 1880.Sprague boomed during the early 1880s, boasting 13 saloons and nearly 1,800 residents. The town was incorporated on November 28, 1883. Beginning in 1885 it was the main sheep-shearing ground for the region and wool sheared here was shipped to the East Coast via the Northern Pacific.A major fire on August 3, 1895, destroyed virtually all the Northern Pacific's property. The Northern Pacific opted not to rebuild the railroad roundhouse at Sprague, instead moving the terminus to Spokane. This dealt a major blow to Sprague's economy. The fire and subsequent decision by the Northern Pacific Railroad to not rebuild in the town resulted in the relocation of the county seat, held by Sprague after an election in 1884, to Davenport in 1896 after a controversial vote. In 1959 the United States Air Force located an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile site outside Sprague, part of a system of Cold War defense missiles located within a 200-mile radius of Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane County. The Air Force dismantled the Sprague site in 1967. Other Atlas missile sites in Lincoln County were constructed at Davenport, Reardan, Lamona, and Wilbur. Missiles were stored in underground reinforced-concrete structures. All these sites had been dismantled by the late 1960s.
Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church in Sprague, Washington was originally built in 1883. The current church was built in a Gothic Revival style and erected in 1902, just south of the site of the original church and blessed by the Bishop of Nesqually. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1990.
RESOLUTION NO. 210
A FAIR HOUSING RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SPRAGUE.
LET IT BE KNOWN TO ALL PERSONS of the City of Sprague, County of Lincoln that discrimination in the sale, rental, leasing, financing of housing or land to be used for construction of housing, or in the provision of brokerage services because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapped or familial status is prohibited by the Federal Fair Housing Act. It is the policy of the City of Sprague to ensure equal opportunity in housing for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapped or familial status. Therefore, the City of Sprague does hereby pass the following Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that within available resources the City of Sprague will assist all persons who feel they have been discriminated against because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicapped or familial status to seek equity under federal and state laws by filing a complaint with the Washington Human Rights Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Seattle Regional Office Compliance Division.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Sprague shall publicize this Resolution and through this publicity shall cause owners of real estate, developers and builders, to become aware of their respective responsibilities and rights under the Federal Fair Housing Law and any applicable state or local laws or ordinances.
SAID PROGRAM will at a minimum include, but not be limited to: (1) the printing and publicizing of this policy and other applicable fair housing information through local media and community contacts; (2) distribution of posters, flyers and any other means which will bring to the attention of those affected, the knowledge of their respective responsibilities and rights concerning equal opportunity in housing.
PASSED by unanimous vote of the City Council of the City of Sprague this 5th day of August 2003.