Our History

The White Elephant is a local, family owned sporting goods and toy retailer that has become a Spokane landmark. In 1946, after returning from his service in WWII, John R. Conley Sr. founded The White Elephant selling war surplus. John began to build the store’s inventory based on his passions of fishing, outdoor recreation and finding the best deal. After John’s marriage to Mary E. Condon in 1949 and the birth of the first of their eleven children in 1950, the White Elephant began selling toys. With their children, grandchildren, extended family, and dear friends closely involved in the business, many opportunities for expansion presented themselves. But John always settled on keeping the business a small, local operation. The White Elephant was born out of troubled times; prospered with the support of faith, family, friends, and patrons; and continues to be known for its unique brand and love of the Spokane community.

Founded on a love of family and fishing.