Spokane House

Spokane House

Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian North West Company under direction of David Thompson. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane River and Little Spokane River. Today this site is in the U.S. state of Washington near the city of Spokane.

When established it was the North West Company's farthest outpost in the Columbia River region.cite book |last= Meinig |first= D.W. |authorlink= D.W. Meinig |title= The Great Columbia Plain |origyear= 1968 |edition= Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classic edition |year= 1995 |publisher= University of Washington Press |isbn= 0-295-97485-0 |pages= pp. 51, 57]

In 1812 the Pacific Fur Company founded a rival post, known as Fort Spokane, immediately adjacent, and declared to the native peoples of the region their readiness to compete for furs. Trapping parties were sent out over the winter to the Coeur d'Alene, Kootenay, and Flathead districts, previously controlled by the North West Company. When in 1813 the North West Company bought out the Pacific Fur Company during the War of 1812, Fort Spokane was merged into Spokane House. [ [http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=5101 "John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company establishes Fort Spokane in 1812" HistoryLink.org Essay 5101] ]

Even before the Hudson's Bay Company took over North West Company in 1821, problems with the location of Spokane House were evident. It was the North West Company's central depot in the interior, but was poorly connected to other posts and depended upon large pack trains, making the company dependent upon the Nez Perce for a supply of horses. Despite several proposals to abandon Spokane House it remained popular among company employees and kept its status until Fort Nez Percés took over as the main interior post in 1818. Even then Spokane House continued to operate for many years.

When the Hudson's Bay Company took over in 1821 Spokane House was finally abandoned, in part because it was too far from the Columbia River. The new post of Fort Colville was built to take on the local role Spokane House had played.

Archeological digs were carried out at the Spokane House site in 1950-53 and 1962-63.


External links

*GNIS|1511560|Spokane House Historic Site


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