- Spokane House
Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian
North West Companyunder direction of David Thompson. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane Riverand Little Spokane River. Today this site is in the U.S. stateof Washingtonnear the city of Spokane.
When established it was the North West Company's farthest outpost in the
Columbia Riverregion.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 Companyfounded 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 Companytook 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 Percefor a supply of horses. Despite several proposals to abandon Spokane House it remained popular among company employees and kept its status until Fort Nez Percéstook 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 Colvillewas 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.
*GNIS|1511560|Spokane House Historic Site
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