Spokane House was a fur trading post founded in 1810 by the British-Canadian North West Company under direction of David Thompson, and built by Jaco Finlay. The post was sited on a peninsula where the Spokane River and Little Spokane River meet. Today this site is in Spokane County in the U.S. state of Washington, just northwest of the city of Spokane.
In 1812 the Pacific Fur Company founded a rival post, known as Fort Spokane, located 35 miles west at the confluence of the Spokane and Columbia Rivers, 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.
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. In 1846 by the Oregon Treaty Britain ceded all claims to lands in Oregon Country south of the 49th parallel to the U.S.A.
Archeological digs were carried out at the Spokane House site in 1950-53 and 1962-63.
- Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
- Meinig, D.W. (1995) . The Great Columbia Plain (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classic edition ed.). University of Washington Press. pp. 51, 57. ISBN 0-295-97485-0.
- National Park Service. "Fort Spokane". Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Washington. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
- John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company establishes Fort Spokane in 1812 HistoryLink.org Essay 5101
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