The Western House – c.1876

Spokane Falls, W.T. as it looked a few years after the Western House opened and more people began settling in Spokane. (Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Digital Archives)

Architect/Builder: Dr. James Henry Masterson

In the rough and tumble streets of the city of Spokane Falls, there were zero options for those who came to the city unsure as to whether or not they were ready to settle.  The Western Hotel met the needs of these miners and cowboys.  Considered a real pioneer hotel, the people who stayed here were used to bare plank tables and dirt floors.  Their main concern was a warm place to rest their heads.  The hotel was small and featured a main floor area used for eating, cooking, and meeting, and a ladder to the second floor where guests slept on bear skin and buffalo hides.  The guest who paid their fifty cents first got the best set of the bunch.  There were no maids to care for the guests – it was every man for himself.  In 1880, Dr. Masterson moved his family to Sandpoint, Idaho and built a hotel there.  It is unknown what happened to the Western Hotel after this time. 

Find Me! NW Corner of Front and Stevens St.

View The California House

Sources: “Settlers Wouldn’t Trade in Nickles.” The Spokane Press. March 13, 1910.

Lewis, William S. “David Masterman Tells of City’s First Hotel.” Spokesman-Review. June 21, 1925. 

Jansen, Elizabeth C. “Spokane’s First Hotels.” Spokesman-Review. October 10, 1959.

Emahiser, Bob. “Upstairs ‘Corral’ Was a Big Hotel Attraction.” Spokane Daily Chronicle. July 23, 1964.