Patsy Clark Mansion
Some entities have high standards for wine and aren’t afraid to show their displeasure!
This National Register of Historic Places structure, which is treasured by the community, is a 12,000 square foot, three story 1897 mansion. On its second floor, it houses the law offices of Eymann, Allison Fennessy, Hunter and Jones. After it was bought by a separate legal entity formed by this law firm’s partners, Spokane Civic Group LLC, for 1.03 million dollars in February 2003, an extensive 1 million dollar renovation effort began to restore the original finery when it was built to be “the most luxurious mansion ever.”
Though this massive fixer-upper project was supposed to be done six months ago as of November 7, 2005, quite a lot was still accomplished to a mansion looking a little long in the tooth, and in need of some TLC.
Practical matters such as installing a new roof, pulling up carpets, redoing the hardwood floors, and replacing the electrical wiring, plumbing and irrigation systems for the yard, were accomplished. The mansion’s decks and nine fireplaces, east patio, and boarded up windows near the old restaurant kitchen were restored.
To bring the mansion into the 21st century, a new bathroom was built on the first floor, which matched the nearby dining room. Each room in the mansion has its own heating and ventilation unit.
One of the rooms on the first floor will be usable soon as a meeting rental for local organizations. It will offer removable tables, a “retractable projection screen” and 20 computer hook-ups.
Consultants were brought in to be sure that the renovation was historically accurate, as both the general repair and detail work were carefully done by craftsmen and other restoration experts.
The wood inside, among other things, needed hours of repair and restoration due to age and prolonged wear-and-tear as a restaurant. But the final result will likely be stunning, especially the columns near the breathtaking Tiffany stained-glass windows.
Some mansion artifacts were sent away to experts to be cleaned and restored, such as the mid-1800s German monastery wall coverings, which went to an expert living in Moscow.
The Irish came to Eastern Washington in the time period of 1845-1870. They played a key role in building up the economic structure in Spokane. One such gentleman was businessman and millionaire Patrick “Patsy” Clark, who made his fortune in the mining industry, and came into his own in the late 1800s. He was considered a leading figure among Spokane’ s social and financial elite.
The Spokane fire of 1889 destroyed quite a few mansions, including Clark’s. Unfazed, he rebuilt himself a more glorious and elaborate mansion, using the skills of famed architect Kirkland Kelsey Cutter, who rebuilt most of the buildings and homes in Spokane, which blessed the city with more beauty than before.
The new mansion and its furnishings cost a whopping $13,000,000 dollars, which was a substantial chunk of money, even by today’s standards. Only the very best would do. Both Patsy Clark and the architect Kirkland Cutter traveled the world looking for the right materials and furnishings. “Mrs. Clark met her callers in a room with golden lined chairs and silk curtains. The library rug was said to have cost $17,000 and the grandfather clock was made in England and the chandeliers were ordered from Tiffany of New York.”
Behind the mansion was the combination carriage house and stable, for both carriages and an assortment of animals. “It housed two Shetland ponies, two Newfoundland dogs and a wicker basket cart, a driving horse for the two wheel cart, two lighter horses for the Spider, two heavy horses for the Landau, and a cow. In those days there was no real dairy, so most of the elite kept their own cow.”
Patsy and his wife Mary loved their new home and lived there until their deaths. Patrick died in 1915 and Mary passed on in 1926.
The mansion was sold to an investor, Eugene Enloe. It then passed through a series of owners, who put it to work, so to speak. At one point it was the Francis Lester Inn, a restaurant and reception/event establishment until 1982. When new owners bought it, they restored the aging building and opened a high class restaurant, which was closed in May 2002 after a twenty-year run.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Not much is known as to who haunts the wine cellar and basement. One theory is that the quality of wine served wasn’t up to a certain entity’s standards, or perhaps it was their way to get some chuckles at the expense of employees.
The old wine cellar in the basement was reported to be the play area of three entities, whose antics were reported by employees of the various restaurants and inn who called the mansion home.
a) At various times of the day and night during business hours, the living have felt and observed an unseen presence or two pick up items in the basement wine cellar, usually wine bottles, and throw them across the room for chuckles and perhaps to make a statement of protest to startle those employees unlucky enough to be picked to go down and get the wine.
b) Cold spots have probably been felt.
Unless they were exorcised, the entities may still be there, but perhaps may be a little bored. Renovations and restorations of old mansions have been known to activate entities, so more paranormal activity may be experienced by those who use the mansion now.
2208 West Second Avenue
The Patsy Clark Mansion is now home to offices and holds receptions.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr