MARK TWAIN
SPOKANE, Washington
August 7, 1895
Two ambulances were sent to the hotel for our party and Adjutant-General Ruggles,
who is here on a tour of inspection. "Mark" rose early and said he would walk to the fort slowly;
he thought it would do him good.

General Ruggles and the ladies went in one ambulance (the old four-mule army officers' ambulance)
and the other waited some little time before starting, that I might complete arrangements
for all the party to go direct from the fort to the depot.

 I was the only passenger riding with the driver, and enjoying the memory of like experiences on
the plains when in the army. We were about half way to the fort when I discovered a man walking
 hurriedly toward us quite a distance to the left.

I was sure it was "Mark," and asked the driver to slow up. In a minute I saw him signal us, and
 I asked the driver to turn and drive toward him.

We were on a level plain, and through that clear mountain atmosphere one can see a great distance.

We were not long in reaching our man, much to his relief. He had walked out alone and
taken the wrong road, and after walking five or six miles on it, discovered his mistake,
and was countermarching when he saw our ambulance and ran across lots to meet us.

He was tired -- too tired to express disgust -- and sat quietly inside the ambulance until
 we drove up to headquarters, where were a number of officers and ladies, besides our party.
As "Mark" stepped out, a colored sergeant laid hands on him, saying:

"Are you 'Mark Twain'?"

"I am," he replied.

"I have orders to arrest and take you to the guardhouse."

"All right."

And the sergeant walked him across the parade ground to the guardhouse, he not uttering a word of protest.

Immediately Lieutenant-Colonel Burt and the ambulance hurried over to relieve the prisoner.

Colonel Burt very pleasantly asked "Mark's" pardon for the practical joke and invited him to ride back to headquarters. "Mark" said:
Mark Twain's party arrive August 7, 1895 and stayed at the Spokane House.
He lectured to a small crowd at the New Opera House.
Neither he nor the house owner were pleased with the turnout but Maj. Pond noted
 "where he expected the people to come from I don't know."


The FIRST "SPOKANE HOUSE" was really a Fort.
For years, Spokane House was a bright refuge for the few white men.
Dances and parties were held in the storage rooms for the entertainment of the men and their neighbors, helping them all to endure the long cold winters. The gates of the fort were never closed, as the relationships that were established were truly peaceful and friendly.Between the years of 1813 and 1825, Spokane House prospered.
In 1821, the Hudson's Bay Company combined with the North west Company. Governor Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company visited the post in 1825. He decided that because the swift Spokane River was unnavigable, and the furs were being depleted in the local area, requiring long overland treks, the facilities of the company should be moved. Simpson chose a spot on the Upper Columbia near Kettle Falls that could be reached by boat from the sea. He called the spot Fort Colville.

Today the story of Spokane House is told at the Spokane House Interpretive Center.

It was an enjoyable ride to Spokane, where we arrived at 11:30, and put up at the Spokane House,
the largest hotel I ever saw. It was a large commercial building, covering an entire block, revamped into a hotel.
A whole store was diverted into one bedroom, and nicely furnished, too.
Reporters were in waiting to interview the distinguished guest. "Mark" is gaining strength and is enjoying everything,
so the interviewers had a good time.

We spent all day, August 8th, in Spokane. The hotel was full.
The new receiver and his gay party are also spending the day here, but all leave just before the time set for the lecture.

In the forenoon "Mark" and I walked about this remarkable city, with its asphalt streets, electric lights,
 nine-story telegraph poles, and commercial blocks that would do credit to any Eastern city.
There were buildings ten stories high, with the nine top stories empty, and there were many fine stores with
 great plate-glass fronts, marked "To Rent."

In the afternoon our entire party drove about the city in an open carriage.
Our driver pointed out some beautiful suburban residences and told us who occupied them.

"That house," he said, as we drove by a palatial establishment, "is where Mr. Brown lives.
He is receiver for the Spokane Bank, which failed last year for over $2,000,000.
You all know about that big failure, of course. The receiver lives there."

Pointing out another house, he said: "That man living up in that big house is receiver for the Great Falls Company.
It failed for nearly a million.
The president and directors of that company are most all in the State prison.
And this yere house that we are coming to now is where the receiver of the Washington Gas and Water Company lives," etc.

"Mark" said to the ladies: "If I had a son to send West, I would educate him for a receiver.
 It seems to be about the only thriving industry."
By:
Major Pond

CLICK !
Perhaps this is where Mark Twain put on his show.
The Auditorium Theater Building, Spokane, WA. Built 1890,
was the civic center for early Spokane. Demolished 1934.

CLICK !