By guest blogger John Stevens.
Nestled on 12 lush acres above the shores of Hayden Lake is one of the most magnificent country estates in the Northwest. The Clark House, named in honor of its original owners F. Lewis & Winifred Clark, was completed in 1910. Originally a lavish summer retreat for the Clarks, sophisticated East Coast transplants who amassed a fortune in booming turn-of-the-century Spokane, it was the most expensive home ever built in Idaho at the time. Modeled after Kaiser Wilhelm’s summer palace in the Swiss Alps, the mansion was furnished with the finest European furnishings. There were gardens, boathouses, tennis courts – even a private zoo. The Clarks hosted lavish parties at the
mansion for the region’s elite. But the party came to end just a few years later. Soon after arriving at their winter home in Santa Barbara in January, 1913, F. Lewis Clark mysteriously disappeared into the night, never to be seen again. Less than 10 years later Winifred Clark, heartbroken and destitute, lost the mansion to foreclosure. Years passed and ultimately the home was slated for fire demolition.
Present owner Monty Danner, who, with partner Rod Palmer, reopened this estate as a country inn in 1990. Today, Mark Danner, Monty’s son, continues the Clarks’ legacy, welcoming guests from around the world to experience the Clark House as a luxury bed & breakfast and fine dining establishment.
The experience this estate provides is unsurpassed. Accommodations include 10 rooms and suites, 4 with fireplace, all with private bath; gourmet breakfast included. For dinner, savor chef Kevin Kneisly’s take on classic American and Continental cuisine, while exploring the extensive wine list. Summer bar service features entertainment by renowned pianist Ron Pass, full cocktail menu and light meals. Dining & piano bar are by reservation only.
The Clark House is a true Idaho gem with a great history. Stop by and enjoy!