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tv   Campbell House  CSPAN  September 3, 2017 2:30pm-2:40pm EDT

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year-by-year. initially -- it took about two years to get the buildings out and put grass. it's mainly now these i believe there's in the neighborhood million dollars, going into refurbishing the park. fairt only was the beneficial immediately, in terms nowransforming spokane, but for the better part of 50 years later, there's still momentum that began there that is part of the experience of that place, the place of the middle of spokane. all weekend, american history tv is featuring spokane, washington. this teacher many sites with their history. located -- and the eastern part of the state about 280 miles tom seattle, this is home
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hundreds of thousands of people. learn more about how can all weekend here on american his three tv. >> only offer the house to the republic, one of our purposes is i thinkthe community -- a house offers an exhibition style than a gallery. a historic house can relate to it. lots of people live in different kinds of houses, so it is a way of connecting. we are using that as a bridge to work about all kinds of people who may come to the door and what the community was like around it and what the issues of the times were. even beyond that, how does spokane
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fit into the bigger national picture. >> the house was designed by kirkland cutter. it was billed as one of eight houses that were designed and built at the same time. all of them looked different on the exterior but have a mix of styles and the interior, which was the trend of the day. i would say the home is fairly basic, with big funnels we had to the town. power came to spokane and electricity came early after its invention. this house was furnished with electric lights, which were fairly rare at that time. we are standing in the den. it is the lowest level. it is the only lowest level. it is the only finished room in the basement area of campbell house. it was finished to be a game room for mr. campbell and his friends. they moved here primarily for the mining operation. a head
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investors in the ohio area, were looking to take the honey they had in steel mills and invest in the west. they sent the stir campbell and his partner out to the valley of northern idaho to look at some of the mines that were being explored -- potential mines. they liked what they saw and sent back word, and ended up investing not only the funds, but a little bit of their own. when the minds -- mines became successful, so today. you can imagine mine owners sitting around a table talking about all kinds of issues. they were frustrated with the railroads to cause they were being charge exorbitant rates for rail transportation of the ore. there was a lot of conversation on how to work with railroads. there
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was concern about labor unrest in 1892 and 1899. i think some of that might have prompted some of these owners to moving to spokane instead of staying in the smaller areas near the mines. a historic house needs to tell as many stories as they can, and stories about different kinds of people. when of the best ways we can do that is to feature some of the servants who worked in the households that helped make it tick. obviously, there was a lot of work to managing a household of this size. we know from reconstructing the records and letters and city directories, we have come up with the names of
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104 people who worked for the campbells when they lived in this place. they're generally was a coachman, a gardener, a cook, and least an upstairs maid and downstairs made. it ranged from five to seven employees that helped make this place operate. in being able to identify people, we have been building biographies for them it gives them a wonderful way to talk about and i think one of my favorites is iris nelson who was a swedish girl who sister had
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actually left sweden and move to whitefish, montana and earned very enough money to send back to her sister. she emigrated in 1918 to america to whitefish. she did not speak english, so she got off at the wrong train stop and went through some of the same stories. she decided not to stay in whitefish. she came to spokane where a lot of scandinavians were living. what is really wonderful is we have a series of letters written from her family to her, both in whitefish and while she was working at campbell house, and then after she married and moved in spokane. for a long time, the family had swedish letters and they had never seen the translation, so we were able to find a translator and the letters are extremely poignant. in 18 -- 1918 and 1919, sweden was involved with world war i or impacting sweeting -- a sweden. it turns out she came from a very poor farming family, and the letters break your heart when they talk about please send us any extra cash you have earned or please send any close you are not using. any length of
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time that it took for those to travel, whether it is a letter or check or clothing , is really obvious when you start reading through the letters. i wanted to show a couple of these that i think are really interesting. here is the envelope. it is addressed to this house. this letter was posted january 30, 1919. on the back of it it is opened and you can tell it is basically world war i and things are being censored in the mail. she writes a little letter here.
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again, it is all in swedish. our translation says one of the phrases is, i want to you if you could in some way help me by sending me $10. this is coming in from her sister in sweden. i would like to buy a coat in the near future as they are cheaper. it will cost at least 40 or 50 krone. i do have some from wages, but not very much. i wish you can send more, but it won't go through the mail. you get a sense of personal family struggles. you have photographs that i was brought with her -- iris brought with her. we have her inspection card when she came into the country and her immigration papers as well. being able to put a real story to the idea of working in a house like this helps us a great deal. touring and historic house is fun to see the aspects. i hope people catch on to the issues and concerns that people had in the past and how they will had in the past and how
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they dealt with that kind of thing. we're on the campus of gonzaga university, we will visit the archives and special collections to look at documents from the tokyo war crimes tribunal's in 1946. stephanie: today, we are at a


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