of best known mining men in the United States in the late 19th
Century, Patrick Clark was born in Ireland on March 17, 1852. Because he
was born on St. Patrick’s Day, he was named Patrick, but, was more
familiarly known as “Patsy.”
At the age of just 18 years, the hard-working
young man made his way to the United States in 1870 aboard the SS
Marathon. After his arrival in New York, he set off for
to make his fortune. Devoting his energy and attention to every detail,
Clark soon mastered the mining business.
In 1876 he made his way to Butte, Montana,
where he became closely associated with Marcus Daly, who he worked for as
the foreman of the Alice Mine. In 1877, Clark participated in the Battle
of Big Hole of the Nez Perce War, under Senator William A. Clark, as major
in command, with General John Gibbon as commander-in-chief.
By the end of the 1870s, he was working as
a superintendent of mines at the
mines in Virginia City, Nevada.
While in Butte, he met his wife Mary Stack, whom he married on St.
Patrick’s Day, 1881. The couple would eventually have six children.
That same year, he opened the Anaconda Mine for Daly, where he also
worked as foreman. He continued to be associated with Daly for the
next several years. Afterwards, he worked with ex-Senator William
Clark of Montana
in his mining enterprises.
Watchful of opportunity, he went to
in 1887 and opened up the Poor Man Mine in the Coeur d'Alene District.
He was part owner of this mine and acted as general manager. Later he
operated at Rossland, British Columbia, Canada where he opened the War
Eagle Mine in association with two men by the names of Finch and
Campbell. The Republic Mine in Ferry County, Washington
was also opened by Clark in 1896.
In 1889, his mansion as well as several
others burned in the Great Fire of Spokane. But, having already made a
fortune by this time, he hired architect Kirkland Cutter to design an
even better one.
He sent Cutter abroad to gather
inspiration and furnishings, and when the massive 12,000 foot home was
completed in 1898, it was the talk of the town, if not the entire west
coast. The 3 ˝ story extravaganza, suggesting Spanish and Moorish
influences, included rounded corner towers and arched loggias. The
exterior sandstone was imported from Italy and the brick was made in St. Louis, Missouri.
The interior included custom made Tiffany lamps and chandeliers made
in New York, onyx fireplaces, 14-foot stained glass windows, golden
lined chairs, silk curtains and a grandfather clock that was said to
have cost $17,000. Behind the mansion was the combination of carriage
house and stable. Sparing no expense, the mansion and its furnishing
Though the Clarks entertained lavishly and
loved their new home, Patsy continued with his mining ventures. In
1903, he brought his mining expertise to Southern Oregon,
agreeing to take over operation of 14 consolidated claims along the
Blue Ledge lode that spanned the
border south of the Applegate Valley.
Later, in 1906, he founded the Furnace
Creek Copper Company and established the settlement of
In addition to the many mines in the American West, he was also and an
extensive investor in Canada and Mexico. Coming to America with little
or no money, he became a wealthy man by working hard and learning
everything he could about the mining industry.
Patsy and his wife continued to live in
their extravagant mansion until their deaths. Patrick died in 1915 and
Mary passed on in 1926. Their mansion was then sold to an investor by
the name of Eugene Enloe. Passing through a series of hands over the
years, the mansion began to deteriorate and by the 1970’s, it barely
Though the owners at the time knew they could sell its furnishings for
more than they had paid for the property, they worked with the city for a
zoning exemption to allow converting the beautiful old mansion to a
restaurant. The city agreed and the mansion was soon opened as the Francis
Lester Inn, a restaurant and reception/event establishment, which operated
until 1982. It then sold again, was restored and re-opened as a high class
restaurant known as Patsy Clark’s Restaurant. After operating for 20
years, it also closed and the building was sold again. It was then
purchased by the law firm of Eyman, Allison, Hunter, and Jones, who have
restored the building to its former glory. Today, the mansion's second and
third floors now house the law firm's offices, while its main level is
available for private catered events including receptions, small
luncheons, dinner parties, and weddings. Placed on the National Historic
Register in 1975, the mansion is located at 2208 W. Second Avenue in
Browne's Addition Historic District in Spokane, Washington.