Amasa B. Campbell was born in Salem, Ohio on April 6, 1845. Mr. Campbell went to school until he was 15 years old when he began working at the wool and trade commission. By 1867 Mr. Campbell took a job with the Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha until the line was completed. In 1871 he got his first mining experience in Utah. In 1887 Mr. Campbell came to Spokane and began his formal partnership with Mr. John A. Finch. The resulting firm, Finch & Campbell became synonymous with success in mining in the inland northwest.
Mr. Campbell and his business partner John Finch were ultimately successful in founding the Standard and Mammoth mines in the vicinity of Wallace, Idaho. These mines became so successful that by 1903, they sold the mines for $3,000,000 to a joint venture backed by the Rockefeller and the Gould families.
Not everything went smoothly for the mining company, in 1892 Mr. Campbell made the front page of the Lawrence Daily Journal when he was caught in the midst of a labor dispute between union and non-union miners. During the labor strike and violence, Mr. Campbell and Mr. Finch found it was advantageous to bring in non-union "scab," miners from northern California by rail.
The Campbell family lived on First St. in Browne's Addition, this was home for Mr. Amasa B. Campbell, his wife Grace and their daughter, Helen. Amasa Campbell died on February 16th, 1912. After his passing it was said of him "He judged his fellowmen not by wealth but by individual worth, and true worth on the part of anyone could win his friendship and regard."
The Campbell House was built in 1898 and constructed for $30,000, although estimates for the house and the custom furnishings place the home at a total cost of $70,000. Renowned architect Kirtland K Cutter designed not only the architecture but the furnishings as well. One of the interior highlights of the home is the renowned gold reception room, which Cutter borrowed from the rococo French style. No house of this stature would be complete without a game room. The game room simply belonged to the men, who used the room to play cards and billiards, the game room was the 19th century equivalent of a modern man cave.
The house been restored from 1984-2001 by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, who aimed to restore it as best they could. Unfortunately the original furniture was sold and the MAC has done its best to use photographs and accounts of the home to re-create the furnishings. In 1924 W.W. Powell (formerly Helen Campbell) donated the house to the Eastern Washington Historical Society, who is now known as the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Guided tours of the house are available and are included in your entrance fee to the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, inquire at the admissions desk.