You are now standing in front of the foundation of what once was an officers house.
The officers and enlisted men of Fort Spokane were divided by a wide social gulf, as evident with the differences in their living quarters. Officers lived in houses across the parade grounds from the enlisted men's barracks.
Most officers lived in double sets while the higher ranking officers lived in single occupancy dwellings. Many even had quarters for their Chinese servants located behind their house.
The social gulf can also be seen in the pay gap between the officers and enlisted men. An infantry private's pay was only $13 for the first ten years and $18 after, while a second lieutenant earned $140 after 10 years. To put these wages into perspective, a quart of milk at that time would have generally cost around .56 cents. In general, soldiers during this era earned very little and were enlisted for much longer periods than currently. For example, all 4th Infantry officers from captain on up at Fort Spokane, had fought in the Civil War. One of the post commanders, Maj. Leslie Smith had joined the Army in 1849 as a private. However, despite long military careers opportunities for advancement were very seldom.
The social gulf even extended into the officers ranks as well; non-commissioned officers were housed not in the comfortable houses, but in the bottom section of the barracks with the enlisted men.