Jaco Finlay

You are standing at the grave of Jacques "Jaco" Finlay (1769-1828). Finlay was a Canadian trader for The Northwest Company. Jaco's father, James Finlay from Scotland, established a fort in Canada and married a woman from the Saulteaux tribe for his second marriage. Jaco become a clerk for The Northwest Company and he aided in fighting off a Blackfoot raid at his post in June 1794. One raider stood to encourage his followers, and Jaco shot him dead. The attackers retreated, and Finlay took off on horseback to warn other posts of the raiding party.

In 1810, Finlay was directed to establish a post near Spokane to serve the people in that area. Members of the Spokane Tribe guided him to a spot where a great abundance of fishing took place at the junction of the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers. He took control of the trading post and it became the center for trading, transport and messages. The post was named Spokane House, but Finlay was such an integral part of the activities that it became known as "Jaco Land."

Jaco Finlay died in May 1828 and was buried under the old bastion on the southwest corner of Spokane House, but his body wouldn't be here for long. In September 1951, Finlay's grave was unearthed and his remains (and belongings) were stored at the Eastern Washington Historical Society for two decades. Then on July 25th, 1976, Jaco Finlay was reburied at the request of his great granddaughter. He was reburied at his original resting place, under the old bastion at Spokane House.



Douglass visits Jaco Finlay
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