John A. Finch Mansion

Browne's Addition Tour

The Finch mansion is a private residence. Please observe the residences privacy by remaining on the sidewalk as you examine this historic home.

The Finch mansion was designed and built by renowned architect Kirtland Cutter in1898. The home was designed in a Georgian Revival style. One of the most notable features of the Finch mansion is the four, 3-foot diameter, Ionic columns, which span two stories in the front of the home. The home originally had two wings, which were five-sided bays with fireplace alcoves. As the home was converted from a single-family residence into apartments, the North and south wings were expanded.

John Aylard Finch was born in England in 1852. At the age of 5 his mother, Sophia, and father, William, took the family across the Atlantic to the United States of America. Once in America the finch family settled in Cleveland, Ohio where at age eight John began his schooling. Finch finished school at the age of 13 to work in the iron and steel industry. Finch moved many times following his ambition from Montreal, Canada then to Chicago, Illinois. Later he began to move west and headed out to Denver and eventually to Leadville, Colorado where he began working with mining. In 1887 Finch moved from Colorado to Washington Territory in pursuit of gold and other precious metals, he was traveling west with a friend, Amasa B. Campbell.

Campbell and Finch became strong business associates and formed the mining firm, Finch & Campbell. Finch & Campbell began their inland northwest mining empire by purchasing the Gem mine in the Coeur d'Alene district. After making a great profit with the Gem Mine they developed the Standard mine in 1891, then the Hecla mine shortly thereafter. The Standard and Hecla mines paid huge dividends, Campbell became president of both mines, while Finch was the accountant and secretary. As their mining prowess grew so did their territory as they opened up the Enterprise and Standard mines in British Columbia, Canada.

Finch was not content to maintain in mines his entire career. As he became more successful he began to diversify his investments. Mr. Finch became president of the White & Bender Company, the Coeur d'Alene Hardware Company, Blalock Fruit Company of Walla Walla and the National Lumber & Box Company of Hoquiam. Finch maintained his connection with his business partner throughout these ventures, naming Mr. Campbell vice president to all of these further business ventures. When the Davenport Hotel Company was being formed it was no surprise that Finch was a heavy stockholder.

Finch was a civic leader, donating time and money to many organizations that were not related to business, such as sitting on the Board of Overseers for Whitman College, located in Walla Walla Washington at the time. For further information on Finch's civic life please listen to the podcast provided in this stop.

Managing the Finch house was a huge undertaking, the 1910 Federal U.S. Census showed Finch living at this house with his wife, Charlotte and three servants. John A. Finch died at his country home at Hayden Lake, Idaho on June 20th, 1915. Charlotte continued to live in the mansion until 1927.



Voice and Research Courtesy of Zachary Wnek.
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Voice and Research Courtesy of Zachary Wnek.
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Community Historian Jim Price
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