The Courchaine House

[Private Residence]

Greenacres was the place to be for pioneer Daniel Courchaine in 1867. Born in Quebec in the 1830s, Courchaine lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin for a time before heading west to Spokane around 1866 to farm and raise cattle. He purchased 640 acres on what was then the California Trail from the Coeur d'Alene Indians. Courchaine had been settled in here for more than a decade before James Glover showed up to found the city of Spokane.

Here he built this picturesque white with red trim country farmhouse. The lumber had to be hauled by wagon to the site from Walla Walla, the closest sawmill, nearly two hundred miles away. Once the lumber had all arrived in 1868, it took Daniel eleven years to finish the house while his growing family lived in log buildings he had constructed.

Daniel remained friends with the Indians who frequently stopped by to trade fresh huckleberries for the hunting dogs that Courchaine raised. The Indians also used the property's fresh water spring to get clean water for their horses and themselves. Settlers traveling from California Creek to the Spokane Valley by wagon also stopped to camp on the Courchaine's land, knowing that there would be enough water and grass for their horses.

One of the oldest surviving houses in Spokane, the Courchaine house originally had four bedrooms and a sleeping porch. Although, it has been remodeled and modernized over the years with a bathroom and two other rooms, the original walls, windows and doors remain. Other remaining outbuildings include the barn built in 1889 and a brick milk house that had a natural spring cooling system.

Daniel Courchaine married in 1871 and lived in the house with his wife and seven children until his death in 1897. He was buried in the Saltese Cemetery a short distance from his house. Two of his sons, George and Tom, inherited the property. Later, George bought out his brother's interest in the land and raised cattle and grew some crops. In the 1930s, financial difficulties forced him to sell half of the property. He continued to live in the house his father built and work the land until his death at age ninety-three in 1979.

In 1967, George had a monument to his father erected at the beginning of the driveway. Today, passersby are invited to park at the end of the driveway and, for a modest fee, feed sheep that are kept on the property.

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