August 20, 2016

8/16/16 - Cliff House Estate

After we put the house in Everett on the market, we headed to eastern Washington to visit with George’s kids and grandkids.  He grew up in Spokane and still has a lot of friends there.  

One couple invited us to go with them to a charity event at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars on the Cliff House Estate, a National Historic Landmark.

There were friends.  There was wine.  There was food.  There was big-band music.  There was a silent auction (I bought a quilt.) The weather was warm enough to be outside. Sounds like a perfect evening.

The winery is on the top of a hill, overlooking the Spokane River.  We took a walk around the estate grounds, which was pretty interesting.  Nice views all over.
The original builder of the estate was a famous guy in Spokane.  Royal Newton Riblet was an inventor, with over 20 patents, including a square-wheeled tractor!  Like a lot of inventors, he was kind of quirky. With a name that sounds like a recipe, you'd probably be a bit odd too.
Riblet built the Florentine-style mansion in 1924 and called it "Cliff House".  He had his own personal tranway that went down the side of the cliff and across the river where he kept a car. The home burned down in 2009, but was rebuilt.  The tramway was used until 1945 but was later dismantled.
There's a 6,000 gallon swimming pool lined with basalt rocks, which seems really strange to me.  The idea of all that pointy rock and bare skin doesn't appeal.
I did like the rose garden.
The workshop where he worked on his inventions has a clock tower.  I'm still not crazy about all the basalt but what else do you do with all the rocks lying around?
My favorite was the life-size checkerboard, a 16' square game board with oversized checkers moved by a special metal rod.

There are a few more pictures of the estate here:
Cliff House Estate

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