I was probably about 5 years old the first time that I was in the Samuels. My parents were taking my big brother and me there to have our pictures taken by a professional photographer. I was awed by the hotel, the lobby, and the old caged elevator that was manually operated. Of course, by that time the grand old hotel was no way like the glowing description that was reported in the Overland Monthly. Here are some excerpts from that account.
" The hotel is popular and nearly always full, and Mr.Judkins, the clerk, knows every traveling salesman in the territory. The building and the equipment cost over a quarter of a million dollars, and has every convenience. There are over 150 rooms, with 25 being en suite, with private bath. Each room has hot and cold water, electric light, steam heat, long distance telephone, nickel plumbing, brass beds, and in fact, the best of furnishings in every respect. The office occupying the ground floor is large and light with tiled floors and large oak chairs and rockers, and writing tables. Off the office is the barber shop, bar, large passenger elevator toe the upper floors and the café. The café is a model in every way, and furnished elegantly, flowers, cut glass, and excellent service together with the best of everything in the market, including the season's offerings, puts it in the same class as the cafes in the larger hotels of Spokane and the coastal cities."
The article goes on to say how Mr., Samuels was the president of the Wallace National Bank, several mining ventures and community things.
Wallace has preserved so many wonderful buildings, and it saddens and baffles me why such a magnificent historic building has been reduced to a plaque marking the site where it once rose so proudly.