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Historic Spokane B&B allows guests to use legal marijuana

An 1899 bed and breakfast in Browne’s Addition features two ghosts, a furniture suite said to have come from a bordello and a smoking patio that is open to modern-day marijuana users.

Owners Louie Flores and Gillian Cranehahn said they are doing their best to meet their guests needs.

They have clientele who come to their 1899 House Bed and Breakfast to take advantage of Washington’s legalization of marijuana.

But like most lodging establishments, smoking is not allowed indoors.

Instead, they have created a secluded patio alongside the late Victorian mansion for guests to use.

“We love our guests,” Cranehahn said. “They are a special group.”

Marijuana-using guests have come from as far as Alberta and Texas to take advantage of Washington’s pot law, including one guest who has been using marijuana for medicinal purposes, the owners said.

But the number of marijuana-using guests is no more than 10 percent of their clientele, they said.

Located at 1728 W. First Ave., the house was built for Edward L. Powell, a mayor of Spokane for a few years in the 1890s.

It was designed by master architect Loren L. Rand as a restrained version of Queen Anne architecture of the period.

It retains many of the best features of the time with extensive woodwork throughout the house.

Known historically as the Powell House, the home is part of the Browne’s Addition National Historic District and is listed on the Spokane Register of Historic Places.

Flores said he purchased the home in 2002 and undertook a wide-ranging restoration, including a new roof and paint scheme to match the original colors.

He placed the house on the Spokane historic register in 2003.

The B&B has air conditioning.

In the 1950s, the house was converted into separate apartments, but Flores has brought the mansion back to its original state.

He has some historic pieces that he found when he opened up interior walls, including a 25-cent piece from 1899, a pipe with cannabis residue and an Asian throwing star.

He even has the key that locks the glass doorway between the parlor and dining room.

The couch and chair in the parlor still have their original upholstery. Word has it that they came from an early-day bordello in Spokane.

One of the reported ghosts is a man who walks through the dining room to the kitchen and back, leaving behind the smell of tobacco smoke, Cranehahn said.

“You don’t see the smoke, you smell it,” Cranehahn said, who suspects the ghost may be Powell.

The other ghost is a woman in an upper bedroom believed to be Powell’s daughter, Gerda.

The guest rooms are well appointed with modern baths and spacious sleeping areas.

Many of the guests who stay at the B&B are professionals who prefer the homey accommodations, the owners said.

Currently, Flores and Cranehahn are repainting the east side of the three-story mansion. The job revealed an area of rotting wall sheathing that needs replacement.

Inside, they are converting the attic into living space.

The couple said that one of the things they like most about the house is its convenience to neighborhood services and the downtown area.

“We like being in the middle of it,” Cranehahn said of Spokane.